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Website Nautilus has an entertaining and well-researched long story about the history of humanity’s attempts to make sense of the huge mass of data that we have collectively produced, starting with the work of Belgian librarian Paul Otlet, who in the early 1900’s set out to classify and index all human knowledge into one huge networked database. Apparently, “big data” was a hot topic a century ago as well…

By Zinneke - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Otlet's Universal Bibliographic Repertory [1]

  1. By Zinneke - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,