The American giant Google paid respect to its “paper ancestor” on Sunday, with a special “doodle” referring to the Mundaneum. The aim of this 19th century Belgian innovation was to store the world’s knowledge in archives, and create a bibliographic library containing copies of several million small scrolls. This project was started by the Belgian lawyer Paul Otlet back in the 19th century, and has been nicknamed “the paper Google”.
The Mundaneum doodle appeared on the search engine’s google.be pages on Sunday, to mark the 147th anniversary of Paul Otlet’s birth. It also appeared on the Google homepage for France, Luxemburg, Sweden and Denmark, the company said.
“Paul Otlet was a pioneer in making information freely available. Decades later, engineers used his vision as inspiration to make technologically sharing information possible”, Google said.
Google said Paul Otlet started the Universal Bibliographical Library with Henri La Fontaine in the early 1900s. It has become known as the Mundaneum. What is left of the collection can be found in Mons, in a renovated building that opened in June.