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Title: The Information Society and the Future of the History of Information Science By W. Boyd Rayward Emeritus Professor in the University of Illinois and the University of New South Wales

The Information Society and the Future of the
History of Information ScienceByW. Boyd
RaywardEmeritus Professor in the University of
Illinois and the University of New South Wales
My Text is taken from Headrick, 2008, p.
8 The Information Age has no beginning. It is
as old as humankind. but in the course of
history there have been periods of sharp
acceleration (revolutions, if you prefer) in the
amount of information that people had access to
and in the creation of information systems to
deal with it
Abstract This paper presents in outline an
account of the conditions and the trajectory of
events that led to the emergence of what we call
information science in the context of the
American Society of Information Science and
Technology. It suggests that we have already
passed through at least two information orders or
revolutions as we transition 1st from the long
era of print that began with Gutenberg then
through 2nd, a pre-digital era following the
Second World War and now 3rd, to a new era
characterized by the advent of the ubiquitous
technologies that herald the digital
revolution and the creation of the so-called
information society. As a result of the
transformative changes that are currently taking
place, it is possible to see the past as opening
itself to new kinds of scrutiny. The argument of
this paper is that the future of the history of
information science is best thought of as part of
a still unrealised convergence of diverse
historical approaches to understanding how
societies are constituted, sustained, reproduced
and changed in part by information and the
infrastructures that emerge to manage information
access and use. There are clearly different
bodies of historical knowledge and research
methodologies that might be usefully brought
together in mutually conducted explorations of
important information phenomena from Gutenberg to
Google. .
  • Three information revolutions or information
    orders as a basis for reflecting on the future of
    the history of information science
  • 1.Begins with Gutenberg and his world of print
    and lasts for over
  • 500 years
  • 2. Begins with the Second World War, is still
    print-based and
  • ends in crisis
  • 3. Begins with the Internet, the World Wide Web,
  • digitization and the communications
    transformations often
  • referred to as the information Revolution
  • NOTE I do not argue that one of these
    information orders or revolutions supersedes the
    next. Each builds on what went before, sits on
    but also reconfigures a continuing, underlying
    structure of functions, systems and structures
    whose origins can be traced, at least for my
    purposes here, back to Gutenberg

  • Gutenbergs world of print
  • Information expressed in and transmitted by
  • especially books, journals, newspapers, etc.
  • Epistemic, social, economic and political
    consequences of print
  • are immense and continuous
  • Organizational structures and social practices
    emerged to
  • provide industrial, legal, and commercial
    frameworks for the
  • production, regulation, and dissemination of
  • Ever-expanding range of users for an increasingly
  • range of political, social, research,
    educational and
  • recreational purposes.
  • as part of capitalist industrialised economies,
    development of
  • information markets as basis for regulating
    supply demand
  • and determining product and technological

  • Information Infrastructural Kinds and Levels -1
  • Basic affordances
  • manufacture of pens, paper and inks,
    commercial glues
  • and sewing machines, foundry practices,
  • presses, typewriters and photocopiers
    systems and
  • networks for moving goods and people by
    road, rail,
  • shipping and ultimately air.
  • infrastructure concerned with the production,
  • management and use of information sources
  • Industries producing and distributing books,
  • journals, newspapers, bibliographies,
    indexing and
  • abstracting services, data compilations
  • Information systems to facilitate operational
  • management activities in organisations in
    all sectors

  • Infrastructural Kinds and Levels-2
  • proliferation and differentiation of reading
  • Institutions for education, research and
  • recreation
  • learned and professional societies,
    universities and research
  • organizations, schools, museums, archives and
  • Infrastructures at local, national and
    international levels
  • Distinct organizational structures,
    overlapping memberships and
  • codes of standards and practices.

