Institutions of knowledge, like universities, colleges, and reference libraries, offer a wealth of knowledge to students and researchers alike. They provide knowledge and of information for teachers, researchers, scholars, and the general public, but they are just as keen to help generate new knowledge for the future.
Universities, libraries and museums have long played a vital role in developing human culture. In ancient times, libraries were places where knowledge was collected and preserved. Today, institutions of knowledge, libraries and museums are increasingly important centres of knowledge but storing the information is constantly changing with the evolution of the digital age.
The future of knowledge will depend on human society’s ability to continue providing a common framework for the free exchange of ideas and knowledge.
To ensure that the future of history, research and knowledge is secure, we must make sure that the institutions of knowledge that exist today can be preserved and extended into the future.
There are so many benefits of digitisation for the future. We explore how institutions make, curate and maintain data, information, knowledge and wisdom for the future.
Libraries as a repository of knowledge began over a millennia ago with the storage of written information from scholars, philosophers and archival documents. Early libraries were simply collections of books, scrolls, and other documents, and these were housed in unique buildings.
The first documented library was established in the 7th century BCE; in the ancient Middle East, the first systematically arranged ancient library was established in Nineveh, Iraq. The collection was assembled by Ashurbanipal and contained approximately 30,000 cuneiform tablets categorised by topic. The majority of the works were scholarly texts and works of literature, including the ancient Epic of Gilgamesh.
Almost every great civilisation moving on from this point, learnt the value of shared knowledge and having a repository of knowledge and went on to build libraries to house that knowledge.
The legends of the biggest and oldest libraries live on today, like The Library at Alexandria in Egypt (part of research institution Mouseion), Bayt al-Ḥikmah (House of Wisdom) in Baghdad, and Caliph al-Ḥakam in Cordova, Spain, to name a few. They all understood the value of institutions of knowledge and how it could help them grow and develop. The main goal was simple: collect knowledge, learn from it, and then use it to make life even better.
During the Renaissance, there was a dramatic increase in the number of books. Libraries were established across European countries. The earliest known public libraries in Europe were the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice and the Biblioteca Nacional in Madrid.
The oldest university library, founded circa A.D. 859, is still in around today in Fez, Morocco in the Al-Qarawiyin University.
In the 17th century, collegiate and town libraries started to open in England. Thomas Bodley founded or re-founded the Bodleian Library, the main research library for the University of Oxford, whose purpose was to be “available to the whole republic of the learned”, dating back to 1602, but its roots date back much further.
Cambridge University Library also has a long history of keeping knowledge safe for the future. In the middle of the fourteenth century, the University kept chests of treasures, including books. But it took until the fifteenth century for the first University Library to be founded and home at the Old Schools site. Now they are aiming to have the world’s greatest research libraries as they feel a responsibility to help preserve the scholarly record.
During the 18th and 19th centuries, many libraries were built to house a growing number of books. The first public libraries were established in most major cities in the nineteenth century. Today, libraries are widely regarded as stores of knowledge, even with the invention of the internet.
Institutions of knowledge are about teaching and generating new knowledge for future generations.
Different institutions, departments, and faculties have their data, research, history, missions, tacit and explicit knowledge processes and how they document knowledge.
Defining the way each type of knowledge should be documented. Create clearly defined processes so all needed information is included, published, or stored in the correct place.
Checkify can help Institutions of Knowledge to create and document these processes, so everyone knows what is expected of them when submitting or sharing knowledge. Giving people a checklist to follow stops mistakes being made and items missing, which means more time spent or, if missed, totally something missed for the future.
Harness tacit knowledge, research and teachings for future reference.