Information Access Seminar

Auto-Documents and Documentality

Friday, January 26, 2024
3:10 pm to 5:00 pm PST

Ron Day

Robert Pagès’ concept of the “auto-document” in his 1948 article “Transformations documentaires et milieu culturel” [Documentary Transformations and Cultural Context] proposed an understanding of documents that depends on the “uniqueness” of a document. His article proposed a post-Otletian theory of documents in ways that are similar to a discussion of documents by Bernd Frohmann in 2012 with the concept of “documentality.” Pagès’ work in these regards can be read as foreshadowing a philosophy of Documentality. Further attention to Pagès work and to Frohmann’s works could result in new understandings of Suzanne Briet’s works, could illuminate other works and authors understood as belonging to Neo-documentation, and it could yield new understandings of documents and information from the perspective of Documentality as a new philosophy of information and documents.

This seminar will be held both online & in person. You are welcome to join us either in South Hall or via Zoom.

For online participants

Online participants must have a Zoom account and be logged in. Sign up for your free account here. If this is your first time using Zoom, please allow a few extra minutes to download and install the browser plugin or mobile app.

Join the seminar online

Ronald E. Day is a professor in the Department of Information and Library Science in the School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. He researches the philosophy, history, politics, and culture of information, documentation, knowledge, and communication in the 20th and 21st centuries in the U.S. and Western Europe and in the discipline of Library and Information Science.

He is the author or editor of several books: Documentarity: Evidence, Ontology, and Inscritption (2019); Indexing it All: The Subject in the Age of Documentation, Information, and Data (2014), which won the ASIST Book of the Year Award; The Modern Invention of Information: Discourse, History, and Power (2001); co-translator and editor into English of the mid-twentieth century French documentalist Suzanne Briet's book, What is Documentation? (2006); and co-editor with Claire McInerney of the collection, Rethinking Knowledge Management: From Knowledge Objects to Knowledge Processes (2007).

Ron Day
Ron Day


If you have questions about this event, please contact Michael Buckland.

Profile profile for buckland

Michael Buckland
Michael Buckland
Professor Emeritus

Last updated:

January 16, 2024