4406 entries. 94 themes. Last updated December 26, 2016.

Timeline Outline ViewEra: All Eras   |   Theme: Knowledge Organization / Taxonomy / Encyclopedism


Circa 3,200 BCEThe Oldest-Known List of Titles and Occupations Circa 2,000 BCEThe Earliest Surviving Literary or Library Catalogues Circa 1,400 BCE
Collection catalogue tablet from the Hattusas Palace Archives. Hattusa, Turkey
The Earliest Surviving Detailed Bibliographical Entries
Circa 900 BCEThe "Chicago Syllabary" 668 BCE – 627 BCE
Knowledge as Power: King Ashurbanipal Forms the Earliest Systematically…
Circa 350 BCE – 250 BCEThe Lead Tablet Archives of the Athenian Cavalry Circa 250 BCE
An edition of the Erya.(View Larger)
The Earliest Surviving Monolingual Dictionary
Circa 200 BCE
A digital recreation of the Library of Alexandria.
The Origins of Bibliography
Circa 78 BCE
The Roman Tabularium. (View Larger)
The Tabularium, Archives of Republican Rome, is Founded
Circa 53 BCE – 23 CEThe Earliest Bibliographical Classification System Circa 175 CEPollux's Onomasticon, the Oldest Specimen of Encylopedism Surviving from Antiquity Circa 180 CE"Attic Nights" : Lack of Arrangement Makes its Own Kind of Arrangement Circa 190 CEClaudius Galen Writes the First Auto-Bibliography Circa 190 CE – 1905Otlet and and La Fontaine Develop the Universal Decimal Classification 270 CEThe Porphyrian Tree: The Earliest Metaphorical Tree of Knowledge Circa 280 CE – 340 CE
A portrait of Eusebius of Caesarea. (View Larger)
One of the Earliest, Most Widely-Used Cross-Indexing Systems
476 CE – 1500"A Bibliography of Works on Medieval Communication" 524 – 525
Boethius teaching his students. (View Larger)
Thedoric Executes the Philosopher Boëthius: Beginning of the Middle Ages
Circa 633Excepting the Bible, Probably the Most Widely Circulated Educational Work During the Middle Ages Circa 800Some of the Earliest Library Catalogs Were Introduced in Baghdad 825 – 850
A folio from the Bern Physiologus. (View Larger)
Medieval Natural History Bestseller
833 – 835Inventories of Ninth Century Libraries Circa 850
An icon depicting St. Photius. (View Larger)
The First Byzantine Encylopedia
Circa 850The Oldest Western Medical Document after the Hippocratic Writings, and How it Survived the Middle Ages Circa 950The Massive Byzantine Encyclopedic Dictionary 988 – 990The Earliest Universal Bibliography Circa 1090 – 1125
A T-O design from Lambert's Liber Floridus. (View Larger)
A Medieval Encyclopedia, of which the Autograph Manuscript Survived
Circa 1190 – 1290The Emergence of Concordances and Subject Indexes Circa 1250The First Alphabetical Subject Indexes Circa 1250The Most Extensive Medieval Encyclopedia Circa 1270
Humbert de Romans, Dominican scholar who promulgated the notion of arranging books by subject matter.
The Arrangement and Cataloguing of Books
From a late 14th century copy of Richard de Fournival's 'Biblionomia.' A catalog of the section on philosophy, in which books are described by their dimensions. (View Larger)
Foundation of the Library of the Sorbonne, and "Perhaps the Earliest Specific…
1289 – 1338Probably the Largest Medieval Library in Europe 1290Organization of the Sorbonne Library, and the Way it Was Physically Arranged September 29, 1295 – April 1, 1296
Detail of image
Llull's Tree of Knowledge
1338The Second Catalogue of the Library of the Sorbonne Circa 1375
Folio 1v of Omne Bonum upon which is drawn the four scenes of creation: God creating fish; God creating animals; the Creation of Adam; the Creation of Eve. (View Larger)
The First Encyclopedia Arranged in Alphabetical Order
1389The High Point of Medieval Library Cataloguing 1389John Whytefeld Compiles an Innovative Medieval Library Catalogue 1403 – 1408
A page of the Yongle Encyclopedia. (View Larger)
The Yongle Encyclopedia in 11,095 Volumes, Organized Following a Rhyming…
Circa 1420
Folio 2r of Bellicorum instrumentorum liber, showing an 'Oriental siege machine.' (View Larger)
One of the Earliest Surviving Italian Manuscripts on Technology and War…
Adolf Rusch's printing of the encyclopedia 'De Sermonum Propietate,
Adolf Rusch Issues the First Printed Encyclopedia, by Hrabanus Maurus
November 19, 1472
Earliest printed example of a classical T and O map (by Günther Zainer, Augsburg, 1472), illustrating the first page of chapter XIV of the Etymologiae of Isidore of Seville. It shows the continents as domains of the sons of Noah: Sem (Shem), Lafeth (Japheth) and Cham (Ham).
