Cloyd Dake Gull Papers, 1937-1987 (majority within 1946-1983)
Using These Materials
- The collection is open for research.
- Gull, Cloyd Dake
- Librarian and information scientist, pioneered library automation at Library of Congress,also worked at General Electric and National Library of Medicine and taught at Indiana University Library School. Papers include collection includes his correspondence, reports, meeting agendas and minutes, system proposals, teaching materials, professional writings, calendars, and collected publications.
40 linear feet
Photographs located in boxes 8 and 16
Publications located in boxes 26-40
- Collection processed and finding aid prepared by Marilyn M. McNitt, 1992
- Scope and Content:
The Cloyd Dake Gull Papers are an important resource for examining the development of the field of information science. The collection includes his correspondence, reports, meeting agendas and minutes, system proposals, teaching materials, professional writings, calendars, and collected publications. The materials cover virtually all aspects of his career.
Although the collection contains a few papers from his own career as a student in the 1930s, there is little else that dates before Gull joined the staff of the Library of Congress in 1945. His Library of Congress materials, while not complete, do document a number of specific projects and show his early interest in applying punched cards and other new techniques to library work.
The collection contains a limited amount of material on his work at Documentation, Inc. from 1952 to 1954 helping to develop early information retrieval systems, especially the uniterm system of coordinate indexing. Only a small amount of material concerns his service with the National Research Council, although other papers from this era and up to the mid-1960s concern the workshops on information science which he taught at the University of Michigan and elsewhere.
The papers are more extensive for the years 1958 to 1963, when he was an information systems analyst for General Electric. Much is included on the operation of the GE Information Systems Operation as well as specific automation proposals they made for such customers as the University of Illinois - Chicago, the Library of Congress, and the National Library of Medicine. Included in the latter file is information on the development of MEDLARS.
Gull's papers on the American Documentation Institute concern his year as President, plus subsequent work by the Council and Executive Director. They also show his involvement in most annual meetings, 1959-1967. His materials on the International Federation for Documentation primarily cover 1960 to 1967 and concern the work of the U.S. National Committee, plus specific working committees on mechanized storage and retrieval, operational machine techniques and systems, and the universal decimal classification.
Materials concerning Gull's position as Professor at the Indiana University Library School include information on the courses which he taught, the overall program of the Library School, and his activities on various faculty committees, including the one which established a Ph.D. program. Some documents from this period also concern a number of outside consulting projects.
A significant amount of material concerns the work of the consulting firm Cloyd Dake Gull and Associates between 1969 and 1983, especially the automation studies and proposals which the company produced for various clients in the fields of information science and library science.
- Biographical / Historical:
Cloyd Dake Gull was born on June 17, 1915, in Lorain, Ohio. Graduating from Elyria, Ohio, High School in 1932, Gull went on to attend Allegheny College in Meadville, Pennsylvania, where he graduated in 1936. He came to the University of Michigan and studied Library Science receiving a Bachelor of Arts in 1937 and a Master of Arts in 1939.
Gull was a periodicals librarian at the D.H. Hill Library of North Carolina State College from 1939 to 1942. He then served on active duty in the U.S. Naval Reserve from 1942 to 1945. While in the Navy, he made his first use of punched cards to assist with the production of an index for the Bureau of Ships.
After the war, Gull joined the staff of the Library of Congress. Over the years between 1945 and 1952 he served in a variety of positions in the Processing Department, Catalog Maintenance Division, and Union Catalog Division, eventually becoming assistant chief, deputy chief, or acting chief of each. He also worked on the surplus books for veterans program and was a bibliographer with the Science and Technology Project.
At the Library of Congress, Gull continued to explore the use of punched cards and served as the focal point of pioneering efforts to introduce computers into the Library. From 1950 to 1953, he also served as managing editor of the Journal of Cataloging and Classification. Twice during the period he left for other jobs (with Harry Ferguson, Inc. in Detroit and the Central Intelligence Agency), but in both cases he returned to the Library of Congress after a brief time.
