Blair, Ann, and Peter Stallybrass. 2010. Mediating Information 1450-1800. In This Is Enlightenment, ed. Clifford Siskin and William B. Warner, 139-63. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
This chapter argues that the Enlightenment involved not so much a radical break with, but an inheritance of, established technologies for storing, organizing, and retrieving information. In the long history of information management, the first early modern period (ca. 1450–1650) was especially significant in the development of new techniques and the refinement of existing ones to manage an explosion of printed matter and manuscript record keeping. In portraying their work as a radical break from the Renaissance, Enlightenment authors often obscured the indebtedness of their works to preexisting methods of compiling.