Michael W. Hill
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Michael W. Hill begins his interview by discussing how he was first drawn to the information and documentation side of chemistry. While at Lincoln College, Hill planned to become a chemist. He received his BS and MSc there, under the tutelage of Rex Richards, by researching applications of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. After graduating, Hill started his career at Laporte Chemical Company in Luton, then moved to London to become head of Morgan Crucible Group's physics laboratory. Eventually Hill left the competitive world of industry to work as assistant keeper in the National Reference Library of Science and Invention, a new national science library being setup by the British Museum. Hill soon advanced to the post of deputy librarian at the Patent Office Library. Next he became the head of the National Reference Library of Science and Invention, first as part of the British Museum, then from 1973 as part of the British Library's Reference Division, which was renamed the Science Reference Library. Hill also joined Aslib, became a fellow of the Institute of Information Scientists, as well as vice president, and eventually became president of the Federation for Information and Documentation Congress. He was also elected vice president of the International Association of Technological University Libraries. Hill concludes his interview by hypothesizing about the future impact of information science.
|1941||King Henry VIII School|
|1947||Nottingham High School|
|1953||University of Oxford, Lincoln College||MA|
|1953||University of Oxford, Lincoln College||MSc|
Laporte Chemical Company
Morgan Crucible Group
Patent Office Library
|1969 to 1973||
Member, Organizing Committee for the British Library
|1969 to 1974||
Member, Advisory Council on Scientific and Technical Information
|1969 to 1974||
Chairman, Online Information Services Committee
|1970 to 1986||
ad hoc UK Delegate to World Intellectual Property Organization
|1971 to 1974||
Member, Executive Committee, National Central Library
|1973 to 1980||
UK Delegate, EEC, DGXIII, WP on Patent Information
|1974 to 1979||
Honorary Secretary, Association for Information Management
|1974 to 1977||
Board Member, UK Chemical Information Service
|1974 to 1993||
Various official consultancies to foreign official bodies
|1976 to 1980||
UK Delegate, EEC, DGXIII, WP on Information for Industry
|1976 to 1981||
Vice President, International Association of Technological Universities Libraries
|1977 to 1979||
Chairman, Circle of State Librarians
|1979 to 1981||
Chairman, Association for Information Management
|1980 to 1984||
Vice President, Federation for Information and Documentation
Joint Founder of Western European Round Table for Information and Documentation
|1983 to 1987||
Member, Advisory Committee, Scottish Science Reference Library
|1984 to 1990||
President, Federation for Information and Documentation
Honorary Fellow, Federation for Information and Documentation
Table of Contents
Early work at Lincoln College under Rex Richards. The value of good research techniques. Receives M. Sc. for application of nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Enters industry at Laporte Chemical Company in Luton. Moves to London to be head of physics research laboratory at Morgan Crucible Group.
Applies and receives position as assistant keeper in the National Reference Library of Science and Invention, the British Museum's national science library.
Transfers to post of deputy at the Patent Office Library. Becomes a civil servant. Manages the daily operations of the library. Advances to head of National Reference Library of Science and Invention.
Joins Aslib as a fellow of the Institute of Information Scientists, then as honorary secretary. Attends Federation for Information and Documentation [FID] conference in Rome.
Works to establish proper FID mission and improve FID financial situation. Attends FID council in Moscow. Helps FID cut financial and political dependence to UNESCO.
Changes due to development of compact discs and the World Wide Web. Pitfalls of the World Wide Web. Growth of the information field and availability of information. Profit and cost involved in the information field.
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.