Building a Memex with an API

Presenter: Andrew Louis

10:40 am - 11:05 am

memex, api

The Memex was proposed in 1945 as the ultimate organizational tool. The desk-sized device would store a user’s personal library and allow for information to be searched, organized, connected together with hyperlinks, and shared. Without a device like this, its creator suggested, our species would drown in information overload and come to a premature end.

Tragically, zero of these devices were ever produced, but 72 years later, I’ve built a modern version of a Memex.

I’ve integrated with dozens of different third-party APIs to create a complete personal archive of my life. All my messages, reading sessions, photos, and more are accessible for querying through a custom API.

I’ll go over the graph-based schema and API that I designed for my personal history, show the kind of queries I can do, demo the interface I’ve built around this API, and tell the story of the historical Memex.