The Universal Library by Kurd Lasswitz

In his short story 'Die Universalbibliothek' (The Universal Library, 1901), the German teacher, scientist and author Kurd Lasswitz (1848 - 1910) explored the possible size of an imaginary library comprised of all books of a certain format that could be possibly printed. Lasswitz's idea is nicely expressed in a few lines by his character in the story, professor Wallhausen:

"... the number of possible combinations of a given number of letters is limited. Therefore all possible literature must be printable in a finite number of volumes".

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