In 1951 Suzanne Briet wrote, with minimal explanation, that an antelope could become a document. In 1948 Robert Pagès (1919-2007) published an explanation of the same and related ideas. Textual and other graphic documents are about something, hence descriptive and derived. Animals and other objects are informative because they are illustrative of themselves either as specimens of a class (tokens of a type) or simply as particular individuals (“autodocuments”). Pagès’ career and ideas are briefly discussed.
Buckland, Michael K.
"Before the Antelope: Robert Pagès on Documents,"
Proceedings from the Document Academy: Vol. 4
, Article 6.
Available at: https://ideaexchange.uakron.edu/docam/vol4/iss2/6