The First Printed Edition of Isidore's "Etymologiae" Includes the First Map Included in a Printed Book
1475The First Catalogue of the Vatican Library 1494Johannes Trithemius Publishes the Earliest Subject Bibliography Circa 1496The First English Book Printed on Paper Made in England 1502Ambrosio Calepino Issues the First Modern Dictionary & the Most Successful & Widely Reprinted Reference Work of the Early Modern Period 1503Domenico Nani Mirabelli Issues One of the First General Reference Works Produced for the Printed Book Market Circa 1510 – 1539Ferninand Columbus Collects One of the Largest Private Libraries of the 16th Century 1540 – 1585Masters at Colegio de Santa Cruz de Santiago Tlaltelolco Create the Florentine Codex, the First Illustrated Encyclopedia of the New World 1545 – 1555
 In 1545, Swiss zoologist and naturalist Conrad Gessner publishes the first 'universal bibliography,' cataloging about 12,000 titles in an attempt to control the 'labyrinth' of books and information which had arrisen since the invention of printing.  (View Larger)
Conrad Gessner Issues the First Universal Bibliography Since the Invention…
1548 – 1549Conrad Gessner Issues the First General Subject Index 1560Florian Trefler Builds upon Gessner's Library Classifcation Scheme 1561Valerius Cordus Makes the Earliest Effort to Systematize Botanical Description and Discovers Sulfuric Ether 1562Conrad Gessner Issues the First Bio-Bibliography: a Study of Galen's Writings 1564Georg Willer Issues the First Catalogue of the Frankfurt Book Fair 1565Samuel Quiccheberg Publishes the First Treatise on Museums 1584François Grudé de la Croix du Maine Issues the First French National Bibliography 1590Pascal Lecoq Issues the First Systematic Medical Bibliography 1591Israel Spach Issues the First Medical Subject Bibliography 1595Andrew Maunsell Issues the First "Books in Print" 1598Israel Spach Issues the Model for Subject Bibliographies 1623Gaspard Bauhin Establishes Plant Classification Based upon General Morphology Circa 1625 – 1665Cassiano & Carlo Antonio dal Pozzo Attempt to Record All Human Knowledge in Visual Form Circa 1650 – 1703
A painting of Samuel Pepys by John Hayls, 1666.
Samuel Pepys' Library: One of the Most Significant Private Libraries Preserved Intact from 17th Century England, in its Original Bookcases
1660David Teniers the Younger Publishes the First Published Illustrated Catalogue of an Art Collection 1664The Earliest Bibliography of Bibliographies 1666Michel de Marolles Writes the First Book on Print Collecting 1668John Wilkins Creates A Universal Language Based on a Classification Scheme or Ontology, and a Universal System of Measurement 1685 – 1706Locke's Method of Indexing Commonplace Books 1688The First Attempt to Collect and Organize the Literature of Early Printing 1697The First Country-Wide Printed Union Catalogue of Manuscripts 1698A Visionary Library Cataloguing Scheme That Was Not Realized 1699A Universal Bibliography, but Only for "A and B" 1704 – 1710John Harris Issues the First English Encyclopedia Arranged in Alphabetical Order July – December 1706The Bigot Sale, the First Book Auction Conducted in Paris for Which a Catalogue was Printed 1713Johann Christian Koch Issues the First History of Library Classification Systems 1728Johann David Köhler Issues the First Anthology of Library Classification, Organization and Cataloguing Schemes 1729 – 1747Mark Catesby Publishes the First Natural History of North American Flora and Fauna 1735Carl Linnaeus Issues "Systema Naturae" 1739Bernard de Montfaucon Issues the First Continent-Wide Union Catalogue of Manuscripts 1751 – 1780Diderot & d'Alembert's Encyclopédie, the Central Enterprise of the French Enlightenment 1753Linnaeus Develops Binomial Nomenclature for Plants 1755Diderot on Information Overload, and the Encyclopedia as a Means of Organizing and Enhancing Associations in Knowledge 1758Linnaeus Introduces Binomial Nomenclature for Animals 1763 – 1782Bookseller Guillaume François de Bure Begins "Modern" Rare Book Cataloguing December 1768 – 1771Encyclopaedia Britannica Begins 1769Graphic Representation of the Organization of the Encyclopédie 1773 – 1782The Siku Quanshu: Probably the Most Ambitious Editorial Enterprise before the Wikipedia 1782Charles-Joseph Panckoucke Issues the Prospectus for a Monumental European Encyclopedia 1782 – 1832An Encyclopedia in 206 Thick Volumes but No Comprehensive Index! 