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III. The Division of Chemical Literature, 1949–1975

1. Goals and Mission, 1949–1975

At the 114th ACS National Meeting in Washington, DC, in September 1948, the Committee on National Meetings and Divisional Activities, under the chairmanship of Gustav Egloff, recommended the establishment of the Division of Chemical Literature. A motion to this effect was made and passed by the ACS Council.

Walter J. Murphy, Editor of Chemical and Engineering News, stated in an editorial on February 14, 1949 [Ref. 1]:

“Once again the flexibility of the AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY and its ability to provide for the expanding interests and needs of the chemists and chemical engineers, within the framework of the Society, is demonstrated by the formation of a Division of Chemical Literature. With the adoption of bylaws and their approval by the Council, the new division will become the nineteenth division of the ACS.

For approximately five years those conducting research and development work and concerned with the importance of chemical literature and utilization of this literature have operated as the Chemical Literature Group of the Division of Chemical Education. Large and enthusiastic audiences composed of a large segment of Society members have demonstrated a sustained and rapidly growing interest at every symposium sponsored by the group.

The objects of the new division are tentatively defined as follows:

To hold meetings for the reading and discussion of papers and reports for the purposes of studying and advancing the art and science of the collection, recording, processing, exchange, and dissemination of chemical information, and to provide the other associations and activities for the same purpose.

The above interpretation of the objects of the new division purposely has been made very broad, but the new division certainly will be concerned with problems connected with secondary as well as primary publication, with indexes as well as abstracts and papers, with punched cards and electronic devices, with technical library techniques, statistical analysis of numerical data, correlations, nomenclature, and most certainly with ideas for facilitating the use of chemical literature.

Every chemist and chemical engineer is experiencing difficulty in keeping abreast of the volume of original publications. Mechanical aids, for example, punched cards, will not eliminate the necessity of reading the principal scientific and abstract journals, but punched card systems can be utilized to make easily available vast areas of chemical and physical data already published. Every plan should be explored that promises to increase the efficiency of the chemist or chemical engineer by reducing the time spent in literature searches. If we do not develop such means, the expanding bulk of accumulated information will decrease in practical value.”

and concluded:

“Probably no other division has such potential interest for all the members of the Society as does the Division of Chemical Literature. Therefore, we expect to see many become actively associated with the program of the division.”

In 1950, the first elected chairman, E. J. Crane, stated:

“Interest in chemical literature is very high, having been stimulated by the recent work. There is also a new appreciation of the individual who works in science at a desk instead of in the laboratory. This worker is growing in stature among chemists, the creation of our strongly active Division is an indication of that.”

The Divisional Bylaws stated succinctly:

Bylaw I
Name and Object

Section 1. The name of this organization shall be “The Division of Chemical Literature of the AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY” hereinafter called the “Division” and the “SOCIETY”, respectively.

Section 2. The objects of this Division shall be those of the SOCIETY as they apply to chemical literature, which is regarded as including the study, preparation, collection, recording, processing, conserving, reproduction, organization, exchange, dissemination, and assembly for use of chemical information.

Ben H. Weil in a 1957 article [Ref. 7] added to it:

“In other words, the Division is concerned with the primary, secondary, and tertiary publication of information — with original papers, books, and reports; with abstracts, indexes, and machine documentation; and with techniques and ideas for facilitating the use of chemical literature. It conceives as its task both the provision of assistance to the laboratory chemist in his own work with the literature and the interchange of knowledge and techniques among professional literature chemists.”

2. Organization and Membership, 1949–1975

For 1949, the ACS appointed Norman C. Hill as acting Chairman and Robert S. Casey as acting Secretary. Both were part of the founding team who led the Chemical Literature Group in the previous five years.

At the 115th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco in March 1949, the Divisional Executive Committee adopted a proposed set of Bylaws, and elected Mary Alexander and Julian F. Smith as Members-at-Large to serve through 1949. Membership was reported to be about 300.