  • Fin-de- Siècle to WWI, A New Industrial Age, a
    Second Industrial Revolution (Geddes 1915, p.
    46). 1
  • Gutenbergs technology of print seemed to reach
    an extraordinary high point of development in the
    decades at the end of the nineteenth century and
    before the First World War.
  • A world of knowledge and information rapidly
    increasing in
  • volume and diversifying, fragmenting,
  • Leading to
  • A Crescendo of effort experimentation in the
    production, consumption management of print

  • Fin-de- Siècle, to WWI A New Industrial Age, a
    Second Industrial Revolution (Geddes 1915, p.
    46). 2
  • Ever-increasing growth in rates of general
    literacy and educational levels 
  • Accelerating growth of scientific research  
  • Most knowledge domains classified named,
    natural social sciences adopted positivist
    scientific methodologies 
  • Organisational disciplinary structures
    established (national academies, ever increasing
    numbers of national international associations
    and societies increasing numbers of local,
    national International meetings of these bodies
    --the last often at Worlds Fairs, an important
    characteristic of the period) 
  • Rapidly increasing volume of publications-
    Primary books, journals, proceedings, memoires,
    literary periodicals, newspapers Secondary
    Comprehensive national systems of bibliography,
    official trade handbooks, indexing and
    abstracting services and annual reviews.
  • Creation of information-related professions and
    professional organisations

  • Post-World War I Information Slump 1
  • Stagnation or discontinuation of many of the
    great nineteenth century print-oriented
    information infrastructural projects e.g.
    International Catalogue of Scientific Literature
    discontinued Répertoire Bibliographique de
    Bibliographie inaccessible after 1934 Concilium
    Bibliographicum and its publications limping
    along on their last legs until 1942
  • Almost all the bibliographies covering large
    subject areas or long periods of time were
    immobilized after 1914.... (Malclès)
  • The specialized bibliographies part of
    periodicals or had an independent existence
    supported by scholarly organizations since the
    end of the 19th century atrophied after 1914
  • The constantly accelerating passing of the old
    order. (Malclès)

  • Post-World War I Information Slump 2
  • How to account for the accelerating passing of
    the old order
  • Three main reasons
  • 1. Many Bibliographical services, especially
    those published on
  • cards, the new technology of the pre-war
    period, no longer
  • met their publics needs
  • 2. Exclusion of German Scientists from the
    scientific community
  • and the impact of restrictions on
  • bibliographical and other information related
    services after
  • the War especially
  • by
  • The International Research Council
    and International
  • Union of Academies
  • 3. The Depression

  • Some Post World War I international
    organisational information infrastructures new or
  • 1919 International Research Council and
    International Union of
  • Academies
  • 1922 League of Nations Committee and 1924
    Institute for
  • International Intellectual Cooperation
  • 1926 IIIC creates International Museums Office
  • 1895 International Institute for Bibliography
    becomes in1931, IID
  • and then in 1937 FID annual conferences,
  • publications,great interest in reprographic
    technologies especially
  • microfilm
  • 1926, IFLA annual conferences

Microfilm, Watson Davis, the Documentation
Institute of Science Service and the creation of
the American Documentation Institute 1937 The
American Documentation Institute has been
incorporated on behalf of scholarly, scientific
and informational societies to develop and
operate facilities that are expected to promote
research and knowledge in various intellectual
fields. The first objective of the new
organisation will be to develop and apply the new
technique of microphotography to library,
scholarly, scientific and other material
(Farkas-Conn 1990, p.77). As Buckland notes
The literature on documentation in the 1930s was
as preoccupied with microfilm technology as it is
now with computer technology and, for the same
reason, each being the most promising information
retrieval technology of the time (Buckland 1992,
p. 290).
World War II and the Scientific Information
  • The Argument
  • With the War an increasingly intense and complex
    interweaving of
  • discourse, experimentation and invention related
    to the management of information began to develop
    and accelerate.
  • The post-war period witnessed the emergence of
    changes so extensive and rapid that I argue a new
    information revolution can be seen as getting
  • Scott Adams observed that the war had encouraged
    the greatest explosion of bibliographic activity
    the world has ever known (cited in Farkas-Conn,
    1990, p.110).
  • The new post-war information order involved
    librarians, scientists, engineers, government
    officials, industrial researchers of various
    kinds and commercial entrepreneurs introducing
    innovative systems, technologies and new
    organizational arrangements for the management of

