Information Access Seminar

Emanuel Goldberg and His Knowledge Machine

Friday, March 24, 2006
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
107 South Hall
Michael Buckland, iSchool

In the received history of information science, Vannevar Bush designed the first desktop search engine, his mythic "Memex"; J. Edgar Hoover revealed that microdots used in espionage were invented in Dresden by a Professor Zapp; and in the history of photography the design of the famous Contax 35 mm camera is attributed to Heinz Kueppenbender, head of Zeiss Ikon. In fact all three — and much more — were primarily the work of Emanuel Goldberg (born Moscow 1881, active in Germany 1900-1933, died in Tel Aviv 1970). Goldberg, internationally famous in his prime, disappeared into oblivion and was forgotten.

My new book, Emanuel Goldberg and his Knowledge Machine: Information, Invention, and Political Forces, reconstructs Goldberg's life and work. I will talk briefly about why and how the book was written, give highlights of Goldberg's adventurous life, and discuss Goldberg as a case study in historiography and the mechanisms of historical amnesia.

For more information, see

Last updated:

March 26, 2015