Excerpt: In 1934, [one of technology’s lost pioneers Paul] Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files. He described how people would use the devices to send messages to one another, share files and even congregate in online social networks. He called the whole thing a “réseau,” which might be translated as “network” — or arguably, “web.”
And be sure to check out the Mundaneum graphic that accompanies the article, "Index Cards and Electric Telescopes".
Link to 3/30/2008 post, "House of Cards", at Paul Collins' Weekend Stubble blog. Collin is the author of "Histories: When the Internet was Made of Paper", published in the March 22, 2008 issue of New Scientist. (Subscription required.)
(Another benefit of blogging. It provides the "genealogy" for articles that appear in the mainstream, popular media.)
The Library History Buff Larry Nix's "Evolution of the Card Catalog" essay.