Information and The War Effort The requirements
for information of the Allied Powers an important
part of their co-ordinated and combined war
effort. Between 1942-1945, it has been claimed
that 5 million pages were copied and sent to
Washington (Farkas-Conn, 1990, p.103).
  • Post-War Mass Declassification of Documents -
    Irene Farkas Conn The War Years, then
    Information Turmoil.
  • finding and filming documents useful to industry
    and medicine as well as to the military .
  • total take of documents collected in 1945 by
    the U.S. Field Information Agency, Technical
    (FIAT) at 3.5 billion microfilmed pages (Varlejs,
    2004, p.90).
  • In six months in 1945 the Air Documents Research
    Center had accumulated 186 tons of enemy
    documents (Farkas-Conn, 1990, p.103).
  • In 1945 the information the US Office of
    Research Development had collected was
    recommended for declassification and to be made
    accessible as quickly as possible.
  • In 1946 the Office of Technical Services was set
    up to organize and distribute the mass of
    technical reports that had become available after
    the War.
  • An important example In 1946 the US Atomic
    Energy Agency created the documentation of the
    Manhattan project declassified to be organised
    and indexed The Oak Ridge Technical Information
    Center began to publish Nuclear Science Abstracts
    in 1948 world-wide coverage, all
    multi-disciplinary, multi-format materials on
    peaceful uses of nuclear energy. After the 1955
    and 1958 UN sponsored conferences on the peaceful
    uses of nuclear energy many countries released
    classified information documentation now vast.
    Migrates to IAEA sponsored INIS

  • The Information Problem
  • Information in enemy documents and in Allied
    classified research reports of vital
  • and immediate importance
  • The information aged quickly
  • Traditional bibliographical and library-based
    methods of organizing and
  • providing access to the contents of these
    reports considered inadequate
  • Need for scientists, engineers and others with
    substantive knowledge and
  • technical know-how (see also the famous
    Weinberg Report of 1963).
  • New systems were needed for information storage
    and retrieval

  • Non Conventional Technical Information Systems
  • Innovative approaches to indexing,
    classification and document retrieval
  • based on microfilm, aperture cards, various
    kind of punched cards, edge-notched
  • cards and so on.
  • complex systems of codes for specifying subject
    content, identifying and describing
  • documents
  • Use of Mathematical representation and analysis
    of document surrogates (indexing
  • terms or descriptors) for system simulation
    and experimental research
  • In the period 1958-1966 nonconventional
    technical information systems in current
  • use increased from 30 to 178. These were
    systems ... embodying new principles
  • for the organization of subject matter or
    employing automatic equipment for storage
  • and search (the National Science Foundations
    Office of Science Information
  • Services).

  • As Part of New Information Order - Research on
    Information Use Users The Idea of Information
  • New Realisation that information systems and
    their technologies are embedded in intricate
    systems of social relationships and shared
    practices of scholarly and other communities
  • Information need, access, and use were complexly
    interconnected behavioural
  • phenomena,
  • Information behaviour a subject for definition
    and investigation.
  • Important to understand what information was
    needed by whom, how it
  • is produced and its production financed, and
    how it is sought and used.
  • Since the second world war, a huge literature on
  • changing patterns of formal informal
    communication among scientists others,
  • the social dynamics of various communities of
    information producers and users
  • the impacts on these communities of various
    emergent or experimental systems of
  • information access and exchange

