Copyright SCORPION DAGGER.
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Further information about the artist from the Imperial War Museum:Viktor Olgyai studied under William Unger in Vienna and under Theodore Alphonse in Paris. As he originally intended to devote himself entirely to the graphic arts, and only later took up oil-painting, his technical knowledge of etching is remarkable. He is pre-eminently a draughtsman, and though his plates are finely toned, the most notable thing about them is their sense of line. Some of his best works are contained in an album of ten plates entitle 'Winter,' and other notable ones are The Oak, The Mill and Way of Cypresses.
Victor Olgyai (1870-1929) was born in Igló in Hungary. He worked as a painter and designer, and taught at the Graphics Department of the College of Fine Arts in Budapest. He died in Salzburg, Austria.
Until the late 1980's, the closest thing a scholar could get to an indexed archive of the world was one of the huge collections of material that had been amassed in the Library of Congress, British Library or other National archive. These are immense repositories. The Library of Congress has 32 million books within a total of 150 million items and the British Library has a similar number of items. When archives get this vast they can be quantified more easily by the number of miles of shelving they have than the number of items; more than 800 miles in the Library of Congress.The phrase `Permanent World Encyclopaedia' conveys the gist of these ideas. As the core of such an institution would be a world synthesis of bibliography and documentation with the indexed archives of the world. A great number of workers would be engaged perpetually in perfecting this index of human knowledge and keeping it up to date.
The archivist, speaking very quietly, takes out a volume from behind him, and, with his fingertips, traces the printed lines of numbers preceded by capital letters. Then, softly, he leads the young man to the long row where the indexes are kept. He takes down six or seven volumes, picking them out without hesitation. He opens them up, points to the long columns of numbers, closes them, puts down the books, picks up others, explains, and returns to his desk to consult a set of file cards tightly squeezed into a beige shoe box.Locating documents by looking up numbers in large index tables is difficult and slow for human beings, but it is precisely what computers and the internet are good at. Now, more than six decades after H.G. Wells' first imagined it, the World Brain is beginning to become a reality.
This discovery, indeed, is almost of that kind which I call Serendipity, a very expressive word, which as I have nothing better to tell you, I shall endeavour to explain to you: you will understand it better by the derivation than by the definition. I once read a silly fairy tale, called the three Princes of Serendip: as their Highnesses traveled, they were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were were not in quest of...I still enjoy flicking through encyclopedias at random; both physical and virtual. Although necessarily different from my readings of Newnes Pictorial Knowledge, my self-guided journey through the Internet Archive is driven by the same desire to explore. The book is structured as a collection of two-page spreads. The images were often selected because of the visual impact they had on me as I searched. Each two-page spread matches the image with a deliberately non-encyclopaedic entry; a short comment, reflection or connection. I have begun to think of these two-page spreads as postcards from the archive.
The maxim that our first duty is to do no harm — primum non nocere — is not intended to reduce us to the rank of simple spectators; it is to stimulate us to attain greater accuracy in diagnosis, greater skill in treatment, and quicker perception of indications.