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Issue No.02 - April-June (2002 vol.24)
pp: 16-33
ABSTRACT
<p>Librarians, particularly those in traditional academic and public libraries, were slow to take advantage of punched cards. In contrast, special librarians and documentalists, with their small systems and focus on retrieving information for users, readily adopted punched cards. The results were dramatic: improved ability to index scientific and technical information and better user service.</p>
CITATION
Robert V. Williams, "The Use of Punched Cards in US Libraries and Documentation Centers, 1936-1965", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.24, no. 2, pp. 16-33, April-June 2002, doi:10.1109/MAHC.2002.1010067
REFERENCES
1. G.D. Austrian, Herman Hollerith: Forgotten Giant of Information Processing, Columbia Univ. Press, New York, 1982, pp. 5-6.
2. G.D. Austrian, Herman Hollerith: Forgotten Giant of Information Processing, Columbia Univ. Press, New York, 1982, pp. 5-6.
3. L.E. Truesdell, The Development of Punch Card Tabulation in the Bureau of the Census, 1890-1940, US Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1965, p. 27.
4. G.D. Austrian, , Herman Hollerith: Forgotten Giant, pp. 16-17.
5. F.W. Kisterman, "The Invention and Development of the Hollerith Punched Card," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 13, no. 3, Oct.-Dec. 1991, pp. 245-259.
6. G.D. Austrian, , Herman Hollerith: Forgotten Giant, pp. 16-17.
7. For a description and images of early Hollerith cards, IBM equipment, and punch cards in general, see the following Web sites:http://www.columbia.edu/acis/historyhollerith.html ,http://www.uh.edu/enginesepi1145.htm, andhttp://ed-thelen.org/comp-hist/TheCompMusRep TCMR-V19.html
8. G.D. Austrian, , Herman Hollerith: Forgotten Giant, pp. 16-17.
9. E.M. Fair, "Invention and Books—What of the Future?" Library J., vol. 61, 15 Jan. 1936, pp. 47-51.
10. E.M. Fair, "Invention and Books—What of the Future?" p. 47.
11. R.M. Hayes and J. Becker maintain in their book , Handbook of Data Processing for Libraries, John Wiley&Sons, New York, 1970, pp. 3-4) that Parker had developed his ideas for a punched-card circulation system as early as 1930, citing Parker's 1952 book as evidence. However, no mention of this actually appears in Parker's book.
12. R.H. Parker, "The Punched Card Method in Circulation Work," Library J., vol. 61, 1 Dec. 1936, pp. 903-905.
13. R.H. Parker, Library Applications of Punched Cards: A Description of Mechanical Systems, Am. Library Assoc. (ALA), Chicago, 1952.
14. R.H. Parker, "The Punched Card Method in Circulation Work," 1936, p. 904.
15. G.W. Baehne ed. Practical Applications of the Punched Card Method in Colleges and Universities, Columbia Univ. Press, New York, 1935.
16. H.F. Fletcher, "Miscellaneous Research Applications: Literature," Practical Applications of the Punched Card Method in Colleges and Universities, G.W. Baehne, ed., Columbia Univ. Press, New York, 1935, pp. 405-408.
17. F.W. Kilgour, "A New Punched Card for Circulation Records," Library J., vol. 64, 15 Feb. 1939, pp. 131-133.
18. Based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for all major expenditure class items, using the calculator located athttp://minneapolisfed.org/economy/calccpihome.html .
19. R.H. Parker, Library Applications of Punched Cards, 1952, pp. 31-39.
20. H.T. Geer, Charging Systems, ALA, Chicago, 1955, p. 61.
21. M. Quigley, "Library Facts from International Business Machine Cards," Library J., vol. 77, Dec. 1941, p. 1066; M. Quigley, "Ten Years of IBM," Library J ., vol. 77, July 1952, pp. 1152-1153.
22. M. Quigley, "Business Machines in a Public Library," Am. City, vol. 60, no. 5, May 1945, pp. 101-102.
23. M. Quigley, "Ten Years of IBM," 1952, p. 1153.
24. F.E. Hirsch, "Business MachineTool of Library Progress," ALA Bull., vol. 38, no. 9, Sept. 1944, p. 291.
25. H.T. Geer, Charging Systems, 1955; R.H. Parker, Library Applications of Punched Cards, 1952; L.H. Kirkwood, Charging Systems, Rutgers Univ., Graduate School of Library Service, New Brunswick, N.J., 1961, ( The State of the Library Art, vol. 2, part 3); Circulation Control for Libraries, Int'l Business Machines, Armonk, N.Y., 1953.
26. E.C. Pratt, "International Business Machines' Use in Circulation Department, University of Florida Library," Library J., vol. 67, 1 Apr. 1942, pp. 302-303.
