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The ServerA Media History from the Present to the Baroque$
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Markus Krajewski

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780300180817

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300180817.001.0001

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The Servant as Information Center

The Servant as Information Center

(p.86) Chapter 2 The Servant as Information Center
The Server

Markus Krajewski

, Ilinca Iurascu
Yale University Press

This chapter explores the figure of the servant as an information center, both in connection with and as opposed to modern search engines. It proposes an analogy between the literary character Reginald Jeeves, the butler in P. G. Wodehouse's stories, and the search engine AskJeeves.com, which chose that literary figure as the prototype of its corporate identity. The idea is that the techniques of information retrieval, organization, and distribution which the classic butler or domestic employs already act as a search engine avant la letter. The claim will be further illustrated with the example of the library servant and his transformation from a subservient carrier and sorter of books to the powerful electronic library catalogue OPAC (online public access catalogue) of today.

Keywords:   servant, information center, search engines, Reginald Jeeves, AskJeeves.com, butler, electronic library

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