1787The First Catalogue of the British Museum Library is Published 1790 – 1802André-Charles Caillot Issues a Bibliographical Guide to Antiquarian Bookselling and Collecting, with a Pioneering Exposition on Rarity 1791The First National Code of Descriptive Cataloging--Early Use of Cards in Cataloging Books 1793 – 1794Henri Grégoire Proposes a National Bibliography of France 1810 – 1865Brunet Compiles "Manuel du libraire," "The Best and Last of the General Rare Book Bibliographies" November 1815George Watterson Issues the First Extensive Catalogue of the Library of Congress 1830 – 1853The First Attempt Since that of Montfaucon (1739) to Publish a Union Catalogue of Manuscripts in European Libraries October 19 – October 25, 1839George Bradshaw Issues the First Railway Timetable 1841Panizzi's 91 Rules for Standardizing the Cataloguing of Books 1852Charles Jewett Proposes a National Union Catalogue April 29, 1852Roget's Thesaurus is First Published 50 Years After its Composition 1856Andrea Crestadoro Describes Keyword in Context Indexing 1862Ludwig Ritter von Köchel Issues the Köchel-Verzeichnis of Mozart's Works 1863The Largest Dictionary in Book Form April 1870Henry Bradshaw Begins Modern Bibliographical Analysis 1875Shepardizing: A Legal Citation System 1876 – 1885Librarian Melvil Dewey Invents Dewey Decimal Classification 1876 – 1961The First Truly Comprehensive Subject Index of the Published Literature of Any Science 1876The Last Library Cataloguing Code Written by One Person 1877Dewey Urges Standardization of Library Catalogue Cards 1879The First Extensively Used Scientific Method of Criminal Identification 1879Index Medicus Begins 1881 – 1905The First Complete Catalogue of the British Museum Library Following Panizzi's Rules 1882 – 18843,500,000 Quotations on Individual Slips of Paper 1883Imagining a Library 100 Years in the Future 1886The First Subject Index to the Library of the British Museum 1892Finger Prints as a Means of Identification 1894d'Ocagne Publishes the First Systematic Classification of Calculating Machines 1895An Analog Search Engine to Organize All the World's Knowledge 1897The Library of Congress Classification 1898The Library of Congress Establishes Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) February 1898The Cumulative Book Index 1901The Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature 1901LC Cards June 11, 1911 – 1913"Die Brucke" and its Goals for a World Information Clearing House 1912 – 1991Origins of the "Garrison-Morton" Bibliography of the History of Medicine 1924 – 1933S. R. Ranganathan Develops Colon Classification (CC), the First Faceted Classification 1929 – 1953Henry E. Bliss Develops the Bliss Bibliographic Classification November 20, 1936 – 1938H. G. Wells and the "World Brain" 1938Otto Bettman Founds The Bettmann Archive: the Beginning of "The Visual Age" 1942 – 1953Book-Form Publication of the Library of Congress Catalogue Begins: 167 Volumes Plus 42 Volumes of Supplement December 1947Origins of NLM's Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) 1949 – 1951Roberto Busa & IBM Adapt Punched Card Tabulating to Sort Words in a Literary Text: The Origins of Humanities Computing 1950Schmieder's Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis 1951The Coordinate and Uniterm Indexing Systems 1954 – 1960Probably the First Widely-Accepted Controlled Vocabulary 1955Machine Methods for Information Searching July 15, 1955The Foundation of Citation Analysis 1958Hans Peter Lund of IBM Develops an Automatic Document Indexing Program 1959 – 1972The Most Voluminous Printed Catalogue of a Single Library 1960The National Library of Medicine Introduces Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) 1964The First Computerized Encyclopedia 1964Science Citation Index 1965 – 1968Henriette Avram Develops the MARC Cataloguing Standard 1967The Museum Computer Network is Founded in New York 1968 – 1981NUC: The Largest Printed Bibliography, Complete in 754 Folio Volumes 1968Stewart Brand Issues "The Whole Earth Catalog": Google and Blogging before the Internet 1969 – 1984Derek Austin Develops the PRECIS Preserved Context Index System Circa 1969IBM Introduces the Generalized Markup Language (GML) August 26, 1971Alden Library at