- The Ring Index, by
Austin M. Patterson
and Leonard T. Capell, is first published.
- Bulletin Signalétique, a French abstract
journal, is first published.
- Montclair (NJ) Public Library begins using punched
cards in a circulation control system. Reports on this appear in library
literature in 1941 (Jahoda, 1961
; Becker, 1976
- Library of Congress installs the first punched
cards machines in the Card Division to help with accounting operations (
- W.E. Batten develops aspect cards based on
optical coincidence retrieval
. (Williams, 2002
- First fully functional, automatic, programmable,
general purpose digital computer. Dr.
develops. Name: Z3.
- Commercial television broadcasting begins in the
US with the FCC issuing first commercial license (
- Army Medical Library Friends group begins publication
of Current List of Medical Literature, to assist users of the Medicofilm
Service (Schullian, 1958
- First functioning prototype electronic digital computer
in the US. Name:
patents the Rapid Selector.
- USDA Library begins publication of the Bibliography
of Agriculture (Emard, 1976
- National Registry of Rare Chemicals established
by the Armour Research Foundation in Chicago.
Army Medical Library
begins a free microfilm service of copies of materials. Free to federal
agencies and other institutions.
- First programmable, electronic digital code-breaking
computer is developed during Allied wartime efforts at Bletchley Park, England.
demonstrates MARK I, the first operational program-controlled computer
in the US (Emard, 1976
- Technical Library Techniques Symposium is held
at an ACS meeting, and the Chemical Literature Group is formed as part of
the Division of Chemical Education.
- John F. Langan, Chief of the Pictorial Records
Division of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) designs and implements
the microfilm aperture card. He received a patent for the invention
in 1950 but sold the rights to Atherton Richards and W.J. Casey who incorporated
the Film N' File Corporation, later Filmsort, Inc. (
National Microfilm Association
(NMA) is formed
Jesse H. Shera
said that the microfilm adherents in
were losing influence so they formed NMA (
Shera & Cleveland, 1972
and others develop the first large-scale, automatic, electromechanical
computer. Name: Harvard Mark I (aka IBM ASCC).
proposes that the text of books be put on the back of library catalog
cards in microformat, calling them "microcards" (
; Buckland, 1996
authors Science, the Endless Frontier: Report to the President
on a Program for Postwar Scientific Research. Bush is Director of the
Office of Scientific Research and Development (OSRD) at the time (
Pinelli, Henderson, Bishop, & Doty, 1992
- Article by Gerald J. Cox, Charles F. Baily, and
Robert S. Casey in Chemical and Engineering News, "Punched Cards for
a Chemical Bibliography," is first to bring punched cards to attention of
chemists ( Skolnik, "Milestones," 1976
- United Nations
Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (Unesco)
- June: Publication Board is established (to succeed
OSRD) in the Department of Defense (DoD) for handling of US scientific and
technical reports. Responsibilities include declassification of classified
reports and dissemination of all reports. Later is established as part of
the Department of Commerce as the Office of Technical Services (OTS). This
agency is the precursor of the
National Technical Information Service (NTIS)
article "As We May Think" appears in Atlantic Monthly.
) said the article was actually written in the late 1930’s, when Bush
was actively working on his Microfilm Rapid Selector).
- John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert develop the first
large scale, general purpose, electronic digital computer. Name:
. This machine is a "peculiar hybrid of punched card machine and electronic
circuitry" Sponsored in part by the US
Army Research Lab
- John von Neuman, Arthur Burks, and Herman Goldstine
publish a preliminary description of the logical design of an electronic
computer (Emard, 1976
publishes the first edition of the Catalog of Auxiliary Publications
in Microfilms and Photoprints (Redmond,
). Lists approximately 2,000 documents as well as microfilmed sets of
journals deposited with ADI.
- USDA Library offers to furnish copies of all articles
cited in CA to subscribers and members of the ACS. Project is halted
in 1956 because of copyright issues (Adkinson,
- Royal Society (London) Empire Scientific Conference,
Cambridge, holds conference and discusses need for improved scientific information
systems. Recommends that a special Royal Society conference on this issue
be held at a later date. This special conference is held in 1948 (see below
- ACS board establishes a Board Committee on Punched
Cards, with James W.
as chairman. The committee's activities are financially supported
by the ACS with additional funds solicited from industry.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology's
Center for Scientific Aids to Learning continues this work with
a grant from the Carnegie Corporation (New tools,
- The Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker is founded,
replacing the Deutsche Chemische Gesellschaft and the Verein Deutscher Chemiker.
- G. Malcolm Dyson presents a paper before London's
Royal Institute of Chemistry on his notation system, which seeks to represent
chemical structures uniquely and unambiguously in a linear sequence of letters
and numbers. IUPAC provisionally recommends the Dyson system (
Skolnik, "Milestones," 1976
; Weisgerber, 1997
- The Publications Board (PB) of the US government
begins publication of Bibliography of Scientific and Technical Reports
( Pinelli, et al., 1992
- Chemical Biological Coordination Center (CBCC)
is established in the U.S. National Academy of Sciences/National Research
Council (NRC). Begins a punched-card system to organize complex information
files (Pinelli, et al., 1992
- Federal medical science agencies begin exchanging
information on their research plans and programs to aid in more effective
management and to avoid duplication of research. These agencies establish
the Medical Sciences Information Exchange in 1950 (
Bourne & Hahn, in press
, a private firm for work in the area of information retrieval.
