Too Much Information?

Join us in the Lady Chapel on Wednesday 5 June at 2.00pm for a talk and discussion delivered and led by Stephen Dart, Keeper of the Ancient Library, and Chris Eyden, Teaching and Learning Manager.


The invention of the printing press brought unforeseen and unthinkable changes to western Europe and the world. The ability to distribute information to anyone who could read, enabled expertise, ideas, and propaganda to spread faster than ever before. It enabled swift development in art and science, but it also fuelled discrimination and caused revolutions in religion and politics. Some of them deadly.


In less than 30 years, the invention of the world wide web, the ascendancy of information technology, AI, and the prominence of social media, has revolutionised the world we live in. There are great advantages but as with the advent of printed words, there is a price to pay. Centuries ago, some people asked if there was “too much information”. Should we be asking the same questions now? Is there anything to learn from the past?


Our Ancient Library contains some of the earliest books ever printed and numerous documents written at a time of great change and strife. You will have a chance to see some of these books and documents displayed during and after our talk and discussion and an opportunity to participate in a conversation about where we feel, we have too much information and what we might be able to do about it.