Information Access Seminar

Information Access: Its Scope and its Limitations

Friday, September 21, 2018
3:10 pm to 5:00 pm
Michael Buckland

Text printed on paper was the dominant medium for some 500 years and a wide range of techniques were evolved to support description, discovery, and forensic analysis for authenticity, provenance, etc., mostly under the term “bibliography”. But the dominance of printing (and indeed of written text) has receded with the rise of new media and new publication forms which urgently need comparable attention.

After a brief historical account of concepts, terminology, and anomalous claims by Suzanne Briet, Donald McKenzie, and Karl Popper, I will address the limits of information access. How far are the limits a matter of custom, how far a matter of economics, and, more interesting, where are the inherent limits (i.e. what in principle can information systems not do and why) regardless of medium.

This extends last semester’s discussion which is available at

Last updated:

September 10, 2018