Striking out in New System Directions in the
Post-War Decades Personnel Scientists, engineers,
mathematicians, linguists, librarians,
physicists, philosophers, psychologists,
inventors, even some historians of science (e.g.,
Derek De Sola Price one of the originators of
bibliometrics and scientometrics) Locales
Indexing and abstracting services Universities
Libraries Government agencies Corporations
engaged in government funded information research
Information and research services in industry.
A new Phenomenon Personal information
Companies designed to market and implement the
special indexing and retrieval systems of their
inventors (e.g. Saul Herner, Mortimer Taube,
Calvin Moers, Joseph Becker and Robert Hayes)
Note especially Eugene Garfield, the Science
Citation Indexes and ISI
  • Some Post-War Institutional Infrastructural
  • Individuals and organisations coalesced into
    scholarly and professional societies,
    associations and federations shaped new domains
    of information research and development.
  • 1950s ADI had a surge of new membership and
    become a general professional
  • society in 1968 becomes the American Society
    for Information Science
  • 1947 the Association of Computer Machinery
  • 1958 National Federation of Science Indexing and
    Abstracting Societies
  • 1958 Institute for Information Science created
    in UK by Jason Farradane, Brian
  • Vickery and others
  • FID and IFLA resume annual meetings,
    publications etc immediately after the war
  • UNESCO creates a Department of Documentation,
    Libraries and Archives
  • 1949 International Council of Scientific Unions
    Abstracting Board (ICSU-AB)
  • following conference by UNESCO on abstracting
    services in science (becomes
  • ICSTI, International Council for Scientific and
    Technical Information, in 1984)
  • 1960 International Federation for Information

  • New Personnel, New Disciplinary Backgrounds, New
  • New players with a variety of disciplinary
  • volatile domain of information systems and
  • New theoretical approaches to nature of
    information, information technology, and
  • 1948-1950 Seminal works on operations research,
    cybernetics, information theory
  • and general systems theory
  • Conference in 1964, e.g., suggested four
    different disciplinary points of view for
  • education for information science systems
    theory, mathematics, behavioural
  • sciences and cybernetics (Swanson, 1964)
  • Machlup and Mansfield in the early 1980s
    commissioned twenty papers for their
  • study of information identified an active
    concern for information in at least 40
  • disciplines or sub disciplines.
  • Their Conclusion disciplinary situation with
    respect to information was
  • Now so complex, for designation it needed the
    power of the plural s, not information science
    but the information sciences (Machlup and
    Mansfield, 1983, 13,14,19).

IN SUM The multiplying, diversifying research
and development projects in this post-War,
pre-Digital information era traced a
terminological trajectory from documentation, to
information retrieval, to information storage and
retrieval to information science (Wellisch 1972
cf. Rayward 1983 who adds a beginning in
librarianship and library science) For a
detailed chronology of developments during this
period as for those both earlier and later
see Williamss Chonology of Information
Science, the section 20th century and
subsections for the decades beginning 1950-54).

  • Advent of Computers 1
  • Computer industry in the early 1950s immediately
    seen to hold promise of solutions to problems of
    rising quantities and complexity of documentary
  • The history of computer use segues through a
    number of stages involving specially- configured
    machines often with the word calculator in
    their names to general purpose computers.
  • Used at first to find more efficient and
    cost-effective ways of continuing to do or
  • modify what was already being done. e.g.
  • Automation of various internal processing
    operations in organizations, SDI,
  • Searching by Chemical Formulae, producing
    print-based Citation Indexes and
  • other indexing and abstracting services,
    permuted single line (KWIC) book-like
  • indexes, or catalogue cards for libraries
    or, even (Horrors!) microfilm output
  • catalogues (COM catalogues)

  • Advent of computers 2
  • Emergence of database systems accessible through
    online search services, a form of networked
    connection that was entirely new. Some issues
  • The writing of complex programs
  • Negotiating commonly accepted standards for file
    organisation, machine readable
  • bibliographic description, data transmission
    across the new electronic networks
  • Difficulties of interrogation of the new online
  • Specially trained personnel skilled in query
  • Special command driven terminals
  • Emergence of the major online bibliographic
    search services MEDLARS becomes Medline Dialog
    (Produced by Lockhead), ORBIT ( SDC) and others
    (see Bourne and Hahn, 2003) also international
    services such as INIS and AGRIS