By the time of its first anniversary at the 116th ACS National Meeting in Atlantic City in September 1949, the number of Division members and associates reached 725. Annual dues were $1 for an ACS member and $2 for a Division Associate (non-ACS member).

For 1950, the first elected Divisional Officers were:

E. J. Crane chairman
James W. Perry chairman-elect
Robert A. Casey secretary
Byron A. Soule treasurer
Mary Alexander member-at-large
Julian F. Smith member-at-large

The Executive Committee consisted of the above six elected members and three ex officio members, who were Editors of the ACS journals:

Walter J. Murphy Industrial and Engineering Chemistry
W. Albert Noyes, Jr. Journal of the American Chemical Society
Norris W. Rakestraw Journal of Chemical Education

In subsequent years, E. J. Crane, Editor of Chemical Abstracts, also continued to serve as an ex officio member.

All the Officers and Councilors of the Division for the years 1949–1993 are listed in Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 respectively.

In 1950 the following Committees were operational:

  • Bulletin Committee (Ben H. Weil, chairman)
  • Program Committee (James W. Perry, chairman)
  • Membership Committee (Leona E. Straka, chairman)
  • Committee on Spanish and Portuguese Chemical Literature (Wallace R. Brode, chairman)

On September 5, 1950, the Executive Committee proposed a resolution, subsequently approved by the membership, to oppose the holding of Divided ACS National Meetings. It was pointed out that the majority of Division members had considerable interest in one or more industrial fields of chemistry and that the needs of the members would not be satisfied by a divided meeting. It was obvious that other Divisions would not participate fully in the divided meetings.

The 1951 roster of Committees included:

  • Nomination Committee (Mary Alexander, chairman)
  • Committee on Improvements of Papers (Tibor E. R. Singer, chairman)

In the June 1951 issue of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, Julian F. Smith presented a brief history of the Chemical Literature Group and of the first two years of the Division in a paper on “Chemical Literature” [Ref. 2].

In the Fall 1951 issue of Chemical Literature, the first Directory of Members and Associates was published (606 names) with a supplement (125 names) in the following issue.

In a paper on “The Story of the Division of Chemical Literature of the American Chemical Society” [Ref. 4], presented as part of the symposium on “Operation Knowledge” at the national meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Philadelphia on December 30, 1951, the Divisional Chairman James W. Perry gave one of the best descriptions of the varied role of the literature chemist:

“During recent years, many a research and development teams has included, as one of its members, a fully qualified chemist who works, not in the laboratory, but in the library. Such a chemist — sometimes referred to as a literature chemist — contributes to the accomplishment of a research program in a variety of ways. He prepares reports which serve as a basis for planning research programs. He aids in guiding research and development by scanning the literature. He assists in attaining sound patent protection for inventions. He suggests possible uses for new products. He assists the sales department in preparing advertising material. He locates market data needed for intelligent planning of installation or expansion of production facilities.”

Meeting of chemists engaged in the development of chemical structure techniques at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1951. Front row: Eugene W. Scott, Harriet A. Geer, Alice Perry, Madeline M. Berry (Henderson), unidentified. Second row: Ernest H. Huntress, Karl F. Heumann, William J. Wiswesser, Friedrich Richter, Charles L. Bernier, Howard S. Nutting. Third row: Pieter Verkade, G. Malcolm Dyson, James W. Perry, Austin M. Patterson, unidentified, Paul Arthur, Jr., Erich Pietsch, Franz Leiss.

In 1952, Kathleen Bannister was appointed Assistant Secretary to maintain a unified membership list. Earlier, the McBee Company provided one thousand 5" x 8" Keysort Cards for the membership file.

In the same year, two additional Committees were formed:

  • Bylaws Revision Committee (Robert S. Casey, chairman)
  • Publications Committee (E. J. Crane, chairman)

and a third Committee under the chairmanship of Ben H. Weil studied grouping members by specific subject interests. The Executive Committee made many attempts to identify potential Division members and their specific interests. At the 119th ACS National Meeting in Boston in April 1951, a panel (Tibor E. R. Singer, moderator) attempted to define the boundaries between the “literature chemist” and the “chemical librarian”.

