Douglas J. Foskett
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Douglas J. Foskett begins the interview by describing how he entered the field of information science and began working at Ilford Public Library. After serving in the Royal Army Medical Corps for six years, he returned to Ilford and met his wife Joy. Eventually, Foskett left the Public Library to take over Barbara Hill's position of running the information section at the Metal Box Company Ltd. When the Metal Box research department relocated to Swindon, Foskett decided, as an alternative to moving, to join the University of London's Institute of Education. During his twenty-one year career at the University of London, Foskett became director of the University Library and Goldsmiths' Librarian. In his interview, Foskett next discusses the formation of the Classification Research Group (CRG) to address the need for new ways to classify scientific literature. Foskett has been a member since CRG's formation, and Foskett developed faceted classification schemes for education and safety and health that are still in use. Foskett also met with NATO representatives and secured five thousand pounds of funding for the CRG to develop a new general classification scheme. Foskett then recalls S. R. Ranganathan's influence in the field of information science. Ranganathan was the first person to demonstrate that facet analysis could be applied to terms in a system of classification. Foskett next describes the theory of integrative levels and why the Dorking Conference was so significant. Foskett concludes his interview by addressing the expansion of the Library Association to include special librarians and the eventual formation of the Association of Special Libraries and Information Bureau (ASLIB). Douglas J. Foskett was a very important figure in the developing field of information science. He passed away on 7 May 2004.
|1939||Queen Mary College, London||BA|
|1954||Birbeck College, University of London||MA|
Ilford Public Libraries
Metal Box Company Ltd.
University of London
|1965 to 1990||
Honorary Library Advisor, Royal National Institute for Deaf People
Honorary Fellow of the Library Association
President of the Library Association
Order of the British Empire Award
Honorary Fellow, Polytechnic of North London
Table of Contents
Decision to enter field of Information Science. Experiences during World War II. Joy Foskett. The Metal Box Company Ltd. Barbara Hill and Siegl.
University of London Library. John Pafford. Institute of Education. William Taylor. Information Services. Alina Vickery. Goldsmiths' Librarian. Don Ritchnell. The Pafford Lecture.
Formation and efforts of CRG. John Bernal. Jack Wells. Bernard Palmer. S. R. Ranganathan. Facet Analysis. Dewey Decimal Classification. International Labor Organization. Robert Fairthorne. Derek Langridge. Bliss Analysis. NATO. Helen Pates. Derek Austin. PRECIS.
Contributions, personality, and family. T. R. Yogeshwar. Sarada Ranganathan.
It's importance. Theory of Integrative Levels. De Grolier. Mysticism of Ranganathan.
Formation of new section for special libraries. Jason Farradane. Association of Special Libraries and Information Bureau (ASLIB).
About the Interviewer
W. Boyd Rayward is a research professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Chamapaign. He turned to librarianship after graduating in English literature from the University of Sydney. He received his PhD from the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago in 1973. He has held positions in the University of Chicago (where he became Dean of the Graduate Library School). He served as professor and head of the School of Information Library and Archive Studies and Dean of the University's Faculty of Professional Studies at the University of New South Wales in Sydney where he is now professor emeritus. He has published two books related to Paul Otlet, Belgian documentalist and internationalist, and a great many articles on history of national and international schemes for the organization and dissemination of information.