Preserving our origins: Approaches to the organization, curation, and historiography of the record of national and international organizations in libraries, information, and documentation.


Satellite meeting organized in partnership with the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA), prior to the World Library and Information Congress (21-25 August, Rotterdam, Netherlands).

Featuring Keynote Address by Dr. Boyd Rayward on “The emergence of a Post World War II international information order: international associations, inter-governmental agencies, political platforms and technological affordances.”


Featuring a keynote address by the eminent scholar Boyd Rayward, whose work on the legacy of Paul Otlet has inspired and transformed multiple aspects of the history of information science, this conference seeks to bring together historians, archivists, librarians, and representatives of associations to focus on the developing historiography of libraries, librarianship, the information sciences, and documentation with an emphasis on the associations and organizations that developed and supported the field’s tremendous global growth and impact over the past 125 years. Held at the Mundaneum in Mons, Belgium, the conference seeks to honor and emulate the transformative work of its founders Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine by bringing together the various associations, actors, and themes associated with the development and evolution of LIS in order to generate greater consciousness of the state of the resources to support the preservation of our history while exploring current and emergent historiography of the field.

The two-day Satellite conference thus has two aims:

1)      to build on our understanding of the state of preservation and accessibility of historical sources for the historiography of library information sciences (LIS) and  information science and technology organizations.

2)      to further explore the history of these organizations from their origins in the late 19th and early 20th century to today.


The program also seeks to focus on digitization and curation programs as well as accounts that focus both on organizational history and the associated primary sources that serve as the basis of this research. An additional aim is to focus on archives, digitization, and sharing documentation to study selected topics in the history of LIS and documentation organizations in preparation for the celebration of IFLA’s 100 year history.


Program available here


Date: Thursday 17 August (afternoon), Friday 18 August (Full day), Saturday 19 August (morning)

LocationMundaneum, Mons, Belgium


Price: 100 € (students: 60 €) including registration fees, refreshments, coffee breaks and lunch on Thurday 17 August and Friday 18 August.


Suggested hotels:



Au Mundaneum