American Society for Information Science and Technology Records, 1925-2001 (majority within 1937-2000)
Using These Materials
- The record group is open for research, with some exceptions. See Restricted Material section below for details. Access has been restricted to some documents in the ASIS records due to privacy and...
- American Society for Information Science and Technology
- ASIS&T (or ASIST) is a professional association which creates, organizes, disseminates, and applies knowledge regarding information and its transfer. ASIS&T was preceded by the American Documentation Institute (ADI), which was founded in 1937 with the goal of acquiring and indexing the knowledge of the world. Name changes followed in 1968 (ASIS) and 2000 (ASIS&T). The records consist of correspondence, business and financial documents, minutes, bylaws, memoranda, manuscript and printed journal articles, printed promotional material, microfiche, photographs, and audio and video tapes covering the society's activities (and those of its predecessor organizations) from 1925 to 2001, with the bulk falling between the 1930s through 2000. Organizational business affairs and activities, including the conceptual evolution of its purpose and mission, are well-documented in several series, most notably in the Council Files. These broad areas are also covered in the Committee Files, but in a more detailed fashion, focusing on specific activities or issues. This series also represents the scope of ASIS's liaison committees, ranging from the American Library Association to the Egyptian Society for Information Technology. Documents generated by ASIS-approved regional and student chapters and the organized professional groups within ASIS devoted to special interests (SIGs) are found in the large Chapter Files and Special Interest Groups series. The Publications series includes significant editorial and administrative documents as well as some manuscript submissions for the "Annual review of information science and technology, and the Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science." Special note may be made of the Special Libraries Association Merger Files which chronicle the history of the ultimately unsuccessful merger of ASIS and SLA. The main correspondents found in the collection include: Robert McAfee, Assistant Executive Director; Joshua I. Smith, Executive director (1973-1976); Bonnie Carroll, Councilor and President; Linda Resnik, Executive Director (1985-1988); Samuel Beatty, Executive Director (1976-1984); and John Brokenshire, ASIS Financial Officer.
185 linear feet in 188 boxes
Photographs are primarily in boxes 149-156.
Audio material is primarily in boxes 172-187.
Visual material is primarily in boxes 121, 169, 173-187.
Most printed materials have been removed and cataloged separately. Newsletters are scattered throughout the collection.
- Collection processed and finding aid created by Marilyn McNitt; Rebecca Bizonet, 2004-2005
- Scope and Content:
For the purpose of clarity, the organization shall for the most part be referred to as "ASIS"--the name by which it has been known for most of its history and to which it is mainly referred in the records--throughout this section.
Throughout the record group, the year listed for a folder is often the fiscal year rather than calendar year. This is particularly so for records in the Financial series. The fiscal year for ASIS runs from October through September.
- Biographical / Historical:
The American Society for Information Science, as it has been known for the greater part of its history, is non-profit professional association that creates, organizes, disseminates and applies knowledge regarding information and its transfer. The mission of ASIS (now known as ASIS or ASIST, the American Society for Information Science and Technology) is "to advance the information sciences and related applications of information technology by providing focus, opportunity, and support to information professionals and organizations." (ASIS web site, http://www.asist.org)
ASIS’s predecessor was founded in 1937 by Watson Davis as the American Documentation Institute (ADI). Davis and 35 other documentalists met on March 13 to create an organization devoted to the idea of acquiring and indexing the knowledge of the world.
ADI was a service organization whose members were nominated by and affiliated with scientific and profession societies, foundations and governmental agencies. Initially, its primary interest was in microfilm as an aid to learning and the dissemination of learning. Involved in developing microfilm readers, cameras and services, ADI fostered negotiations and research which resulted in the "gentlemen's agreement" covering the duplication of copyrighted materials, the establishment of programs for the storage and reproduction of auxiliary materials in support of journal editors, and the support of international science communications.
The Journal of Documentary Reproduction, edited by Vernon Tate, was published from 1938 to 1942 to serve as an impartial source for the scientific aids to learning for the members of ADI. In 1950 ADI revived their publishing program with American Documentation, edited by Vernon Tate. This publication was to serve as a clearinghouse for information about documentation.
