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date: 23 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

During the early modern period the volume of information gathered and the speed and extent of its diffusion increased massively, due to the combined impact of many factors, including printing and rising literacy rates, improved postal communication, mercantile and colonial expansion across the globe, and the growth of state governments and bureaucracies. This chapter surveys the growth of informational writing in various fields of knowledge, the collection and use of quantitative and qualitative surveys by states and churches, the collection and treatment of information (often kept secret) by imperial and commercial ventures, the rise of diplomacy and diplomatic records, and the rise of the news in multiple genres, including manuscript newsletters, printed pamphlets, newsbooks, and daily newspapers. As a result large new segments of the population became familiar with tools of information management such as alphabetical indexes, numbered lists, and the exercise of judgement required when confronting multiples conflicting sources.

Keywords: Literacy, numeracy, archives, information management, commercial globalization, news

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