A 1951 survey identified the following fields starting with the highest activity and interest:

  • searching of literature
  • presentation of data
  • abstracting and reviewing literature and patents
  • classifying, indexing, and coding
  • chemical terminology
  • mechanical aids in documentation
  • information and literature services
  • foreign languages
  • reproduction of data

Julian F. Smith, the 1952 Divisional Chairman, identified librarians, literature searchers, abstractors, indexers, translators, classifiers, punch card experts, and documentalists as potential members.

In his message, Robert S. Casey, the 1953 Divisional Chairman, commented with respect to future programs:

“I hope we may emphasize the fact that the techniques of chemical literature are used not only by full-time workers in this field, but are needed also by the practicing chemist, who may be working in the laboratory, field, classroom, or executive office., He must, at least occasionally, do a little searching; he must collect, organize, store, and retrieve his data; and, eventually, he must communicate his results and conclusions. We should have at least several hundred more members of the above category.”

The 1953 roster consisted of 854 members, 174 of whom were associates. That year also saw the revision of the Divisional Bylaws, subsequently approved by the ACS Council, which simplified procedures, eliminated numerous complications, and clarified the distinction between members and associates.

In 1954, two new Committees emerged:

  • Finance Committee (Madeline M. Berry, chairman)
  • Public Relations Committee (Edward E. Thorp, chairman)

In April 1955, the Division mourned the passing of Gustav Egloff. An internationally renowned petroleum scientist, he was one of the founders of and active contributor to the Chemical Literature Group and the Division.

By a striking and unfortunate coincidence, his close collaborator of 16 years, Mary L. Alexander, passed away at the age of 38 just two months later in June 1955. She was also very active in the Division as a Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee in the period 1949–1954 and a contributor to the technical program.

Due to the demise of the ACS Committee on Scientific Aids to Literature, Allen Kent and Herman Skolnik prepared a report recommending formation of a new Divisional Committee. This was formally approved in April 1956 as

  • Committee on Aids to Chemical Documentation (Allen Kent, chairman).

The Committee had its first open meeting at the 130th ACS National Meeting in Atlantic City in September 1956 to give individual ACS members a chance to discuss their documentation needs. At that meeting, Hanna Friedenstein presented to the Executive Committee the first draft of a “Procedures Manual for Officers of the Division of Chemical Literature”.

Also formed in 1956 were:

  • Committee on Translation Pool (Eric I. Hoegberg, chairman)
  • Committee on Preprint Photocopies (Ben H. Weil, chairman)

In 1957, the membership passed the 1000-mark. John H. Fletcher, the Divisional Chairman, said in his message:

“I think you will agree that the Division of Chemical Literature has indeed ‘come of age’. We have made tremendous progress and growth. The field of chemical literature has gained well-deserved recognition as an integral and important part of the chemical profession.”

The 1958 roster of Committees included several interim Committees:

  • Bibliographies of Bibliographies (Fred J. Bassett, chairman)
  • Journal Study (Herman Skolnik, chairman), which evolved in the same year into the Publications Committee (Herman Skolnik, chairman)
  • Papers Review (Gerald Jahoda, chairman)
  • Revision of “Titles of Papers” (Robert A. Chisholm and Richard A. Hazen)

In that year, further revision of the Bylaws took place resulting in the elimination of appointments of Councilors and Alternate Councilors by the Executive Committee. Henceforth, Councilors and Alternate Councilors were elected like all other Divisional Officers. The revision also eliminated Members-at-Large from the Executive Committee. It also provided continuity as well as vitality to other Committees by limiting appointments to a specified term and by allowing for regular turnover of members with appropriate rotation.

