Document (#19004)

Author
Buckland, M.K.
Title
What is a 'document'?
Source
Journal of the American Society for Information Science. 48(1997) no.9, S.804-809
Year
1997
Abstract
Ordinarily the word document denotes a textual record. Increasingliy sophisticated attempts to provide access to the rapidly growing quantity of available documents raised questions about what should be considered a document. Paul Otlet and other developed a functional view of document and discussed whether sculpture, museum objects, and live animals, could be considered documents. Suzanne Briet equates document with organized physical evidence. These ideas appear to resemble notions of 'material culture' in cultural anthropology and 'object as signs' in semiotics. Others, especially in the USA took a narrower view. New digital technology renews old questions and also old confusions between medium, message and meaning
Footnote
Contribution to part 2 of a 2 part series on the history of documentation and information science

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