New proposals for organization of knowledge and their role in the development of databases for history of science

Ana M. Alfonso-Goldfarb, Silvia Waisse, Marcia H.M. Ferraz


As is known, the digital era brought new possibilities for creation, organization and work with large databases. However, some problems make such large databases difficult to manage, as e.g., lack of definite standards, or perhaps even full impossibility to develop any standard at all due to the complexity of the data. This certainly is the case of databases in the humanities, especially in regard to fields in which the aspect of temporality is constitutive. In this paper we discuss models for organization of knowledge, with particular attention to the modern fate of the traditional ‘trees of knowledge’, the emergence of decentered network models and new possibilities that emerged together with the digital humanities. We conclude with some considerations on very recent initiatives to solve the problem posed by temporality in large textual corpora.


Databases; History of science; Digital humanities; Trees of knowledge; Networked knowledge; Digital environment

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