  • Advent of Computers 3
  • MARC, MARC as boundary object between pre- and
    post- digital eras
  • Use in 1967 by Fred Kilgour for Ohio Center for
    College Libraries (OCLC)
  • OCLC mirrors general development of computer
    applications for information
  • processing, communication and retrieval
  • Importance for OCLC in the early 1970s of
    regional brokerage centers, the
  • bibliographic utilities
  • Today OCLC, Inc. manages an internationally
    developed cooperative database
  • comprising 271 million bibliographic records
    has major research and
  • development arm
  • Several of the major cooperative networks such as
    WLN and RLIN were subsequently absorbed into
    OCLC. Others such as Illinet remain independent.
    Yet others such as NELINET, PALINET, SOLINET and
    BIBNET have only relatively recently merged into
    a super-bibliographic utitlity, Lyrasis, created
    in 2009 (http//

  • Crisis
  • The new technologies and systems had promised
    relief from increasing
  • congestion, blockages and delays of the
    established arrangements for information
  • organisation and dissemination.
  • Derek de Sola Price in 1961 and 1963 and others
    (see e.g., Jean Tague et
  • al 981 Renear and Palmer 2009) revealed that
    the volume of information was
  • growing exponentially and as a result becoming
  • The existing indexing and distribution
    mechanisms, the information structures
  • and systems that provided physical and
    intellectual access to publicly accessible
  • recorded information and to official
    administrative records of various kinds, were
  • failing
  • Work arounds such as, e.g., pre-print
    exchanges of papers and reports and
  • Garfields Current Contents weekly service of
    the collected title pages of journals
  • in various subjects limited in scope soon
    subject to the same pressures as their
  • parent journals.
  • A sense of looming crisis.

  • Some Responses to the Sense of Crisis
  • Governments, business, industry and the various
    research communities increasingly alarmed
  • 1948 Royal Society of Londons Scientific
    Information Conference
  • 1958 the International Conference on Scientific
    Information in Washington sponsored by the
    American Documentation Institute, the National
    Science Foundation and the National Academy of
    Sciences - National Research Council papers a
    major conspectus of issues and developments for
    the time
  • 1958-1986 US Government commissioned at least
    thirty studies and reports (identified and
    annotated by Harold Wooster).
  • In 1971 UNESCO and the Council of Scientific
    Unions proposed an international system for
    world-wide coordination of the production and
    distribution of scientific and technical
    literature, UNISIST
  • In 1974 UNESCO Working with IFLA , FID and the
    International Council of Archives developed the
    NATIS (National Information Systems) program in
    parallel to the UNSIST program. By adopting
    these programs, nations would establish
    systematically national information policies and
    plans that could be integrated internationally

  • The Post-War Pre-Digital Revolution
  • Simplistic but convenient to see a steady
    technological progression in this period
  • - punched card and microfilm-based systems,
  • - several generations of computer and
    networked systems,
  • - to developments involving Internet and
    the World Wide Web
  • The new information order of post-World War II
    up to the period of the late
  • 1980s and early1990s was still largely
  • All the Gutenberg certainties of print and its
    supportive infrastructures were in
  • question
  • Struggle to use emerging technologies to adapt
    existing information and
  • communications infrastructures for the
    effective management of increasing
  • volumes of material appearing in new
  • Major period studied by historians of information
    science as defined by their affiliations to ASIST

With the advent of the Internet the World Wide
Web in the early 1990s ... A Third
Information Revolution or Information Order
  • Digitisation and Globalization - The Basis of
    the New Information Revolution
  • Radical overhaul and replacement of established
    information infrastructures
  • See reflection in new nomenclatures --
    neologisms --for new technologies, media
  • and functions, e.g.
  • - computers and the specialist
    terminologies associated with their operation,
  • -the Internet and the World Wide Web, the
    Semantic Web, Web 2.0,
  • -digitization, ubiquitous computing,
    ontologies, mark-up languages,
  • -E-preprint archives and institutional
  • -social networking, virtual reality, data
    curation, telescience and telemedicine.
  • Transformations of traditional knowledge domains
    information formats, e.g.
  • Ubiquitous Prefix E, E-commerce,
    E-government, E-Science, E-learning,
  • E-books
  • and
  • Post nominal informatics e.g., social
    informatics, community informatics,
  • biomedical informatics

