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The History of Content: From cave paintings to your invoices

Content has changed significantly through the ages, but the essence has remained the same.
content history

If we asked you to think about the origins of content management solutions, what would come to mind? You’d probably think about the modern business world and the digital transformation that seems to be on everybody’s lips. But what if we told you that it goes back much further than that? Back to the stone age, in fact!

We human beings have long been fascinated by the mysteries of the world around us, and in many cultures our attempts to understand it involved keeping records. Cave paintings are the oldest example of this, providing an ingenious method for storing knowledge about the surrounding environment and wildlife in pictures.

With the birth of the first cities, the need arose to record more detailed information. Consider the Code of Hammurabi, the Mesopotamian equivalent of contract management software carved onto stone steles and clay tablets – the preferred material for data storage in ancient Babylonia.

A little further down the timeline, in Antiquity, literary and scientific works were stored on papyrus scrolls. The Great Library of Alexandria was thought to hold a million at its peak, making it the data archiving capital of the period. The Romans also understood the importance of efficient information management, and they created history’s first postal service to expand their control.

Once paper was invented, it became the medium of choice for capturing data because it was cheaper and more convenient than bamboo or silk. This paved the way for Gutenberg to develop the printing press in the 14th century, as a way to create multiple versions of important documents. Gutenberg’s device made it easier to generate, copy, and share information, with its impact on contemporary society comparable to that of digital transformation today.

In the mid-nineteenth century, the arrival of the telegraph revolutionised telecommunications. People were suddenly able to send information electronically from one continent to another in real time. The telephone continued the trend, allowing people to share data with each other instantly across borders and oceans.

The invention of modern computers and the internet completely reshaped the way we think about content management. In the digital age, we have access to an endless stream of data that we can use to optimise businesses in every industry. If processing invoices and contracts manually feels outdated, it’s because it is! The rise of the paperless office will leave documents from just a few years ago feeling as old as Hammurabi’s clay tablets. Content Services are the modern answer to information management, enabling you to efficiently archive, protect, and share valuable data across your organisation.

history content

Download the infographic

Learn all about the history of content, from the stone age right through to the invoice that's sat on your desk. Human beings have always found a way to handle and store the content that we create, and now it's your turn.

Download the Study

Kyocera's Business Digitalisation in Europe Outlook 2019 considers the state of digital transformation across the region with the results of an in-depth study conducted across six major markets.

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