1 An often cited article concludes that the evolving notion of document among

1 an often cited article concludes that the evolving

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phenomenon, whether physical or mental."[1] An often cited article concludes that "the evolving notion of document" among Jonathan Priest, Otlet, Briet, Sch rmeyer, and the other documentalists increasingly emphasized whatever functioned as a document rather than traditional physical forms of documents. The shift to digital technology would seem to make this distinction even more important. Levy's thoughtful analyses have shown that an emphasis on the technology of digital documents has impeded our understanding of digital documents as documents (e.g., Levy, 1994[2]). A conventional document, such as a mail message or a technical report, exists physically in digital technology as a string of bits, as does everything else in a digital environment. As an object of study, it has been made into a document. It has become physical evidence by those who study it. "Document" is defined in library and information science and documentation science as a fundamental, abstract idea: the word denotes everything that may be represented or memorialized in order to serve as evidence. The classic example provided by Suzanne Briet is an antelope: "An antelope running wild on the plains of Africa should not be considered a document[;] she rules. But if it were to be captured, taken to a zoo and made an object of study, it has been made into a document. It has become physical evidence being used by those who study it. Indeed, scholarly articles written about the antelope are secondary documents, since the antelope itself is the primary document."[3] This opinion
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  • Fall '16
  • Neeru Kapoor
  • The Bible, Computer file, Non-disclosure agreement, Suzanne Briet

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