Disrupting the Metanarrative: A Little History of Image Indexing and Retrieval.

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The aims of this paper are twofold: to offer a short
history of image retrieval, and secondly and relatedly, to critique
the metanarrative of modernity emerging in the literature of knowledge organization and information retrieval. The paper reviews the emerging grand narrative in relation to knowledge organization and information retrieval that sees them as specific aspects of modernity and technological efficiency. This grand narrative is particularly interested in technology even when it is contextualising technology. A more nuanced history emerges when the focus moves to the representation, organization, and retrieval of images. This literature foregrounds not only the technology but also issues relating to definitions of the “subject” and issues relating to interpretation and meaning-making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-14
Number of pages11
JournalKnowledge Organization
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2019


  • Image indexing
  • Image retrieval
  • Images
  • Information systems


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