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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Document Theory: An Introduction.

  • Author(s): Buckland, MK
  • Editor(s): Willer, M
  • Gilliland, AJ
  • Tomic, M
  • et al.

Writing, printing, telecommunications, and copying enabled the rise of the “information society” (more accurately “document society”) characterized by the division of labor. Document (verb) means to make evident. A document (noun) is something from which you learn, especially a text. Documents have a phenomenological aspect; employ cultural codes; form media types; and use physical media. The management of documents led to a more inclusive definition, including Briet’s antelope. Documents have technical, social, and mental aspects. Factual assertions require context. Documents are used to shape our lives and culture. Conventionally documents are made as documents; but objects can also be made into documents; or simply regarded as documents. New forms of document require new forms of bibliography. Current trends lead to the recording, the representation, and the analysis of everything, simultaneously.

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