There is a patient zero for this information space of the web, when Tim Berners-Lee developed his idea on a NeXT Cube workstation it was at one time, the entire web.
Among the artifacts seen in the photo (set up for a 2005 conference) is a copy of the original proposal for the idea of the web the Berners-Lee wrote in March 1989 as well as the open book- Enquire Within upon Everything“, a Victorian book of general information that he read as a child.
Each paragraph in this book had a specific “address” and a large index in the back served as a means of exploring a wide range of knowledge, essentially an early form of a hypertext encyclopedia.
Like a house, every paragraph in “Enquire Within” has it’s number– and the Index is the Directory which will explain what Facts, Hints, and Instructions inhabit that Number.
Berners-Lee describes his fascination with this book as a “suggestion of magic, a portal to the world of information.”
One of his first informational organizational projects at CERN (which did not pan out) was called by Berners-Lee “Enquire Within”
Wikimedia Commons Image (link)