Hi David, you can pick up on some of WP's ancestors in:
This work (and attention on "documentalists") is further developed in my
dissertation, and book manuscript.
Bush's contributions/prescience is exaggerated according to Michael Buckland.
Abstract: Vannevar Bush's famous paper "As We May Think" (1945) described
an imaginary information retrieval machine, the Memex. The Memex is usually viewed,
unhistorically, in relation to subsequent developments using digital computers. This paper
attempts to reconstruct the little-known background of information retrieval in and before
1939 when "As We May Think" was originally written. The Memex was based on
Bush's work during 1938-1940 developing an improved photoelectric microfilm selector,
an electronic retrieval technology pioneered by Emanuel Goldberg of Zeiss Ikon, Dresden,
in the 1920s. Visionary statements by Paul Otlet (1934) and Walter Schuermeyer (1935) and
the development of electronic document retrieval technology before Bush are examined.