Wellisch, Hans H.
The phrase 'information storage and retrieval,' coined in the fifties - when computers were first harnessed to the twin tasks of recording verbal communication and finding it again on demand - is somewhat misleading and it is also missing a vital element. The misleading part is that many people seem to believe that these tasks can only be performed by machines. Yet information has been stored on stone tablets, papyrus rolls and in books for thousands of years and it has also been found when needed. The missing part is that, in order for stored information to be retrievable - whether manually or by machine - an intermediate operation is of crucial importance: the stored information must be indexed.