27. C. Frommherz, "Punched Card Catalog," Library J., vol. 67, 15 Feb. 1942, p. 139.
28. G.R. Lyle, The Administration of the College Library, H.W. Wilson Co., New York, 1944, pp. 140-141.
29. L.R. Wilson and M.F. Tauber, The University Library: Its Organization, Administration and Functions, Univ. of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1945, pp. 487-488.
30. E. Danton ed. The Library of Tomorrow: A Symposium, ALA, Chicago, 1939.
31. D.K. Maxfield, "Library Punched Card Procedures," Library J., vol. 71, 15 June 1946, p. 903.
32. F.G. Kilgour, "Origins of Coordinate Searching," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 48, no. 4, Apr. 1997, pp. 340-348.
33. F.G. Kilgour, "Origins of Coordinate Searching," 1997, pp. 341-342.
34. Chemical Abstracts Service, CAS Statistical Summary, 1907-2000,Columbus, Ohio, 2000. Available in pdf athttp://www.cas.org/EOcasstats.pdf.
35. H.F. McGaw, Marginal Punched Cards in College and Research Libraries, Scarecrow Press, Washington, D.C., 1951, p. 20.
36. I.S. Farkas-Conn, From Documentation to Information Science: The Beginnings and Early Development of the American Documentation Institute-American Society for Information Science, Greenwood Press, New York, 1990, pp. 150-165.
37. R.V. Williams, "The Documentation and Special Libraries Movements in the United States, 1910-1960," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 48, no. 9, Sept. 1997, pp. 775-781; reprinted in T.B. Hahn and M. Buckland, Historical Studies in Information Science, 1998, pp. 171-180.
38. G.J. Cox, C.F. Bailey, and R.S. Casey, "Punch Cards for a Chemical Bibliography," Chemical and Eng. News, vol. 23, no. 18, 25 Sept. 1945, pp. 1623-1626.
39. W.V. Metanomski, Fifty Years of Chemical Information in the American Chemical Society, 1943-1993, Am. Chemical Soc., Div. of Chemical Information, Washington, D.C., 1993, p. 7.
40. R.V. Williams and M.E. Bowden, "Chronology of Chemical Information Science," 18×24 poster, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia, 1998; also available on the Web athttp://www.libsci.sc.edu/bob/chemnetchchron.htm .
41. F.G. Kilgour, "Origins of Coordinate Searching," 1997, p. 342.
42. L. Ferris, K. Taylor, and J.W. Perry, "Bibliography on Uses of Punched Cards," J. Documentation, vol. 3, Mar. 1948, pp. 250-271.
43. L.A Ferris et al., "Bibliography on Uses of Punched Cards," Punched Cards: Their Applications…, R.S. Casey and J.W. Perry, eds., 1951, pp. 460-485.
44. R.S. Casey, "Annotated Bibliography on Uses of Punched Cards," Punched Cards: Their Applications…, R.S. Casey et al., eds., 1958, pp. 638-671.
45. See the listing of presentations at conference of the Division in Metanomski, "Fifty Years of Chemical Information…," 1993, p. 7.
46. Royal Soc., The Royal Soc. Scientific Information Conf., 21 June-2 July, 1948: Reports and Papers Submitted, The Royal Soc., Burlington House, London, 1948.
47. "The Mechanized Distribution of Information" (note prepared by the Aslib Committee on the Mechanized Distribution of Information), The Royal Society Scientific Information Conf., 21 June-2 July, 1948: Reports and Papers Submitted, The Royal Soc., Burlington House, London, 1948, pp. 429-434.
48. R.V. Williams and M.E. Bowden, "Chronology of Chemical Information Science," 1998.
49. W.J. Wiswesser, "Historic Development of Chemical Notations," J. Chemical Information and Computer Science, vol. 25, no. 3, 1985, pp. 258-263.
50. C. Mooers, "Making Information Retrieval Pay" 118th Meeting, Abstracts of Papers, Am. Chemical Soc., Washington, D.C., ACS, 1950, pp. 1-2f.
51. For more details about the life and work of Mooers, including his work on the NOL computer project and his relationship with John Mauchley, see the following Web site, developed by Mooers' daughters:http://www.tracfoundation.org/mooersmooers.htm .
52. C.W. Brenner and C.N. Mooers, "A Case History of a Zatocoding," 1958, pp. 340-356.
53. Based on the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index for all major expenditure class items using the calculator located athttp://minneapolisfed.org/economy/calccpihome.html .
54. The "apparently" qualification is based on a 1998 conversation with the family of Calvin Mooers. The Mooers papers are held by the Babbage Inst. Univ. of Minnesota but contain limited information on the finances of the company. These papers have not been examined for this article. See the inventory of the Mooers papers athttp://www.cbi.umn.edu/collections/invmooers.htm .
