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  • Print publication year: 2009
  • Online publication date: March 2010

16 - The information revolution

The Victorians knew they were living through a time of transformation in the provision of information. Anachronistic as it is, the immediate benefit of using the term 'information revolution' to describe the changes is that it directs our attention to facts, information and knowledge, or, prosaically, non-fiction. This chapter discusses the attempts to make scholarly information more widely available through new publishing formats, but it will also include a wide variety of other factual publications, from railway timetables to cricket statistics, and from government proceedings to company reports. In the nineteenth century, 'knowledge' and 'information' carried different connotations, but they shaded into one another. The chapter introduces the rise of statistics by asking why so much of that new information was then published. It concludes with a discussion of the mechanisms, techniques and technologies which were introduced to help people to cope with what would now be termed 'information overload'.
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The Cambridge History of the Book in Britain
  • Online ISBN: 9781139056014
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