Dale B. Baker
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Dale Baker begins the interview with a discussion of his early years and family background. Inspired by a high school teacher, Baker decided to major in chemical engineering upon entering Ohio State University in 1938, receiving his Bachelor's of Chemical Engineering in 1942 and his Master's of Science in Chemistry in 1948. While a student, Baker began working for the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Chemical Abstracts Service as an office boy. Aside from a brief time as a chemist working with explosives at DuPont, Baker spent his entire career with the ACS and Chemical Abstracts Service. In 1946, Baker became assistant editor of Chemical Abstracts. He took on the extra responsibilities of managing the publications' finances and administrative coordination. Baker and his staff at Chemical Abstracts learned indexing and abstracting through hands-on work while seeking to automate and quicken the availability of chemical information. In 1958, Baker became Director of Chemical Abstracts Service, a position he held until 1986. Baker was instrumental in developing an on-line system for Chemical Abstracts in the early 1980s. While Director of Chemical Abstracts Service, Baker also served the ACS in various capacities, from Acting Executive to Director Emeritus. Baker concludes the interview with a discussion of management techniques, and reflections on his career and family.
|1942||Ohio State University||BChE||Chemical Engineering|
|2016||Ohio State University||MSc||Chemistry|
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
Chemical Abstracts Service
American Chemical Society
Boss of the Year, Columbus Junior Chamber of Commerce
Technical Man of the Year, Columbus Technical Council
Man of the Day, WCOL Radio Station
Alumni Centennial Award, OSU Alumni Association
Distinguished Alumnus Award, OSU College of Engineering
Twenty-five year Service Award, American Chemical Society
Man of the Day, WCOL Radio Station
Miles G. Conrad Award, NFAIS
Doctor of Sacology, US Air Force, Strategic Air Command, Offutt AFB, Nebraska
Patterson-Crane Award, American Chemical Society
Award of Merit, American Society of Information Science
Directors, Officers, Councilors, Management, and Staff Award on Retirement American Chemical Society
Honorary PhD, The Ohio State University
Herman Skolnik Award, ACS Division of Chemical Information
|1987 to 1998||
Honorary Fellowship, Royal Society of Chemistry
Hall of Fame Inductee, Ohio Science, Technology & Industry
Professional Achievement Award, OSU Alumni Association
Distinguished Service Award, ACS Board of Directors
Honorary Chairman, ACS Cols. Sect. Centennial (1897-1997)
Table of Contents
Growing up in Bucyrus, Ohio. Interest in science. Attending Ohio State University. First job with Chemical Abstracts Service. Working for DuPont. Getting master's degree.
Leaving DuPont. Returning to Chemical Abstracts Service. Working with Dr. E. J. Crane. History of Chemical Abstracts. Becoming Assistant Editor. Hiring and training chemists to write nomenclature. Becoming Director of Chemical Abstracts Service.
Hiring J. Malcolm Dyson. Test issues of Chemical Titles. Seeking grant from National Science Foundation. Difficulty with nomenclature. Indexing techniques for Chemical Abstracts.
Information management. Fred A. Tate. Automation efforts. Improving internal processing of information. Contracts with the National Cancer Institute and the Food & Drug Administration. Interacting with the American Chemical Society board. Board decision to make Chemical Abstracts Service self-supporting. Borrowing from the ACS General Fund.
Discussing an on-line system. Working with British, German, Japanese, French, and Russian information societies. Formation of National Federation of Science Abstracting and Indexing Services. Visiting Russia's VINITI. DIALOG. Going on-line. DIALOG lawsuit.
Marketing information. Threat of government take-over of information management. Eugene Garfield. Chemical registry system. Years as president of American Society for Information Science. Science Libraries Association and ASIS merger. National information policy.
Nationalization of information policy. Managing Chemical Abstracts Service. Team work. SATCOM. Importance of chemical registry system. Positive effect of automation of Chemical Abstracts.
Reflections on family. Thoughts on history of chemistry. Information science education programs.
About the Interviewer
Robert V. Williams is a professor of library and information science at the University of South Carolina. He holds a PhD in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; an MS in library and information science from Florida State University; and an MA in history from New York University. Before joining the University of South Carolina in 1978, he was an archivist and information services manager for the Ford Foundation, and the Georgia Department of Archives and History. Williams has also been an information consultant for many organizations including Appalachian Council of Governments of Greenville, South Carolina, and Pontifical Catholic University Madre y Maestra, Dominican Republic. He came to the Chemical Heritage Foundation as the Eugene Garfield Fellow in the History of Scientific Information in 1997. He is a member of the South Carolina Historical Records Advisory Board, the American Library Association (ALA), and the American Society for Information Science (ASIS), where he served as chair of ASIS History and Foundations of Information Science Special Interest Group in 1994–1995. Williams is also a member of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and Chair of the SLA Membership Committee. Williams has numerous publications on the historical role of information science.
Leo Slater was the 2001–2002 John C. Haas Fellow and a senior research historian at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, where he also served as Director of Historical Services from 1997 to 2000. A former research chemist at the Schering-Plough Research Institute, he received his doctorate in History from Princeton University in 1997.