55. W.A. Wildhack and J. Stern,"The Peek-a-Boo System—Optical Coincidence Subject Cards in Information Searching," Punched Cards: Their Applications…, R.S. Casey et al., eds., 1958, pp. 125-151.
56. W.E. Batten, "Specialized Files," 1951, pp. 169-181.
57. F.G. Kilgour, "Origins of Coordinate Searching," 1997, pp. 345.
58. Ibid., p. 346.
59. C.E. ZerwekhJr., "A Uniterm System for Reports," Punched Cards: Their Applications…, R.S. Casey et al., eds., 1958, pp. 152-160.
60. Personal communication to the author from Jerry Sophar, former staff member of Documentation Inc., 1997.
61. Two historically oriented articles on these NSF publications are L.M. Bohnert, "Nonconventional Technical Information Systems," Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Vol. 20, A. Kent, H. Lancour, and J.E. Daly, eds., Marcel Dekker, New York, 1977, pp. 71-90; and H. Wooster, "Current Research and Development in Scientific Documentation," Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, Vol. 6, A. Kent, H. Lancour, and J.E. Daly, eds., Marcel Dekker, New York, 1971, pp. 154-177.
62. W.A. Wildhack and J. Stern, "The Peek-a-Boo System…," 1958.
63. An early description of the system, at that time still a part of Documentation Inc., is in T.H. Rees Jr., "Commercially Available Equipment and Supplies," Punched Cards: Their Applications…, R.S. Casey et al., eds., 1958, pp. 82-87.
64. A 15-minute videotape demonstrating the Jonkers Termatrex system is available by R.V. Williams and H.C. Covey, Mechanized Information Retrieval: A Demonstration of the Termatrex System, Univ. of South Carolina, Distance Education and Instructional Support, 1993; contact the author for details on purchase.
65. See the description of this system in G. Jahoda, "Electronic Searching," The State of the Library Art, R.R. Shaw, ed., Rutgers Univ., Graduate School of Library Service, New Brunswick, N.J., 1961, vol. 4, part 4, pp. 162-163.
66. Ibid., pp. 163-175.
67. Ibid., pp. 172-183.
68. Claire K. Schultz transcript of an interview conducted by Robert V. Williams at Line Lexington, Pa., on 9 July 1997, available from the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia.
69. The system was first described in Schultz's master's thesis from Drexel University in 1952, but she was an active member of both ACS and SLA and made a number of presentations in 1951 and 1952 about the system: C.K. Schultz, Coding Literature on Punched Cards, master's thesis, Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, 14 June 1952. Available on interlibrary loan from Drexel Univ. Library. The first published version (Schultz says in her oral history interview that the article was prepared for the 1951 edition of R.S. Casey and J.W. Perry, Punched Cards: Their Applications…, but for some reason was not published in it) of the system is C.K. Schultz, "An Application of Random Codes for Literature Searching," Punched Cards: Their Applications to Science and Industry, 2nd ed., R.S. Casey et al., eds., Reinhold, New York, 1958, pp. 232-247.
70. Eugene Garfield transcript of an interview conducted by Robert V. Williams at Philadelphia, Pa., on 29 July 1997, available from the Chemical Heritage Foundation, Philadelphia. Garfield's retrieval work with the IBM 101 was first described in E. Garfield, "Preliminary Report on the Mechanical Analysis of Information by use of the 101 Statistical Punched Card Machine," American Documentation, vol. 5, no. 1, 1954, pp. 7-12.
71. S.V. Larkey, "The Welch Medical Library Indexing Project," Bull. Medical Library Assoc., vol. 41, no. 1, Jan. 1953, pp. 32-40.
72. C.D. Gull, "Instrumentation," Library Trends, vol. 2, no. 1, July 1953, pp. 103-145.
73. H.F. McGaw, Marginal Punched Cards in College and Research Libraries, Scarecrow Press, Washington, D.C., 1952.
74. H.T. Geer, Charging Systems, 1955.
75. H.F. McGaw, Marginal Punched Cards, 1952, pp. 174-177.
76. H.T. Geer, Charging Systems, 1955, pp. 161-165.
77. The editions of Wilson and Tauber (1945, 1956) and Lyle (1944, 1949) contain only minimal descriptions of the use of punched cards in libraries.
78. M.M. Berry, "Application of Punched Cards to Library Routines," Punched Cards: Their Applications…, R.S. Casey et al., eds., 1958, pp. 279-302.
79. In library card catalog usage, a unit record is a single card for each file item with duplicate cards in the file for each heading (subject or names) used to "index" the item. A record of where the duplicate cards are filed is recorded on the "tracings" at the bottom of the unit record card. See the discussion in C.P Bourne, Methods of Information Handling, John Wiley&Sons, New York, 1963, pp. 10, 27.