On January 16, 1959, Ben H. Weil coordinated a Division-sponsored visit to Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) for editors of chemical-company abstracts bulletins. A tour was conducted of the CAS building on The Ohio State University campus. In September 1959, the ACS Board of Directors approved a new journal on chemical documentation. Patient negotiations and cooperation on the part of many people were guided by Herman Skolnik. The Division had long sought to find a medium for publication of worthwhile chemical documentation papers, particularly those presented at its own meetings.

In 1959 a new Committee was established:

  • Committee on Instruction in Chemical Literature (Melvin G. Mellon, chairman).

It was to serve for a few years as a joint Committee of the Division and the Division of Chemical Education.

The 1961 Divisional Chairman, Herman Skolnik, described chemical documentation as a discipline of chemistry still in the throes of growing toward maturity. In a scientific discipline, he characterized this by three conditions:

  • a continuing tradition of responsible authorities
  • a technical literature
  • an educational curriculum

He further elaborated that the Division had become a forum for a continuing tradition. The Journal of Chemical Documentation became a reality in 1961, fulfilling the second condition. The third condition remained to be met.

In 1961, the Executive Committee began recognizing Divisional past-chairmen by presenting them with an ACS lapel button “PAST CHAIRMAN”. This tradition was made retroactive to 1950 and continues to this day.

In 1962 two new Committees were authorized:

  • Committee on Awards and Recognition (Robert J. Kyle, chairman)
  • Committee on Section Liaison (Fred A. Tate, chairman)

A Bylaw change was initiated to include the Editor of the Journal of Chemical Documentation as an ex officio member of the Executive Committee. While it was recognized that the journal was not a Divisional publication, the journal still would be the outlet for most papers presented before the Division.

The 1962 Divisional roster had 1,081 members.

Over the years, a number of Committees were established, some changed names, and others disappeared or became inactive. Therefore, it would be useful to have a snapshot of a total picture in one year, e.g., in 1963:

Committees and their chairmen:
Awards and Recognition Robert J. Kyle
Bulletin Virginia Valeri
Bylaws Gerald Jahoda
Chemical Documentation Helen F. Ginsberg
Instruction in Chemical Literature Waldemar T. Ziegler
Members Activities and Interests Robert J. Kyle
Membership James G. Van Oot
Nominations Howard T. Bonnett
Photocopy Service Eugene Garfield
Procedures Manual Ben H. Weil
Program Carleton C. Conrad
Publications Herman Skolnik
Section Liaison Fred A. Tate
Titles of Papers George F. Lewenz
Translations Kurt Gingold

In 1963, several projects were explored, including:

  • incorporation of Division (for which no action was ever taken)
  • representation of Division in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Section on Information and Communication
  • cooperation with Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) on CAS better serving Divisional interests and needs

In 1964, the AAAS officially approved the Division’s application to become affiliated with AAAS, Section T — Information and Communication. This entitled the Division to one representative on the AAAS Council. Ben H. Weil was appointed as Divisional representative. He wrote an article on the Division which was published in the March 13, 1964, issue of Science [Ref. 8]. This association lasted till 1968, when it was concluded to be no longer beneficial.

In 1966, the Division was selected by the ACS Washington Office to serve in a pilot project. Its objective was to determine what automated services the Society could furnish its Divisions, e.g. printouts for a divisional directory, mailing labels for divisional bulletins, addressed envelopes for ballots, etc.

The Spring 1967 issue of Chemical Literature included an obituary for one of the most active members of the Division since 1950. Tibor E. R. Singer, passed away in December 1966. He served long and well on the Program Committee, presented many papers, and organized several symposia.

At the 155th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco in April 1968, a suggestion was recorded that the Division’s name be changed to “Division of Chemical Information” or “Division of Chemical Documentation”.

In 1968 a Liaison Representative (Robert E. Maizell) to the American Society for Information Science (ASIS) was appointed. Also, a new Committee was established:

  • Long Range Planning Committee (Peter F. Sorter, chairman).