  • Gutenberg Continued and Transformed
  • All continuing information services and projects
    of the Gutenberg world of print assimilated into
    the digital universe and their functions
    augmented or transformed, e.g.,
  • - From library catalogues to the Carte du
  • - Collections of digitised journals, books,
    manuscripts and archives,
  • - Administrative Records, the files and
    forms of government and
  • commercial organisations
  • Massive, continuously cumulating data
    collections astrophysical, medical,
  • genetic, chemical, economic, financial
  • New tools for analysis and management of these
    new online collections of
  • print based or digitally born data in the
    sciences and humanities (for latter see
  • Companion to Digital Humanities, 2004)

  • Conjuring the New Information Society
  • High-tech telecommunications, networked,
    interactive environment of personal computing,
    digital radio, television and photography, and
    electronic mail.
  • Small hand-held devices for downloading or
    uploading sharing anything digital,
  • -increasingly ubiquitous,
  • - increasingly multifunctional
  • -becoming ever cheaper.
  • Relationships between individuals and groups
    once mediated by mails, telephone, document
    reproduction techniques and need for physical
    propinquity augmented or replaced by
  • - email, texting, online chat,
    teleconferencing, blogs, internet sites,
  • New kinds of electronically-based communities
    and services based on communications that are
  • - instant,
  • -potentially simultaneous among many
  • -location-free

  • Revolutionary Slogans, Incantations and
  • Google, Google Maps, Google Scholar, Wikipedia,
    Facebook, Linked in, Twitter, Flickr,
    and E-Bay
  • In the scholarly community, WorldCat, JSTOR ,
    Google Books, the Internet Archive, and the Hathi
    Trust, and Access to massive, bundled full-text
    services of journals and reference sources by
    commercial organisation and shcolarly
    assocations e.g., Elsevier, Emerald, IEEE
  • The University Welkin is loud with
  • Anguished cries at the frustrations created by
    the inconsistent restrictions, the unreadable
    snippet views and the inadequate bibliographical
    descriptions imposed by Google Books
  • The cries of joyous salvation at having access
    through Google Books to the text of hitherto
    unknown material and being saved from long delays
    of waiting for international interlibrary loans
    or the tediousness and expense of travel

  • Revolution at last - But What kind of New Age,
    Society, Revolution is it?
  • Renear and Palmer (2009) have suggested that
  • - A revolution in scientific communication was
    foreshadowed in the 1980s
  • - It did not quite occur in the 1990s
  • - But is NOW
  • How to describe it
  • - A new post-industrial or post-Fordist or
    post-modern age,
  • - A new network and surveillance society,
  • - A new knowledge economy or new digital
    capitalist economy ?
  • Or
  • - The next stage in a continuously evolving
    information society but
  • with changes of unprecedented magnitude,
    complexity, velocity, convergence,
  • and technological expression?
  • The answer to all such questions and other
    questions of this kind is
  • YES

