What I am going to say will probably appear to be a confused talk about a very complex, and even chaotic, subject. I have had a short but intensive experience of the International Federation for Documentation (F.I.D.) and I can see many people in this room whose knowledge of that body goes back many years longer than mine. I am going to try, nevertheless, to look at this subject of international documentation against the general perspective of the working of international organizations because I am convinced that many of the difficulties, disappointments, frustrations and successes of bodies like the International Federation for Documentation and the International Federation of Library Associations (I.F.L.A.) have their parallel in some of the bigger international bodies.
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