The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Saul Herner begins the interview with a discussion of his childhood and family background. He grew up in New York, and attended the University of Wisconsin, where he received a BS in biochemistry in 1945. In 1946, after a brief time in the Army, Herner was hired as a chemical reference librarian at the New York Public Library. At the same time, he began working towards a bachelor's degree in library science, taking correspondence courses at the University of Wisconsin. In 1948, Herner took a job at the engineering and science library at New York University, where he was first introduced to special libraries and the SLA. Two years later, Herner moved to the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, and he began developing an interest in user studies. He discusses his involvement in a number of organizations, including the ACS, and his colleagues in information science. In 1953, Herner joined the Atlantic Research Corporation. While there, he began to form his own company, now known as Herner and Company. Herner discusses how he gained clients, his company's involvement in particular projects, and the importance of government support in the field of information science. In addition, he discusses developments in information retrieval during his career. Herner concludes with a discussion of his teaching experiences, his involvement in IIA, and comments about the history of information science.
|1945||University of Wisconsin, Madison||BS||Biochemistry|
|1945||University of Wisconsin, Madison||BS||Library Science|
New York Public Library
New York University
Johns Hopkins University
Atlantic Research Corporation
Herner and Company
Drexel Institute of Technology
University of Maryland, College Park
Information Resources Press
Miles Conrad Award, National Federation of Abstracting and Indexing Services
Table of Contents
Growing up in New York. Attending the University of Wisconsin. Studying biochemistry. Joining the Army.
Position at New York Public Library. Correspondence courses in library science. Publishing articles. Involvement in SLA. Working at New York University. Moving to Johns Hopkins University. Interest in user studies. Meeting wife. Involvement in ACS. Colleagues in information science. Joining ADI. New technology. Position at Atlantic Research Corporation.
Partnership with Robert Meyer. Getting contracts. Work for National Science Foundation. Approach to information studies. Importance of networking. Contracts for Department of Heath and Human Services and Centers for Disease Control. Need for innovation. Work for Library of Congress.
Eugene Garfield. Mortimer Taube. Keeping company on a small scale. Involvement in publishing. Producing STAR. Melvin Day. Development of online systems.
Involvement in ACS Division of Chemical Literature. Automation in information science. Involvement in ADI and SLA. Influence of Hans Peter Luhn. Reaction to Cranfield studies. Teaching at Drexel and University of Maryland. Changes in the field of information science. Involvement in IIA. Work on the history of information science.
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.