Markus Krajewski is Associate Professor of Media History at the Bauhaus University, Weimar. He is a developer of the bibliographic software Synapsen: A Hypertextual Card Index (www.verzetteln.de/synapsen)
This BIT chronicles the history of the predigital “scholar’s machine”: a box of paper slips that acted both as memory aid and text generator. In it, Markus Krajewski describes the scholar’s box as a form of data protection, tracing its genealogy beginning with peculiar excerption techniques of early nineteenth century scholars.
Today on almost every desk in every office sits a computer. Eighty years ago, desktops were equipped with a nonelectronic data processing machine: a card file. In Paper Machines, Markus Krajewski traces the evolution of this proto-computer of rearrangeable parts (file cards) that became ubiquitous in offices between the world wars.