History of the Institute of Information Scientists 1958-2002

Over the last two years I have been working with Dr. Sandra Ward and Professor Charles Oppenheim in writing a history of the Institute of Information Scientists. The IIS was founded in 1958, largely due to the vision and commitment of Jason Farradane and the support of G. Malcolm Dyson. The IIS merged/was taken over by the Library Association in 2002. The archive of the IIS, such as the minutes of Council and Committees and the minutes of the AGM have vanished so we had to compile the history by reading through back issues of Inform, the newsletter of the IIS, and related publications.

The IIS played a very important role in supporting the early promotion of the technology and applications of text retrieval. launching a very well-attended Text Retrieval conferences.  If you would like to get a sense of the software applications that were available pre-Google and Microsoft there is a good 1994 review article in the Journal of Information Science, which was the journal of the IIS.

The 60,000 word history can be downloaded from a dedicated web site. This history is very much work-in-progress. We encourage comments about errors and omissions and will then revise the document ahead of publication in 2022, to mark 20 years since the IIS disappeared.

About Martin White
Martin White

Martin is an information scientist and the author of Making Search Work and Enterprise Search. He has been involved with optimising search applications since the mid-1970s and has worked on search projects in both Europe and North America. Since 2002 he has been a Visiting Professor at the Information School, University of Sheffield and is currently working on developing new approaches to search evaluation.

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