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A place for everything : the curious history of alphabetical order

Flanders, Judith2020
Books, Manuscripts
Few of us consider the order of the alphabet for long after we first learn it as children. Yet it is alphabetic order, its role in organization, that allows us to access centuries of thought, of knowledge, of poetry, literature, scientific discovery and discourse. Alphabetical order allows us to locate the information we need, and disseminate it further. Without alphabetical order, all the knowledge in the world would lie in great unsifted stacks of books, unfindable, unread, unknown. This book traces the beginnings of alphabetization, as we understand it, moving from the development of what was, in effect, a sixteenth-century proto-card catalogue, to a London bookseller who made a revolutionary breakthrough when he alphabetized his books, not by lumping all the 'Thomases' together (Thomas More, Thomas Smith, Thomas Elyot), but by 'sirname'.
London : Picador, 2020.
xxvi, 342 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (black and white, and colour) ; 22 cm
Includes bibliographical references and index.
9781509881567 (hbk)
Dewey class:
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