School of Information, University of California, Berkeley

  Michael Buckland

  Robert Pagès, 1919-2007.

    Robert Pagès was born in Belmontet (Lot) in the south of France in 1919 and was a student of Georges Canguilhem. After a period as a clandestine anarchist activist he became director a social psychology research laboratory. In 1946, between these two careers he became a student in the program for professional education in Documentation established by Suzanne Briet and others at the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM) which became the Institut National de Techniques de Documentation (INTD).
    Pagès work included interesting contributions to information management.
    In an important paper he described a phenomenological approach to documentation in which went beyond the idea of documents as (only) graphic objects. Pagès argued that any object regarded as signifying something could be considered a document, including a gorilla in a cage in a zoo.
R. Pagès. "Transformations documentaires et milieu culturel (Essai de documentologie)." [Documentary transformations and cultural context (Essay on documentology)] Review of documentation 15, fasc. 3 (1948): 53-64.
This essay appeared three years before the some ideas were published in Suzanne Briet’s better-known manifesto Qu’est-ce que la documentation? (1951). See Suzanne Briet.
    Pagès and others developed an indexing language known as “Analyse codée” (Coded analysis) or CODOC, characterized by a limited vocabulary, extensive syntactical structure, and very concise notation, e.g.
    (ra9a)5i   Philosophy of science applied to behavior
    ra9(a5i)   Philosophy of the science of behavior
Pagès, Robert. 1959. L’analyse codée, technique documentaire en psychologie sociale et en sciences humaines: Présentation et résumé de la grammaire. Chiffres 2, n2 (Juin 1959): 103-122.
Demailly, André. 1992. Robert Pagès et l’analyse codée. Documentaliste - Sciences de l’information 29, n. 2:59-72.
    A thoughtful account of introspection from a phenomenological perspective: In effect, making sense of making sense: Pagès, Robert. 1948. Itinéraire du seul. Paris: Laffont.
    Robert Pagès died in Paris in 2007.
For more, see:
- Website dedicated to Robert Pagès.
- O. Le Deuff. Robert Pagès, une nécessaire redécouverte par les sciences de l’information. Savoirs cdi, April 2018.
- M. Buckland. Before the antelope. Proceedings from the Document Academy 4 (2), Article 6. 2017.
- M. Buckland. Reflections on Suzanne Briet. Fondements épistémologiques et théoriques de la science de l’information-documentation. Actes du 11e colloque ISKO France 2017, [ed. by] Widad Mustafa El Hadi. London: ISTE Editions, 2018, pp 10-21.
- Rosalba Palermiti. Vers des précurseurs : Robert Pagès, Éric De Grolier, Jean-Claude Gardin 2000.
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