Dictionary of London Immigrants |||

1849-1879 - Great Ormond Street (Holborn)

Inventor, bibliographer, and librarian Andrea Crestadoro was born in Genoa in 1808. He studied philosophy at the University of Turin. At the same time he was a practical mind who was interested in the development of machinery. In 1849 he left his position as Professor of Philosophy at Turin and moved to England where he took out a number of patents. These included improvements to the Italian invention of the Impulsoria (a mobile treadmill-powered locomotive shown at the 1851 Great Exhibition). In 1862, he was living at no. 19 Great Ormond Street, Queen Square. His talents were varied. Between 1864 and 1879 he was Chief Librarian of the Manchester Free Library where he was given the task of creating a catalogue. He is credited with the idea that books can be catalogued by using keywords that do not occur in the title of the book (later expanded by Hans Peter Luhn as KWIC or Key Word in Context). Crestadoro was an acquaintance of Anthony Panizzi at the British Museum (BM) who employed him as a Reader there. The former was impatient about the slow progress of the BMs Catalogue of Printed Books. In 1856 he published anonymously a critical assessment in The Art of Making Catalogues of Libraries. At the end of his life he was publishing ideas for a fairer allocation of taxation. Crestadoro died in 1879.

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