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World Brain: The Idea of a Permanent World Encyclopaedia

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Citation Edit

H.G. Wells, World Brain: The Idea of a Permanent World Encyclopaedia (Aug. 1937) (full-text).

Overview Edit

Wells thought that in the near future, using microfilm, everyone in the world would have easy access to "all that is thought and known."

The American microfilm experts, even now, are making facsimiles of the rarest books, manuscripts, pictures and specimens, which can then be made easily accessible upon the library screen. By means of the microfilm, the rarest and most intricate documents and articles can be studied now at first hand, simultaneously in a score of projection rooms. There is no practical obstacle whatever now to the creation of an efficient index to all human knowledge, ideas and achievements, to the creation, that is, of a complete planetary memory for all mankind. And not simply an index; the direct reproduction of the thing itself can be summoned to any properly prepared spot. A microfilm, coloured where necessary, occupying an inch or so of space and weighing little more than a letter, can be duplicated from the records and sent anywhere, and thrown enlarged upon the screen so that the student may study it in every detail.

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