In his newly published book, Information Beyond Borders: International Cultural and Intellectual Exchange in the Belle Époque, GSLIS Professor Emeritus W. Boyd Rayward has assembled a collection of essays by international scholars exploring the globalization of culture and information in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Published by Ashgate, the book analyzes the dynamics of the emerging networks of individuals, organizations, technologies, and publications through which information has been exchanged. It includes contributions by scholars from different disciplines as well as different national and linguistic backgrounds. Rayward’s introduction is entitled, “Information beyond borders: International expositions, Paul Otlet, Henri La Fontaine and the paradox of the Belle Époque.” GSLIS Professor Alistair Black, whose research focuses on the history of libraries and librarianship, authored the chapter, “An information management tool for dismantling barriers in early multinational corporations: The staff magazine in Britain before World War I.”
According to a review by GSLIS Professor Dan Schiller, whose research includes telecommunications history and information policy, “The contributors to this fine collection unearth a revealing series of cultural, intellectual, and technological projects to universalize information systems during the decades before World War I and, in the process, give us new ways of understanding the lineages of our own time.”
Rayward is a historian of information science and the scholar who brought attention to the life and work of Paul Otlet (1868-1944), a Belgian lawyer, bibliographer, internationalist, and pacifist whose ideas foreshadowed current digital and other technologies such as the Internet, Google, and Wikipedia. Rayward is an emeritus professor in GSLIS and the School of Information Systems, Technology and Management of the University of New South Wales. During his career, he has held professorial and deanship positions; has served as editor for Library Quarterly, Library Trends, and special issues of several journals; and was awarded the 2004 American Society for Information Science and Technology Research Award.
In 2013, Rayward and Eugene Garfield endowed the Paul Otlet Lecture in Library and Information Science. This lecture series brings to GSLIS leaders in the field of library and information science to discuss the historical context and present and future impacts of cutting-edge developments in information science and the information society. The inaugural lecture will be held and broadcast live on Monday, May 5, at 4:00 p.m. in 126 LIS Building. Paul Duguid, adjunct full professor in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley, will present, “When Was the Age of Information?”