November 11, 2014 at 01:44PM
"It would be an autonomous machine that allowed the user to create a highly personalized information environment..." #readingToday

In later writings Otlet would describe a device called a Mondotheque, which looked something like a contemporary computer workstation. It was a desklike device equipped with a collection of electronic instruments: a radio, telephone, microfilm reader, television, and record player, as well as a collection of personalized documents that might consist of selected books, movies, photographs, and so forth. Each workstation would include copies of the Universal Decimal Classification; the Atlas Mundaneum, a volume that attempted to synthesize the highest levels of scientific knowledge; the Sphaera Mundaneum, a kind of visual index that would allow users to pore over information graphics intended to provide high-level overviews of certain domains of knowledge; and the Pyramid Mundaneum that presents the contents of the collection in a hierarchical, nested grouping of categories. It would be an autonomous machine that allowed the user to create a highly personalized information environment arrayed around one's personal interests but directly connected to the larger corpus of recorded knowledge. The Mondotheque was more than just a platform for consuming information; it was an active tool for knowledge production. It would include a large desk space for writing and drawing. Most important, it would remain tethered to the Universal Network of Documentation via a persistent connection.

Cataloging the World, Alex Wright´╗┐