- First operation or public demonstration of Filmsort
Aperture Cards, usually IBM punched cards with a microfilm insert. Are
used mostly in engineering documentation applications (
Jonkers Termatrex, Inc.
develops its information retrieval system--an optical coincidence
system using punched cards and a variation on descriptors.
- Emik Avakian develops AMFIS (Automatic Microfilm
Army Medical Library
issues first annual catalog: Army Medical Library Author
Catalog , with subject index, which replaces the Index Catalogue
, started in 1880. Current Index to Medical Literature is improved
and is made monthly, under the editorship of
- Library of Congress announces plans to compile
the Union List of Serials using punched cards (
- "Berkner Report" on scientific and technical
information in the US is issued (Emard, 1976
- An official act establishes the
National Science Foundation (NSF)
. NSF is assigned responsibility for exchange and coordination
of scientific and technical information among US scientists and between
the US and other countries (Pinelli, et al.,
- The Technological, Scientific, and Engineering
Information Act, PL 81-776, authorizes the Department of Commerce to
establish a central clearinghouse for scientific and technical information.
This broadens the responsibility of OTS (
Pinelli, et al., 1992
describes the Rapid Selector in presentation at the University
of Chicago's Graduate Library School’s conference on "Bibliographic Organization"
(Shera & Cleveland, 1972
). Shaw receives a $20,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation to
build cameras and processors for use in libraries (
Schultz & Garwig, 1969
devlops prototype of the Luhn
. Its technology is based on IBM punched cards, run vertically
through a specially adapted scanner, using photo-electric cells. It does
not require fixed-field searching. It is first demonstrated at the World
Chemical Conclave in New York City, September 1951 (
New tools, 1954
- Polaroid begins to photograph CRT displays,
leading to computer output microfilm (COM) (
- The four major US federal documents centers
(Central Air Documents Division, Dayton, OH; Navy Research Section of the
Library of Congress; Technical Information Service of the
; Division of Research of the National Advisory Committee
on Aeronautics) begin cooperation on the standards and practices in the
handling of technical reports (Brownson,
). This work led eventually to COSATI?
- American Documentation, official publication
, begins publication.
is first editor. (Note: Dr. Eugene Garfield is in the
process of compiling a complete bibliographic record and citation index to
American Documentation and its successors; the period 1956-2004
is now listed at:
establishes headquarters in the Library of Congress.
Schultz & Garwig, 1969
- BA receives contractual funding of $22,000
from the Office of Naval Research to speed up publication of delinquent
indexes (Steere, 1976
- Medical Sciences Information Exchange under
the aegis of NAS-NRC is established (
- The Information for Industry Index to U.S.
Patents (IFI/Plenum) begins publication using Mortimer Taube's Uniterm
system for index terms.
- Smithsonian Science Information Exchange (SSIE)
is established in Washington, D.C.(
- 30 August - 6 September: In a paper delivered
at the International Congress of Mathematicians at Harvard,
uses (for the first time?) the term information retrieval.
Title of paper is: "Information Retrieval Viewed as Temporal Signaling"
( Mooers, 1976
). Paper is published in Proceedings, International Congress of
Mathematicians, Cambridge, Mass., USA, Aug. 30-Sept. 6, 1950 (Providence,
RI, American Mathematical Society, 1952, pp. 572-3.)
develops the concept of a clinical librarian, which advocates
personalized service to users of medical information.
develops the Electronic Statistical Machine, Type 101. This
is a punched card machine that is used in a wide variety of indexing and
information retrieval projects over the next few years. First use of the
machine for literature searching may have been at the US Patent Office.
The Welch Medical Library Project also uses it (See below for details.) (
). [Jahoda lists other projects that used it prior to 1961.]
- King County Public Library (Seattle, WA) issues
the first (?) machine produced book catalog. Produced from punched (?)
cards and is printed on an IBM Tabulator (Becker,
James W. Perry
and Robert S. Casey publish Punched Cards: Their Application
to Science and Industry. A second edition appeared in 1958 with
and Allen Kent
- Mauchley and Eckert develop the first commercially
available computer. Also the first to use stored programs and a compiler.
First one delivered to the US Census Bureau. Name:
- At Johns Hopkins University's Welch Medical
develops machine methods for compiling Current List of
Medical Literature (later merged with Index Medicus) and applies
the IBM 101 punched-card sorter
to search this database.
- In Great Britain, Derwent Publications, Ltd.,
begins patent abstracting services with Central Patents Index. Punched
cards are used to construct the indexes.
offers a course on documentation at Columbia University's
Library School (Taylor, 1976
- IUPAC Commission adopts the Dyson notational
system on a provisional basis.
publishes an article on Zatocoding concept in AD (
- 14 May: US DoD establishes ASTIA. This is the
first major attempt to consolidate DoD information functions. This agency
combines two existing document processing centers: Central Air Documents
Office (formerly Documents Research Center) at Wright Field in Dayton, OH,
which had the responsibility of processing captured German documents, and
the Library of Congress Technical Information Division (formerly the Science-Technology
Project) ( Pinelli, et al., 1992
- 4 September: Mortimer
and Alberto F. Thompson
of the AEC
Technical Information Service present "The Coordinate Indexing
of Scientific Fields" before the Symposium on Mechanical Aids to Chemical
Documentation sponsored by the
ACS's Division of Chemical Literature.
This paper contains the first use of the term coordinate indexing
- October: Yehoshua Bar-Hillel reports on the
present status of research in mechanical translation (
Perry, et al., 1956
- 30 December: AAAS holds a session at its annual
conference in Philadelphia, PA on "Operation Knowledge." Saul Herner (
) called this the first US based gathering of scientists, librarians,
and documentalists to discuss the emergence of documentation/information
publishes the first issue of Contents in Advance,
a compilation of the contents pages of library and documentation journals.
