A method and apparatus for providing an historical perspective into a database of information objects through an efficient method and apparatus for versioning information objects stored in a database as well as an index representative of the information objects is disclosed. The latest versions of each one of the information objects and each one of the entries in the index are maintained in the database. Partial earlier versions of each one of the information objects and each one of the index entries are stored with the latest versions. The partial versions contain only sufficient information about the differences between the earlier versions and the later ones so that any earlier version may be reconstructed. Identification tags are employed as unique identifiers for each one of the plurality of information objects and for different versions of the information objects. Through the exploitation of the relative time ordering of generated identification tags, an efficient index representation and method for performing historical queries is provided.