In 1952, Gull left the Library of Congress to become a technical analyst with Documentation, Inc. This firm, headed by Mortimer Taube, was the first organized specifically to conduct research and development in the library and information world. They engaged in pioneering work in the emerging field of information science, working on the uniterm system of coordinate indexing, problems of storage and retrieval, and methods of machine literature searching. Under a contract with the Department of Defense, they developed the first system to use computers for searching bibliographic information.
The Library School of the University of Michigan offered Gull the opportunity to teach a summer workshop on "The Logic of Mechanizing Information for Research" in 1953. He repeated this workshop many times in the next decade at Michigan and other universities, eventually calling it "Electronic Information Systems for Libraries."
Between 1954 and 1958, Gull served as Administrative Officer in the Division of Engineering and Industrial Research at the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences.
Gull joined the Computer Department of General Electric in 1958, eventually becoming a consulting analyst for information processing in the Information Systems Operation of the Defense Systems Department. Over the next five years, he worked on proposals for numerous library automation projects.
From 1961 to 1963, Gull was a member of the GE team which designed the MEDLARS system for medical literature bibliographic control and searching services under a contract with the National Library of Medicine. The result was the first installation of a computer in a library, as well as the first successful computer-driven photo offset composition system in the world, which was used for the publication of Index Medicus.
During Gull's years at General Electric, he was also very active in professional organizations. He served as President of the American Documentation Institute, 1959-1960, chairman and then at-large member of the U.S. National Committee for the International Federation for Documentation (FID), 1960-1966, and a Council Member of the American Library Association, 1962-1965.
Gull joined the faculty of the Indiana University Library School in 1964, teaching classes in information science, technical services, and science and technology bibliography. He was also involved in the development of the Library School Ph.D. program, served as the President of the Indiana chapter of the Special Libraries Association, worked on Indiana University's participation in the Library of Congress' MARC project, and did some consulting work on library automation projects.
Gull left the Indiana University faculty in 1967 and joined the National Library of Medicine, where he served for about a year as liaison officer for the National Libraries Task Force on Automation and Other Cooperative Services. He was also the MEDLARS liaison officer.
After leaving the National Library of Medicine, Gull worked briefly as the Washington area representative for a consulting firm and then in 1969 formed the firm of Cloyd Dake Gull and Associates, Inc. They provided services and research and development work for numerous clients in the library and information science field until 1983, when Gull sold the company and retired.
- Acquisition Information:
- Gift of Cloyd Dake Gull, 1986-1989.
- Processing information:
Collection processed and finding aid prepared by Marilyn M. McNitt, 1992.
The Cloyd Dake Gull Papers are divided into six series:
- Subject Files, 1937-1985. Arranged alphabetically.
- Gull Articles, Papers and Speeches, 1946-1987. Arranged chronologically.
- Outgoing Correspondence, 1967-1987. Arranged chronologically.
- Gull Calendars, 1946-1986. Arranged chronologically.
- Electronic Information Systems for Libraries--Classified Literature as Arranged by Cloyd Dake Gull, 1941-1972. Arranged by subject according to a numerical classification scheme devised by Gull.
- Publications Reference File, 1945-1986. Arranged alphabetically within category divisions.
Click on terms below to find any related finding aids on this site.
Classification, Universal decimal--Research.
Information science--History--20th century.
Information science--Study and teaching--20th century.
Information storage and retrieval systems--Research--20th century.
Library consultants--United States.
Indiana University, Bloomington.--School of Library & Information Science--Faculty.
American Documentation Institute.
General Electric Company.--Information Systems Operation.
Indiana University, Bloomington.--School of Library & Information Science.
International Federation for Documentation.
Library of Congress.
National Library of Medicine (U.S.)
Cloyd Dake Gull and Associates, Inc.
Using These Materials
The collection is open for research.
- 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:
Cloyd Dake Gull Papers, University of Michigan Library (Special Collections Research Center)