|WORKED AT:||LC; AEC; Documentation Inc.|
|OTHER INFORMATION:||Taube founded Documentation, Inc. (Doc Inc) in 1951-52?.
quote Wilfred Lancaster (p.19): "There is little doubt that
the real impetus
to modern methods of information retrieval was given by
They say the "significant" contribution was breaking with
systems such as the UDC and LC Classification System.
considers Taube's great contribution to be the
computer-based Uniterm system
of subject retrieval. He was editor, American
Current Biography calls him the "Dewey of
librarianship." Taube gave coordinate indexing and
uniterms currency and
practical applicability. He pioneered development of
systems. Taube was among the first to advocate
and coordinating efforts of information services which
would be helpful
for all agencies and for users. He investigated subject
analysis, the coding
of subject terms, and their relationship to information
There is a good description of the life and work of Taube
in Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortimer_Taube
|AWARDS:||1952 (first) Distinguished Contributions to Special Librarianship (SLA).|
|INCLUDES:||His daughter has some of his personal papers but apparently not of much significance to information science history; Includes scrapbooks, genealogical work, and reprints of his articles; No address for his daughter.|
|SOURCE:||Phone conversation with Jerry Sophar, 9/95.|
1910 - 1965
Mortimer Taube was born in Jersey City, New Jersey on December 6, 1910. He received a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1933, and a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1935. He earned a certificate of librarianship from the same institution in 1936.
Taube worked as a teaching fellow and as a librarian at various colleges before moving to the Library of Congress in 1944. He held diverse positions at the Library, one of which was head of the Science and Technology Project from 1947-1949. He was a member of the Research and Development Board of the Department of Defense in 1948. Taube spent time as a consultant in science documentation, and was an editor of the journal American Documentation in 1952-1953.
In 1952, with the foundation of his company Documentation, Inc., Taube took a leadership role in the documentation field. The tremendous explosion of scientific literature during and after World War II overwhelmed existing indexing and retrieval methods. New methods, including machines to search for and store information, were needed. Taube's company helped to meet this need. He developed the system (and later the theory) of coordinate indexing, and helped to establish the its use as a major tool in library and documentation work.
Taube's writings provoked considerable discussion in the library press, and contributed to recognition of him internationally. Of Taube's series Studies in Coordinate Indexing, particularly Volume 5 (Emerging Solutions for Mechanizing the Storage and Retrieval of Information), Frank B. Rogers commented, "Taube's writing is of brilliant clarity ... loaded with seminal ideas of great power."
Mortimer Taube died suddenly of a heart attack on September 3, 1965. His colleague and friend Maurice F. Tauber, who considered Taube one of the library and information science professions' most valuable members, said of him, "his contributions will remain with us as landmarks in the growth of information science."
Some of Taube's works:
Computers and Common Sense, the Myth of Thinking Machines.
Studies in Coordinate Indexing. Washington, D.C.: 1953-1959. (series)
Information Storage and Retrieval: Theory, Systems, and Devices. 1958.
"Coordinate Indexing of Scientific Fields." (Paper delivered at the Symposium on Mechanical Aids to Chemical Documentation, Division of Chemical Literature, American Chemical Society, New York, Sept. 4, 1951.)
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