Book , Print in English

Too much to know : managing scholarly information before the modern age

Ann M. Blair.
  • New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press, ©2010.
  • xv, 397 pages : illustrations; 25 cm.
Subjects
Summary
  • "The Flood of Information brought to us by advancing technology is often accompanied by a distressing sense of "information overload," yet this experience is not unique to modern times. In fact, says Ann M. Blair in this intriguing book, the invention of the printing press and the ensuing abundance of books provoked sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European scholars to register complaints very similar to our own." "The author examines methods of information management in ancient and medieval Europe as well as the Islamic world and China, highlighting both similarities across scholarly cultures and the unique features of the early modern European context. Blair studies the rise of large-scale note-taking in Renaissance Europe and the impact of printing on the development of various kinds of reference books and finding devices. She focuses on the composition, organization, and reception of humanist Latin reference books in print between roughly 1500 and 1700. She argues that although some scholars complained about them, these reference books were widely used; by spreading familiarity with consultation reading among the educated, they made possible the success of the better-known vernacular encyclopedias of the eighteenth century." "Combining methods of book history and intellectual history, Ann Blair explores in detail the sophisticated and sometimes idiosyncratic techniques that scholars and readers developed for gathering, sorting, and storing facts in an era of new technology and exploding information."--BOOK JACKET.
Contents
  • Information management in comparative perspective
  • Note-taking as information management
  • Reference genres and their finding devices
  • Compilers, their motivations and methods
  • The impact of early printed reference books.
Other information
  • Includes bibliographical references (p. 321-379) and index.
  • Eisenhower copy: Purchased with funds from the Rebecca Meyerhoff Memorial Trust for the Humanities; FY2011.
ISBN
  • 9780300112511 (alk. paper)
  • 0300112513 (alk. paper)
Identifying numbers
  • LCCN: 2010024663
  • OCLC: 601347978