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Mundaneum, Mons

3.9
#8 of 12 in Museums in Mons
Specialty Museum Museum
The Mundaneum is a non profit organisation based in Mons, Belgium that runs an exhibition space, website and archive which celebrate the legacy of the original Mundaneum established by Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine in the early twentieth century.HistoryThe Mundaneum was created in 1910, following an initiative begun in 1895 by Belgian lawyers Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine, as part of their work on documentation science. Otlet first called it the Palais Mondial, meaning "world palace" in English, and it occupied the left wing of the Palais du Cinquantenaire, a government building in Brussels. It aimed to gather together all the world's knowledge and classify it according to a system they developed called the Universal Decimal Classification. Otlet and La Fontaine organized an International Conference of International Associations which was the origin of the Union of International Associations (UIA).The Mundaneum has been identified as a milestone in the history of data collection and management, and (somewhat more tenuously) as a precursor to the internet.Otlet regarded the project as the centrepiece of a new 'world city'—a centrepiece which eventually became an archive with more than 12 million index cards and documents. Some consider it a forerunner of the Internet (or, perhaps more appropriately, of systematic knowledge projects such as Wikipedia and WolframAlpha) and Otlet himself had dreams that one day, somehow, all the information he collected could be accessed by people from the comfort of their own homes.
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Where to stay in Mons

Despite its close proximity to the capital, Mons attracts enough visitors in its own right to offer a small variety of accommodation options. You'll find mostly small, independent hotels clustered in the compact city center and, if you look carefully, a modest selection of low-budget lodgings. To cut costs, consider staying in Brussels and making the short trip by train for the day.
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Google
3.2
  • Fascinating to see the paper google. The building and setup of the museum is perfect. The only problem with this museum is that, in the end, it is a large collection of index cards. During our visit t...  more »
  • Mundaneum is a true discovery in every sense of the word. One gets to see how people dealt with knowledge, infographics, statistics, infomapping long before the internet era. A must when visiting Mons...  more »
  • This was a very interesting museum. You can see lots of history of collection and representation of information. That might sound a bit dull, but there's a big focus on visual representation, which ma...  more »
Google
  • Very nice place. Many interesting exhibitions. A lot of interactivity. I recommend the guide in the case of group tour. Adapted to the intellectually limited audience.
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