Reconfiguring Past and Future The flexibilities
made possible by invention are not just the
obvious ones distinctive to an individual medium
? vellum or paper, pen, type or pixel. They also
require an extension of thought, in that
established practice must now operate in an
environment larger both in its conception and in
its organization. Conversely new invention is
inevitably judged and used according to familiar
principles. Printing is a new way of writing.
Computers offer new ways of publishing and
sharing information resources. Even hypertext,
for all its much vaunted possibilities, may be
fundamentally defined as an extention (sic) of
textual comparison of a kind familiar to
scholarship since Politianand others first
worked to collate texts for the printing press in
the late fifteenth century. the new drives out
the old in more ways than just the technological.
It also drives our former assumptions of reading,
and the old structures of thought David
McKitterick Print Manuscript and the Search for
Order, 1450-1830
  • Earlier Revolutionary Periods or Information
    Orders Become Historical Emergence of new kinds
    of historical study, related societies and their
    meetings and literatures, e.g.,
  • Histories of the Book and print culture recent
    multivolume national histories of the book
  • Information Science and Technology ASIST SIG
  • Computing and information technologies
    International Federation for Information
    Processing WG 9.7 History of Computing the
    Charles Babbage Institute (CBI) and research
    center Society for the History of Technology
    (SHOT) SIG on Computers, Information, and Society
    (SIGCIS) IEEE Annals of the History of
  • History of Libraries groups associated with
    major national library associations e.g., In the
    UK Library History Group (now the Library
    Information History Group) of the Library
    Association (now CILIP) sponsors Library History
    ? Library and Information History Library
    History Round Table of the American Library
    Association, with an informal relationship with
    Journal of Library History, Philosophy and
    Comparative Librarianship ? Libraries and
    Culture? Libraries and the Cultural Record?
    Information and Culture

  • Some selected Histories of Information and
    Information Management from different
    disciplinary points of view by way of
  • Headrick, Tools of Empire Technology and
    European Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century,
  • (Part 3, the Communications Revolution)
  • Beninger, The Control Revolution Technological
    and Economic Origins of the Information Society,
  • Headrick, Tentacles if Progress Technology
    Transfer in the Age of Imperialism, 1988 (Ch. 4
    The Imperial Telecommunications Networks)
  • Cordata, Before the Computer IBM, NCR,
    Burroughs, Remington Rand the Industry they
    Created, 1865-1956, 1993 (2000)
  • Chandler and Cordata, a Nation Transformed by
    Information How Information has Shaped the
    United States from Colonial Times to the Present,
  • Schiller, How to Think about Information The
    History and Theory of Information as a Commodity
    in the Contemporary World, 2006
  • Black, Muddiman, Plant, The Early Information
    Society Information Management in Britain Before
    the Computer, 2007
  • Headrick, When Information Came of Age
    Technologies of Knowledge in the Age of Reason
    and Revolution, 1700-1850, 2008
  • Rayward, European Modernism the Information
    Society Informing the present Understanding the
    Past, 2008
  • McNeeley and Wolverton From Alexandria to the
    Internet, 2008 (a history of six institutions
    of knowledge The library, the monastery, the
    University, the Republic of Letters, the
    disciples and the laboratory)
  • Burke, Social History of Knowledge, from the
    Encyclopédie to Wikipedia vol 1, 2000, vol II,
    2012 (Burke lists Histories of Knowledge
    proposes for himself a next book From Gutenburg
    to Google)

  • The Future of the History of Information Science
  • Information related work of cultural historians,
    business historians, historians
  • of the book, libraries, computers and
    information and communications
  • technologies -- and the ASIST based
    historians of information science
  • has little overlap or inter-reference.
    Separate worlds of Enquiry.
  • How to find a more inclusive multidisciplinary
    approach to the history of
  • information?
  • First
  • Reformulate the fundamental question not what is
    the future of the history of information science
  • What is the future of the history of
    information, information infrastructures
  • and the information society? OR perhaps
  • How are societies constituted, sustained,
    reproduced and changed in part by
  • information and the infrastructures that
    emerge to manage information access
  • and use?

  • The Future of the History of Information Science
  • Second
  • Ask and answer the question Are there different
    bodies of historical
  • knowledge and research methodologies that
    might be usefully brought
  • together in collaboratively conducted
    explorations of important
  • information phenomena from Gutenberg to
  • Create collaborative relationships across the
    various historical
  • disciplines by Joint meetings? Joint
    research projects? Publication of
  • papers in non- home discipline journals?
  • Third
  • Create a mechanism for consultation with other
    groups to plan regular
  • meetings and projects
  • Fourth
  • ASIST in conjunction with other
  • societies or groups convene with a jointly
    formulated theme an
  • interdisciplinary conference similar to those
    on the history and
  • heritage of information systems of 1999 and