The Presidents of ADI/ASIS were leaders in the field of documentation and information science:
Presidents of ADI/ASIS Date Event 1938-1943; 1946 Watson Davis 1944 Keyes Metcalf 1945; 1947 Waldo G. Leland 1948-1949 Vernon D. Tate 1950-1952 Luther H. Evans 1953 E. Eugene Miller 1954 Milton O. Lee 1955 Scott Adams 1956 Joseph Hilsenrath 1957 James W. Perry 1958 Herman H. Henkle 1959 Karl F. Heumann 1960 C. Dake Gull 1961 Gerald J. Sophar 1962 Claire K. Schultz 1963 Robert M. Hayes 1964 Hans Peter Luhn 1965 Lawrence B. Heilprin 1966 Harold Borko 1967 Bernard M. Fry 1968 Robert S. Taylor 1969 Joseph Becker 1970 Charles P. Bourne 1971 Pauline A. Atherton 1972 Robert J. Kyle 1973 John Sherrod 1974 Herbert S. White 1975 Dale B. Baker 1976 Melvin S. Day 1977 Margaret T. Fischer 1978 Audrey N. Grosch 1979 James M. Cretsos 1980 Herbert B. Landau 1981 Ruth L. Tighe 1982 Charles H. Davis 1984 Don King 1985 Bonnie C. Carroll 1986 Julie A. C. Virgo 1987 Thomas H. Hogan 1988 Martha Williams 1989 Toni Carbo Bearman 1990 Tefko Saracevic
(See ASIS web site at http://www.asist.org for listings of more recent presidents and other officers.)
In 1950 the Library of Congress became the home of ADI, and remained so for the next ten years. The President's Newsletter was created to facilitate communication between the members. As the number of individuals involved in documentation and information services and the resultant new principles and techniques increased, ADI, in 1952, amended its Bylaws to admit individuals as well as corporate members. Thus, ADI became a national professional society concerned with all elements and problems of information science.
The 1950s saw an increasing awareness of the potential of automatic devices for literature searching and information storage and retrieval. During the 1960s problems created by the information explosion became a national concern.
In the 1960s ADI adopted an executive director system of management. These individuals served ADI/ASIS in this capacity:
Execuitve Directors of ADI/ASIS Date Event 1960-1963 John B. Kaiser 1963 Paul C. Janaske 1964-1969 James E. Bryan 1970-1973 Herbert R. Koller 1973-1976 Joshua I. Smith 1976-1984 Samuel B. Beatty 1985-1988 Linda Resnik 1988- Richard Hill
To reflect the changes in its range of activities and the emergence of information science as an identifiable discipline, the membership changed ADI to the American Society for Information Science (ASIS). This change came into effect on January 1, 1968. ASIS emphasized that its membership was uniquely concerned with all aspects of the information transfer process.
In December 1968, the presidents of ASIS and the Special Libraries Association met to explore the possibility of merger, because of similar interests and membership. The following year, the SLA Board and the ASIS Council approved the investigation of merger possibilities, by appointing a committee to discuss the benefits and feasibility of such a venture. An "Implementation Plan" written in December 1969 was rejected by the ASIS Council. The SLA Board accepted the Plan in principle, subject to further negotiations. In April 1970, three major snags--Scope and Name, Headquarters Location, and Project Work--remained to be solved. Negotiations continued, but by August 1971 the issue was dead.
The decade of the 1970s saw continued rapid growth in ASIS. The period was not without its problems, however. The publications program was expanded. The Bicentennial Meeting on Information was very expensive to put on and not particularly well attended. This precipitated a financial crisis that forced ASIS to cut back on some of its programs. With financial assistance from its membership and related organizations, ASIS was able to weather this crisis.
Further changes occurred in the 1980s, with ASIS adding emphases on personal and office computer systems and rural and community information services and intensifying its focus on international information issues. Through the 1990s and into the 21st century, ASIS has continued to examine diverse aspects of information science, including theory, technical issues, and social ramifications, with special focuses on database development and the World Wide Web.
In 2000, ASIS underwent another name change, becoming ASIS&T (also known as ASIST), the American Society for Information Science and Technology, in an effort to better reflect the concerns and pursuits of its membership.
- Acquisition Information:
- 1988- ; additions are anticipated.
- Processing information:
Collection processed and finding aid created by Marilyn McNitt; Rebecca Bizonet, 2004-2005.
