Las fronteras invisibles de Europa, el continente dividido que esconden los mapas

Detrás de los mapas políticos mudos, se esconden otros que completan el puzzle histórico que conforma la realidad del presente europeo. Son las fronteras invisibles, divisiones que no apreciamos en los mapas comunes pero que perviven en las estadísticas y en las realidades sociales de cada país. Fantasmas de antiguos estados que desaparecieron hace más de un siglo o hace algunas décadas, divisiones culturales internas que la modernidad no ha apagado.


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Even in 1895, such a project marked an act of colossal intellectual hubris. The two men set out to collect data on every book ever published, along with a vast collection of magazine and journal articles, photographs, posters and all kinds of ephemera — like pamphlets — that libraries typically ignored. Using 3 by 5 index cards (then the state of the art in storage technology), they went on to create a vast paper database with more than 12 million individual entries.

 

Otlet and LaFontaine eventually persuaded the Belgian government to support their project, proposing to build a “city of knowledge” that would bolster the government’s bid to become host of the League of Nations. The government granted them space in a government building, where Otlet expanded the operation. He hired more staff, and established a fee-based research service that allowed anyone in the world to submit a query via mail or telegraph — a kind of analog search engine. Inquiries poured in from all over the world, more than 1,500 a year, on topics as diverse as boomerangs and Bulgarian finance.

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