Go to podcast
by Podmasters
The Bunker

Daily: THE FIRST SEARCH ENGINE – In Praise of the Index


The book index might be an unassuming tool, yet it has a remarkable history - not least because it has shaped the modern world. Author, English professor and book historian Dennis Duncan talks to Alex Andreou about his latest novel Index, A History of the, which tells the remarkable story of our first search engine, from its invention (twice) in the 14th century, to preventing someone from becoming Speaker of the House, right up to our current love for Ctrl-F.

  • “When we started to use books rather than read them, we needed to navigate them in a different way. that’s where the index came in”
  • “An index actually prevented someone from being Speaker of the House of Commons”
  • “It’s an unwritten rule that fiction books don’t have an index, but it hasn’t always been that way”

Presented by Alex Andreou. Produced by Andrew Harrison. Assistant producers: Jelena Sofronijevic and Jacob Archbold. Music by Kenny Dickinson. Audio production by Alex Rees. THE BUNKER is a Podmasters Production


See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.


Episode 394

Season 1

by Podmasters