Universal library

A universal library called, comprises as opposed to specialized library, a library that works from all fields. As a utopia they called a fictitious library containing all possible books.

Reliable universal libraries

One of the first of this type was the Mundaneum founded by Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine 1894; it grew by 1930 to more than sixteen million bibliographic records that have been completed. carried dossiers reproductions of sculptures, photographs and graphics Also the hypertext concept of Memex Vannevar Bush ( As We May Think, 1945) or the project Xanadu by Ted Nelson attacked this encyclopedic library utopia on again and tried to make the whole of human knowledge available.

Today's universal libraries are usually at the same time archive libraries and serve primarily the support of science, study and teaching. The largest universal library in Germany is the German National Library ( DNB) with locations in Leipzig, Frankfurt am Main and Berlin.

Utopian general libraries

The idea of ​​a universal library or "total library " of all possible books was described along with their literary predecessors in 1939 by Jorge Luis Borges. The term Universal Library immersed in the science- fiction literature, among others, in Kurd Laßwitz in his novels from 1904 on. He refers to a library in which every conceivable book is because the volumes resulting from combination of the characters used. Laßwitz takes 100 characters to be sufficient to represent all human knowledge and thinking. Since ( in his narrative ) of each band holds 1 million mark, shows the extent of 102,000,000 volumes. The narrative shows however that it would be virtually impossible to find a concrete required band. In addition, this library possessed indeed a finite size, but at the same time they needed more space as our universe. Jorge Luis Borges engages in his History The Library of Babel from 1941 on the same idea. They can also be found in the Foundation cycle by Isaac Asimov (1942 ) and Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1979 ) as the Encyclopaedia Galactica.