This collection gathers 12 metres of documents on World’s fairs, from Paris 1852 to Brussels 1958. We can suppose that Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine put a great part of these documents together as they participated to universal and international fairs and exhibitions. Indeed, these exhibitions quickly attracted the attention both men as they proved a unique opportunity to represent their bibliographic work.
Some of these events are more documented than others, which can be explained by the geographic situation of the exhibitions on the one hand, and on the other hand by the strong ties binding Paul Otlet and Henri La Fontaine to some of these exhibitions. For example, the International Museum was born at the 1910 Brussels World Fair.
This collection does not include every document on the subject. The private documents of the founders also reveal interesting archives on the organisation of these exhibitions. Furthermore, the iconographic collection, the international press museum and the Universal Documentation Repository complete it admirably.
There is a printed version of this collection’s inventory.