The period in Europe known as the Belle Epoque was a time of vibrant and unsettling modernization in social and political organization, in artistic and literary life, and in the conduct and discoveries of the sciences. These trends, and the emphasis on internationalization that characterized them, necessitated the development of new structures and processes for discovering, disseminating, manipulating and managing access to information. This book analyses the dynamics of the emerging networks of individuals, organizations, technologies and publications by which means information was exchanged across and through all kinds of borders and boundaries in this period. It extends the frame within which historical discourse about information can take place by bringing together scholars not only from different disciplines but also from different national and linguistic backgrounds. As a result the volume offers new and surprising ways of looking at the historical period of the Belle Epoque. It will be of interest to scholars and students of information history and the emergence of the information society as well as to social and cultural historians concerned with the late 19th and early 20th century.
W. Boyd Rayward is Emeritus Professor at the Universities of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA.
’Historians are showing that the globalization of information is not a unique historical feature of the contemporary era, but a recurrent construction possessing many facets and unsuspected properties - including a longstanding utopian element. 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.’ Dan Schiller, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, USA 'There is so much in this book ... the complexity and range of ideas discussed here is remarkable, and it is all tremendously engaging.' Library and Information History 'Information Beyond Borders is an excellent example of intellectual information history at its finest. It offers a new lens through which to view a period of history already well studied, and shows us that the emergence of the modern information world was inexorably caught up with deeper historical forces, tensions, and aspirations.' Library and Information History