The ASIS records cover the period from 1925 through 2001. The bulk of the documentation covers the years 1937 through 2000. The records of the American Society of Information Science are arranged into sixteen series, as shown in the following table (series are shown in alphabetical order, rather than by their physical arrangement).Summary Contents List
- Administrative -- Boxes 20-24
- Annual Meetings -- Boxes 149-156
- Awards -- Boxes 97-112
- Chapters -- Boxes 36-57
- Committees -- Boxes 71-96
- Convention Audio/Video Tapes -- Boxes 173-187
- Correspondence -- Boxes 25-35
- Council -- Boxes 5-19
- Financial -- Boxes 130-145
- Grants and Contracts -- Boxes 146-148
- Irene Farkas-Conn Historical and Research Files -- Boxes 1-4
- Membership -- Boxes 113-114
- Publications -- Boxes 115-129
- Related Organizations and Subjects -- Boxes 157-171
- Special Interest Groups -- Boxes 58-70
- Special Libraries Association Merger -- Box 172
- Related Material:
The holdings of the Special Collections Library include several other collections that researchers interested in ADI/ASIS/ASIS&T should consult. Vernon Tate's collection contains material on ASIS’s early history. He attended the organizing meeting in March 1937 and was president of ADI from 1948 to 1949. Tate also served as the editor of both the Journal of Documentary Reproduction and American Documentation. The Special Collections Library also holds the Cloyd Dake Gull Papers. Gull was president of ADI in 1960. Other related collections at the library include the National Microfilm Association Records, among other collections that form part of the Power Collection for the Study of Scholarly Communication and Information Transfer.
- Separated Material:
Most printed materials have been removed and cataloged separately.
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Information science -- Congresses.
Information science -- History -- 20th century.
Information science -- United States -- Societies,etc.
Information storage and retrieval systems --Research.
Information storage and retrieval systems --Standards.
Professional associations -- United States.
American Society for Information Science. Bulletin of the American Society for InformationScience, 1971-1981.
American Society for Information Science. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 1970-1980.
Special Libraries Association.
American Documentation Institute.
American Society for Information Science.
Special Libraries Association.
Aines, Andrew A.
Armstrong, Anne A.
Bearman, Toni Carbo.
Beatty, Samuel B.
Brokenshire, John B.
Bryan, James Edmund, 1909-
Carroll, B. (Bonnie)
Caudra, Carlos A.
Cochrane, Pauline A. (Pauline Atherton),1929-
Creps, John E.
Crestos, James M.
Davis, Charles Hargis, 1938-
Day, Melvin S.
Farkas-Conn, Irene Sekely, 1928-
Fischer, Margaret F.
Fry, Bernard Mitchell, 1915-
Grosch, Audrey N., 1934-
Heilprin, Laurence B., 1906-
Kilgour, Frederick G.
King, Donald Ward, 1932-
Koller, Herbert B.
Landau, Herbert B.
Lunin, Lois F.
Mooers, Calvin N., 1919-
O'Dette, Ralph E.
Orne, Jerrold, 1911-
Plateau, Gerald O.
Rush, James E.
Sawyer, Edmond J.
Shera, Jesse Hauk, 1903-
Slater, Frank, 1928-
Smith, Joshua I.
Sophar, Gerald J.
Spaulding, Frank H.
Swanson, Rowena W.
Tighe, Ruth L.
Virgo, Julie A., 1944-
White, Herbert S.
Williams, Martha E.
Using These Materials
The record group is open for research, with some exceptions. See Restricted Material section below for details.
Access has been restricted to some documents in the ASIS records due to privacy and legal concerns. The restrictions are as follows:Restricted Material
- Boxes 6-19: The Council Meeting Minutes are closed for a period of 30 years from the date of creation of the records unless prior permission in writing is obtained from ASIS.
- Boxes 130-145: The entire Financial series is closed for a period of 30 years from the date of creation of the records unless prior permission in writing is obtained from ASIS.
- Box 188: Certain tax documents have been closed for a period of 75 years from the date of creation of the records (access open 2035-2068).
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
Copyright has not been transferred to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s).
- PREFERRED CITATION:
American Society for Information Science and Technology Records, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Research Center)