Throughout history, humans have sought ways not only to acquire but to preserve knowledge. From when to plant crops to who begat whom, even the earliest people worked to gather and store information. Today, computers and other technologies have almost completely changed the world of information access and storage. This history traces the development of knowledge-collecting from early humans, whose minds served as repositories of culture and lore, through the first libraries and encyclopedias, to the many advances of the twentieth century. Ironically it is with these latest advances that the preservation of knowledge has foundered.For example, CD-ROMs can last no doubt for decades - but the software programs that run them will not, because they are constantly being upgraded. Both well-known and obscure pieces of the information story are explored in this work. From Diderot's encyclopedia, to anonymous librarians of the ancient world, the people who created information storage systems and the systems themselves are all presented. It is fully indexed.