Ohio University Becomes the First Library to do Online Cataloguing 1974SGML is Invented June 1976The English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) is Conceived 1983 – 1989Keyboarding over 350,000,000 Characters January 1983The First "Killer App" for the PC 1985George A. Miller Begins WordNet, a Lexical Database 1985Probably the First Electronic Encyclopedia October 1986SGML Standard is Accepted 1987The First Digital Image Database of Cultural Materials 1988OCLC Acquires the Publisher of the Dewey Classification System 1989Ingetraut Dahlberg Founds the International Society for Knowledge Organization 1993The Electronic Dewey 1995An Online Searchable Archive of Over 1000 Academic Journals March 1995Craigslist Initiates Free Online Classified Advertisements 1998The Last Printed Edition of Beilstein is Published 1998Using Neural Networks for Word Sense Disambiguation January 1998 – August 8, 2014Completion of the Online Collaborative English Translation of the Suda January 29, 1998PageRank is Published on Paper February 14, 1998The Bibliometrics of Science September 7, 1998Google is Founded 1999Berners-Lee's Conception of the Semantic Web 2000 – 2007Conceiving and Building a Machine-Readable Database to Present Information "Filtered, Selected and Presented According to the Needs of the Individual User" January 2000
The Pandora logo
Pandora Radio is Founded, Based on the "Music Genome Project"
March 9, 2000 – September 2003
The Bomis.com logo
Predecessor of the Wikipedia: "One of the Greatest Defunct Websites in History"
March 14, 2000
An old interface of the Oxford Dictionary Online where users could subscribe to the online dictionary
OED Online
January 15, 2001
The Wikipedia logo
The Wikipedia Begins
December 1, 2002
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics logo
ECHO (European Cultural Heritage Online) is Founded
January 2003Regulations.gov is Launched 2004
The OCLC logo
OCLC Serves More than 50,000 Libraries, Contains 56 Million Records
February 2004
The Flickr logo
Flickr, the Photo & Video Sharing Social Networking Site, is Launched
May 1, 2004
John Shaw Billings
The Index-Catalogue Goes Online
October 2004
The Frankfurt Bookfair logo
The Google Print Project is Announced
October 2004 – 2005Google Maps Begins 2005
The original Kosmix.com search engine homepage
June 6, 2005
The UNESCO logo
Proposal for a World Digital Library
August 29, 2005
The LibraryThing homepage
LibraryThing is Founded
December 14, 2005
A cover of the journal Nature
The Wikipedia is Rated Nearly as Accurate as Encyclopedia Brittanica
March 17, 2006
Karen Calhoun
The Changing Nature of the Catalogue. . . .
January 2007Goodreads is Founded 2008ImageNet, an Image Database and Ontology June 2008Encyclopedia Brittanica Will Include Wiki-Style Collaboration October 24, 2008Old Wine in New Bottles? October 27, 2008An Encyclopedia with More than Ten Million Articles March 11, 2009A Higher Resolution Map of Knowledge Than Can be Produced from Citation Analysis May 16, 2009Wolfram/Alpha is Launched October 2009The First Historical Thesaurus in Any Language October 3, 2009Google CEO Eric Schmidt On Newspapers & Journalism October 9, 2009" A Library to Last Forever" ?? March 2010The Sociology of Wikipedians November 9, 2010Towards a New Digital Legal Information Environment December 3, 2010Of the Seventy Online Databases that "Define Our Planet", Many are Known Only to Specialists 2011Google's Track of its Own Development 2011"Visual Complexity: Mapping Patterns of Information" January 15, 2011The Wikipedia Celebrates its Tenth Anniversary October 18, 2011What Would an Infinite Digital Bookcase Look Like? March 14, 2012The Encyclopedia Britannica Ends Print Publication May 16, 2012Google Introduces the Knowledge Graph November 2012A Max Planck Institute Program for Historicizing Big Data November 2012A Natural History of Data October 16, 2013"As We May Type": Authoring Tools as "Machines for New Thought." December 4, 2013Introduction of "Arches": an Open-source, Web-based, Geospatial Information System for Cultural Heritage Inventory and Management February 20, 2014Publishing the Wikipedia in 1000 Physical Volumes?? March 17, 2014UC Berkeley is the First American University to Hire a Wikipedian-in-Residence April 20, 2014 – 2034The OED is Predicted to Disappear from Print