restricted access Julius Otto Kaiser: The Early Years

Julius Otto Kaiser (1968–1927) was a special librarian and indexer who, at the turn of the twentieth century, designed an innovative, category-based indexing system known as “systematic indexing.” Although he is regarded as a pioneer of indexing and classification, little is known about his life. This essay seeks to fill in some gaps in Kaiser’s biography by reviewing what is known of his life prior to his entry into information work: namely, his birth, childhood, and education in Germany; his early career as a musician and teacher in Australia; and his sojourn as a teacher in Chile. It is argued that Kaiser’s early experiences equipped him with linguistic skills and a commercial outlook that smoothed his path into the world of business information and left traces in his thought about indexing and information work.