It ceases publication in 1954 or 1955 (Garfield,
establishes the Office of Scientific Information (OSI) to
fund research related to the dissemination of scientific information (
- University of Chicago holds a conference on
the "Communication of Specialized Information." Discussion centers on changes
taking place in librarianship and whether library schools and professional
library organizations can encompass the interests of documentalists (
Schultz & Garwig, 1969
Army Medical Library
officially becomes the Armed Forces Medical Library.
- Dr. Jacques Samain (France) publishes illustrated
booklet on his new system. Filmorex; booklet issued by Unesco. System uses
discrete pieces of microfilm and complementary coding for selection. Pieces
of microfilm contain code and full text; duplicates can be prefiled in
various arrays to reduce search time (Taube &
- The Institute of Scientific Information is
established at the Soviet Academy of Sciences in Moscow, and in the following
year begins publication of Referativnyi Zhurnal, Khimiya, a chemical
abstracting journal. In 1955 the institute becomes the All-Soviet Institute
for Scientific and Technical Information (
), the centralized abstracting and indexing service for all scientific
and Raimon Beard report on the U.S. National Research Council's (NRC)
Chemical-Biological Coordination Center (CBCC) survey of the use of punched
cards, classification systems, etc. in documenting work in the chemistry
and biology fields.
- February: National Research Council issues
a call for the comparative study of the best chemical notation systems
for structural formulas (Perry, et al., 1956
) called it the "first private organization anywhere devoted to research
and development in the field of documentation...". Firm begins with USAF
contract sponsored by ASTIA. Gull joins the firm in July, 1952.
- June: Symposium on "Machine Techniques for
Information Selection" is held at MIT, June 10-11.
, organizes the conference.
presents the first version of the "Luhn Scanner" (referred
to as the IBM Electronic Information Searching System).
- September: Robert A. Fairthorne writes an article
on the operations of various types of automatic machines (could be a good
summary of what is happening in the UK?) (Perry,
et al., 1956
- 26 September:
opens membership categories to individuals.
begins work on his idea about a citation index for science,
basing his idea on discussions with W. C. Adair, former VP of Shepards
- Biological Sciences Information Service is
established in the NRC. Is transferred in 1954 to Smithsonian (
Pinelli, et al., 1992
- ASTIA issues Title Announcement Bulletin
. Later title is Technical Abstract Bulletin (TAB). This
is the first consolidated announcement medium for DoD documents (
Pinelli, et al., 1992
- First IBM electronic digital computer. Name:
- First British electronic computer in regular
commercial use. J. Lyons Co., England, develops. Name: LEO.
- The Medical Science Information Exchange continues
to expand its scope and amount of work which leads to its transfer (in
1953) to the Smithsonian Institution and its redesignation on BioSciences
Information Exchange (
- 3 March: Symposium on "Machine Methods in Scientific
Documentation" is held at Johns Hopkins University, Welch Medical Library.
presides at the meeting. Attendance at 300. Those in attendance
, Mauchley, and
. Demonstrations are given of the
- August: Bailey, Lanham, and Leibowitz report
on an experiment in mechanized searching of patent files, using punched
cards in medicinal compositions, at the Patent Office.
- September: G. Miles Conrad is appointed Editor
of BA (Steere, 1976
- ASTIA Reference Test is conducted comparing
coordinate indexing and subject headings (Gull,
- In France, Jacques-Emile Dubois does initial
work on the DARC (Description, Acquisition, Retrieval, and Correlation)
- UNIVAC I becomes commercially available.
- Optical scanners are introduced.
- American Bar Association forms a Technical
Aids to Law Committee to study the use of punched cards, computers, etc.
for use in legal research (Perry, et al., 1956
- US Naval Ordnance Test Station, China Lake,
CA, develops a post-coordinate, batch-oriented retrieval system using the
Taube Uniterm system on an IBM 701 calculator on an ASTIA file of 15,000
documents. It mimicks a manual search of a
card file. It can add new information, delete information on discarded
documents, match search requests against a master file, and produce a printout
of document numbers. Only able to do Boolean ‘and’ search strategy. Uses
coordination of document numbers listed under descriptors (
). Gull (1987
) called this the first subject search ever made by a digital computer.
- US Patent Office reports that research and
development on photographically recorded disks storing digital information
in binary code form is taking place at several organizations. Jahoda (
) briefly summarized these, mentioning: Recall Film Index System by
Recall, Inc.; Film Library Instantaneous Presentation by Benson-Lehner
Corporation; Automatic Micro-Film Information System (AMFIS) by E.A.
Avakian; Magnavox Film Data Recorder by Magnavox, Inc.
- The first demonstration and instance of computer-based
searching of a bibliographic file on a regular basis occurrs at the Naval
Ordance Test Station (NOTS) at China Lake, CA.
reports on his analysis of the IBM 101 statistical punched
card machine for use in information handling. Is published in American
Documentation (Perry, et al., 1956
- January: Report in American Documentation
on use of the UNIVAC Fac-Tronic machine for use in doing library reference
work. Concludes that it will work but too expensive (
Perry, et al., 1956
- Fall: VINITI publishes Referativnyi Zhurnal:
Biologiia (Soviet Union). By 1957, it is publishing 108,000 abstracts
annually ( Steere, 1976
announces the development of the Minicard System. System
uses 16x32mm pieces of photographic film on which coded areas and image
(document) areas appear. Photoelectric cells complete the searching. System
receives considerable attention because of its claim for handling large
volumes of information ( Jahoda, 1961
develops his line notation system (WLN), which is used in
the CROSSBOW (Computerized Retrieval of Organic Structures based on Wiswesser)
system ( Weisgerber, 1997
INFORMATION SCIENCE IN THE