Item #2808 As We May Think. VANNEVAR BUSH.
As We May Think
As We May Think

As We May Think

"Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and to coin one at random, 'memex' will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory...

"Wholly new forms of encyclopedias will appear, ready-made with a mesh of associative trails running through them, ready to be dropped into the memex and there amplified... Thus science may implement the ways in which man produces, stores, and consults the record of the race."


FIRST EDITION of Vannevar Bush's landmark paper credited for originating the idea of hypertext and, by extension, providing many of the theoretical underpinnings for the world wide web.

"In a 1945 article entitled “As We May Think,” published in the Atlantic Monthly, Bush proposed a device that he called the Memex—an indexed, archival, microfilm machine for cross-referencing and retrieving information. For Bush, this article was an extension of his work in analog computing and microfilm technology. To the modern reader it portends the creation of hypertext and the World Wide Web" (Britannica).

"Different people place the origins of the Internet at different times. The earliest accounts put it in the mind of Vannevar Bush, as long ago as 1945. Bush, the man who had played such a prominent role in the building of the atomic bomb, envisaged a machine that would allow the entire compendium of human knowledge to be 'accessed'" (Peter Watson, The Modern Mind). Bush's Memex device for storing and accessing vast quantities of information was the direct influence and inspiration for the later invention of hypertext by Ted Nelson and Douglas Engelbart (see Engelbart's classic 1962 paper, Augmenting Human Intellect).

IN: The Atlantic Monthly 176, no. 1 (July 1945), pp. 101-8. Rumsford Press, Concord, N.H., 1945. Quarto, original wrappers.The subscription issue (as opposed to the newstand issue). The subscription issue has several additional pages of ads, and an additional five pages of short reviews of new books and is presumed to have been issued before the newsstand issue. (The Bush article is identical in each issue.) Light, general wear. An outstanding copy. RARE.

Price: $2,900 .

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