“For its own sake and for his own personal joy”: Leonardo’s unpublished notebooks

Leonardo da Vinci is known for many things, but being a case study of one style of information behaviour is not usually among them. However, among the many other aspects of his life covered in Walter Isaacson's best-selling biography, this emerges clearly, particularly from a consideration of his voluminous production of notes and lists, many… Continue reading “For its own sake and for his own personal joy”: Leonardo’s unpublished notebooks

Byrhtferth’s diagram: microcosm and macrocosm

Among the many wonderful things on display at the recent Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms exhibition at the British Library was the intriguing image known as Byrhtferth's diagram. The version of the diagram on display was from the British Library's own manuscript collection (Harley MS3667). Although stunning, it is somewhat incomplete: St John's College, Oxford, has a slightly… Continue reading Byrhtferth’s diagram: microcosm and macrocosm

Physicist as librarian; Henri Poincaré’s intriguing metaphor

Among the new additions to Oxford University Press's admirable series of Very Short Introductions is a revised edition of J.L. Heilbron's VSI to the History of Physics. An interesting read in general, it raises one intriguing idea in particular; the metaphor of physicist as librarian. Libraries and documents feature throughout the book. Heilbron notes that… Continue reading Physicist as librarian; Henri Poincaré’s intriguing metaphor

Information education for onlife

I was fortunate enough to be able to visit the lovely city of Pisa earlier this month, to give a keynote talk at FEIS 2018, an international symposium on the future of education in information science. The symposium was part of the EINFOSE Erasmus+ project, which is examining the variation in entry requirements and learning… Continue reading Information education for onlife

Supporting truth and promoting understanding: knowledge organization and the curation of the infosphere

This is an updated text of a keynote address given at the Fifteenth International ISKO Conference, Porto, 9th July 2018. A brief account of the conference is given in an earlier blog post. Supporting truth and promoting understanding: knowledge organization and the curation of the infosphere David Bawden and Lyn Robinson Abstract This paper considers… Continue reading Supporting truth and promoting understanding: knowledge organization and the curation of the infosphere

Can information be conserved, and why would it matter?

The idea that information may be conserved may strike many of us interested in recorded human information information as faintly ridiculous. By 'conserved', we mean that there is a fixed amount of information in the universe, and that, while it may be changed, it can neither be created nor destroyed. This does not seem to… Continue reading Can information be conserved, and why would it matter?

Information generations; the end of the Millennials?

The idea of a 'generation' is a widely understood one, and we often take it for granted that people of a certain age will have similar experiences, expectations, and values. Terms like 'Baby Boomers', 'Gen X', and 'Millennials' are in common use, and it seems to be generally accepted that they have some value as… Continue reading Information generations; the end of the Millennials?