80. S.A. Cady, "Microfilm Technology and Information Systems," Proc. 1998 Conf. History and Heritage of Science Information Systems, M.E. Bowden, T.B. Hahn, and R.V. Williams, eds., Info Today, Medford, N.J., 1999, pp. 177-186.
81. C.D. Gull, "Historical Note: Information Science and Technology—From Coordinate Indexing to the Global Brain," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 38, no. 5, 1987, pp. 338-366.
82. P.R. Bagley, "Online Systems: History, Technology, and Economics," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 32, no. 1, 1981, p. 78.
83. Writing in 1963, Bourne comments on this transition from machine-sorted punched cards to computers in information handling, noting: "The presence of computer equipment per se cannot provide better retrieval or guarantee good performance although it might provide the answers in a shorter period of time, or at less cost"; Methods of Information Handling, (p. 145). He characterizes computers as "…grown-up tab equipment" (p. 136).
84. C.D. Gull, "The Present State of Library Automation: A Study in Reluctant Leadership," Proc. 1965 Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing held at the Illini Union on the Urbana Campus of the Univ. of Illinois , April 25-28, 1965, F.B. Jenkins, ed., Univ. of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science; distributed by the Illini Union Bookstore, Champaign, Ill., 1966, pp. 1-15.
85. Ibid., 1965, p. 9.
86. Ibid., 1965, p. 4.
87. B.W. Adkinson, "National Science Foundation—Science Information," Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science, vol. 19, A. Kent and H. Lancour, eds., Marcel Dekker, New York, 1976, pp. 154-177.
88. "Current Research and Development in Scientific Documentation No. 12," Bibliography of References Cited in Issues No. 1-11, Nat'l Science Foundation Office of Science Information, Service Washington D.C., 1965.
89. M.R. Hyslop,"Documentalists Consider Machine Techniques," Special Libraries, vol. 45, May/June 1953, pp. 196-198.
90. J.H. Shera, A. Kent, and J.W. Perry eds. Documentation in Action,Reinhold, New York, 1956.
91. Proc. Int'l Conf. Scientific Information, Washington, D.C., 16-21 Nov. 1958, 2 vols., Nat'l Academy of Sciences-Nat'l Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1959.
92. , Ohlman compiled and distributed at the conference a permutation index to preprints of conference papers. Luhn compiled and distributed at the conference a KWIC index to general technical literature. Personal communications, Aug. and Sept. 2001, from H. Ohlman. See also H. Olhman, "Subject-Word Letter Frequencies with Applications to Superimposed Coding," Proc. Int'l Conf. Scientific Information, Washington, D.C., 16-21 Nov. 1958, vol. 2, Nat'l Academy of Sciences-Nat'l Research Council, Washington, D.C., 1959, pp. 903-915.
93. C. Bourne, Methods of Information Handling, pp. 17-19.
94. J.E. Rush, "Computer Hardware and Software in Chemical Information Processing," J. Chemical Information and Computer Science, vol. 25, no.3, 1985, pp. 140-149.
95. D.W. Weisgerber, "Chemical Abstracts Service Chemical Registry System: History, Scope, and Impacts," J. Am. Soc. for Information Science, vol. 48, no. 4, 1997, pp. 349-360.
96. C. Bourne, Methods of Information Handling, pp. 122-123.
97. J. Becker and R.M. Hayes, Information Storage and Retrieval: Tools, Elements, Theories, John Wiley&Sons, New York, 1966, pp. 125-126.
98. Ibid., pp. 126-128.
99. C.D. Gull, "The Present State of Library Automation," 1965, p. 5.
100. M.M. Berry, "Application of Punched Cards to Library Routines," 1958.
101. Bibliography on Mechanized Library Processes, Nat'l Science Foundation, Office of Science Information Service, Washington, D.C., Apr. 1963. Reprinted in Proc. 1963 Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing, H. Goldhor, ed., Univ. of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, Champaign, Ill., 1964, pp. 157-171.
102. B.W. Adkinson, "Trends in Library Applications of Data Processing," Proc. 1963 Clinic on Library Applications of Data Processing, H. Goldhor, ed., Univ. of Illinois Graduate School of Library Science, Champaign, Ill., 1964, pp. 3-4.
103. C.D. Gull, "The Present State of Library Automation," 1965, p. 1.
104. The LARC Association in 1969 conducted the first survey of libraries in the US and Canada and published it as a separate item. However, for the third survey in 1971, coverage was expanded world-wide and the results published in 12 separate volumes. The first volume of this series, on the US only, combines 1969-1971 data and the results reported here reflect the data reported in it: A Survey of Automated Activities in the Libraries of the United States,Tempe, Ariz., The LARC Association, 1971, vol. 1.
105. E.C. Pratt, "International Business Machine, Use in Circulation Department, University of Florida Library," Library J., vol. 67, 1 Apr. 1942, pp. 302-303.
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