- William E. Batten, Imperial Chemical Industries
in Great Britain, reports on the use of optical coincidence cards for information
- John von Neuman converts the ENIAC concept of external
programming to stored programming in development of the EDVAC (
- Preparation of the CA fourth decennial index
(covering 1937-46) requires 1.6 million index cards, five miles of one-column
galley proofs, and several years to produce.
- First volume of first edition of Kirk-Othmer
Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology is published.
- US Department of Commerce OTS issues contract for
development of a Rapid Selector, based on the ideas in Bush’s Rapid Selector,
to Engineering Research Associates (ERA), St. Paul, MN. Development of the
machine is to be under general supervision of
, USDA Library. The machine employs photoelectric cells to scan
coded information (usually in dots) on reels of microfilm at a high rate.
The reels of microfilm can contain citations, abstracts, or the full text
of the retrieved documents. Development of refinements to the machine, variations
on it, etc. continued for the next 12 years (according to
). A number of different patents are issued on the Rapid Selector.
- "Steelman Report" is issued, calling for the White
House to appoint a scientific liaison for scientific affairs and to review
current developments in scientific information (
Pinelli, et al., 1992
Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)
Technical Information Service begins. Publishes Weekly Title List
. Later is named Nuclear Science Abstracts (
Pinelli, et al., 1992
- September: The Library of Congress and the
Office of Naval Research sponsor a three day conference on "Bibliographical
Control of Government Scientific and Technical Reports." More than 40 agencies,
mostly military, are represented. Recommend development of a special committee
on technical information to deal with all issues discussed. This special
committee is established, and later the NSF Office of Scientific Information
and Armed Services Technical Information Agency (ASTIA--see 14 May 1951)
takes over its functions (Brownson, 1953
- November: Atomic Energy Research Establishment
sets up an experimental punched card indexing system. Discontinues in November
1949 in favor of a "visual" system (Perry, et al.,
(both on the staff of the Library of Congress) visit Mauchley, ENIAC developer,
at the University of Pennslyvania. They ask him if the ENIAC could handle
the alphabet. Mauchley says yes, but with difficulty (
H. P. Luhn
, develops an early prototype of the "
" for use of the CIA in information retrieval.
Army Medical Library
awards contract to Welch Medical Library of Johns Hopkins University
to study the problems of medical bibliography, with the emphasis on application
of machine methods. Sanford Larkey heads the project. The report recommends
continuing work in the area, which eventually leads to the MEDLARS system.
Project also studies the merits of medical subject headings and is an early
step in the development of the MeSH (medical subject headings) language.
Participants in the project are (at various times):
(Director), Robert Hayne,
Thelma Sharon, Helen G. Field, Willamina Himwich, John Whittock,
and Eugene Garfield
(began working in 1951).
- Jacques Samain (France) develops information retrieval
system using Hollerith/IBM punched cards sorted by electrical circuits. (US
patent is received in 1952 on a modification of the system using photo-electric
cells.) Jahoda (1961
) said that the development was not pursued and that Samain later developed
the Filmorex system based on the Rapid Selector by
- Welch Medical Library Indexing Project at Johns
Hopkins University begins. Sponsored by the
Army Medical Library
(now the National Library of Medicine (NLM)), it is one of the first efforts
to study medical and chemical nomenclature and indexing and to apply machine
technologies to this information.
- Various individuals at Manchester University, England
develop the first prototype, electronic stored program computer. Name:
Manchester Mark I
- The Haloid Company and
announce the development of xerography.
- The School of Library Science,
Western Reserve University (WRU)
offers the first courses on documentation in the US. Helen Focke teaches
the courses (Shera & Cleveland, 1972
- DoD study recommends that the
Army Medical Library
become the joint armed forces medical library.
develops the concept of Zatocoding, using "descriptors" and random coding
on mechanically sorted edge-notched cards
- Royal Society Scientific Information Conference
convenes in London (Emard, 1976
ACS's Division of Chemical Literature
is formed and the next year begins publication of Chemical
Literature . In 1975 name changes to Division of Chemical Information.
- Gmelin-Institut für Anorganische Chemie und
Grenzgebiete of the Max-Planck Institut commences editing and publishing
Gmelin Handbuch .
James W. Perry
and G. Malcolm Dyson discuss with Thomas J. Watson, IBM President,
the need to develop a machine to handle large volumes of scientific information,
particularly chemical information. Watson agrees to work on the problem and
assigns Hans Peter
to the project (Mechanized, 1952
- George Willard Wheland, professor at the University
of Chicago, develops basic concept of the connection table to represent chemical
William J. Wiswesser
introduces Wiswesser Line Notation.
- First large scale, fully functional, stored program
electronic digital computer begins operation as a regular computing service;
developed at Cambridge University, England. Name:
- The first
, Model A, was introduced.
- At Sharp and Dohme,
employs Calvin Mooers' superimposed coding using the Zator system (edge-notched
cards). In early 1950 she begins using the
Remington Rand punched-card sorter
to perform chemistry searches. In 1951 she begins using the IBM 101 (machine
sorted cards) to perform Boolean searches.
- Science Information Exchange begins operation with
six government agencies cooperating (Pinelli,
et al., 1992
Austin M. Patterson
receives first A. M. Patterson Award for Documentation in Chemistry from
ACS's Dayton Section. In 1975 the award is expanded to honor
E. J. Crane
and becomes the Patterson-Crane Award.
- J. Forrester and others at
develop the first real-time processing computer. Name:
INFORMATION SCIENCE IN THE 20TH