This Committee as such lasted only about a year and in 1970 was converted into a permanent Program Committee which was authorized by a 1969 Bylaw change. That, in turn, freed the Divisional Chairman and Chairman-Elect from the primary responsibility of program planning.

In 1971, a Long Range Planning Committee under the chairmanship of James E. Rush was reestablished to plan for the future on an orderly basis. The Divisional Councilor, Carlos M. Bowman, was appointed to the ACS Committee on Divisional Activities (DAC). Also, two new Committees were formed:

  • Committee on Audio-Visual Matters (renamed Continuing Education Committee in the same year) (Margaret H. Graham, chairman)
  • Committee on Public and Professional Relations (Bernard S. Schlessinger, chairman)

The Division conducted a salary survey of its members, a “first” for the Division.

A 1972 report by the Long Range Planning Committee, chaired then by Judy E. Davis, included recommendations such as:

  • Divisional meetings should be directed at management level people as well as those doing original work
  • local meetings should receive more attention
  • conference-type and joint meetings with other societies should be encouraged
  • consideration should be given to “what the Division does for its members”

The Division reestablished liaison with both the ASIS and the Special Libraries Association (SLA). Steps had been initiated to have “chemical information specialists” recognized as a job category in the ACS Employment Clearinghouse.

In the Fall of 1972 the Division mailed a questionnaire to the members trying to find out what activities had been considered as most useful and to solicit suggestions for the future. The results were tabulated and published in the Spring 1975 issue of Chemical Literature.

When in 1973 Peter Lykos initiated action to form a new ACS division, Division of Computers in Chemistry, James E. Rush contacted him and proposed that the new group join the already established Division of Chemical Literature to form a single division of broader scope, larger membership, and greater strength.

The new group, however, applied for independent recognition. The ACS Council in April 1974 approved the Division of Computers in Chemistry on a probationary basis. Full Divisional status was granted two years later.

The Division of Chemical Literature recognized that the new Division would include a broad coverage of computer activities such as simulation, modeling, computer-assisted instruction, and management; yet it noted potential overlap in, for instance, information storage and retrieval, especially online. Our Division decided to monitor the new Division’s papers and foresaw future joint meetings and cooperative programming.

Discussion ensued about a new name for the Division. The three final candidate names were:

  • Division of Chemical Information
  • Division of Chemical Information Science
  • Division of Information Science in Chemistry

Finally, “Division of Chemical Information” was chosen as the new name. It was approved by the ACS Council on April 9, 1975, at the 169th ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia. At that time, the Division had 918 members and 134 affiliates for a total membership of 1052.

3. Symposia and Sessions at the ACS National Meetings, 1949–1975

The Beginning and the Early Years

The Division’s first technical sessions were held at the 115th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco in March 1949. Three symposia were presented:

  • The University Library as an Aid to Scientific Work (4 papers, Norman C. Hill, presiding)
  • Literature Sources of Information on Western Chemical and Process Industries (3 papers, John Callaham, presiding)
  • Trends in Indexing, Classifying, and Utilizing Chemical Literature (8 papers, James W. Perry, presiding)

The third symposium almost exclusively dealt with the experiments on the use of punched cards. One sorting machine was described that could sort cards with then amazing speed of 20,000 cards per hour.

The first meal sponsored by the Division was a luncheon attended by 43 people on March 29, 1949. At this event, G. Malcolm Dyson of Loughborough, England, the inventor of the Dyson chemical notation and later Director of Research at Chemical Abstracts Service, was the guest of honor. He congratulated the Society on the formation of the Division of Chemical Literature, stating he knew of no other chemical organization in the world which had recognized the broad importance of documentation by forming such a division.

From bibliographies of Divisional papers published in 1954 for the period 1943–1953, and in 1967 for the period 1943–1964, data can be derived on a total number of papers presented in those early days, as well as on who of the members were most active. The following summaries provide that information.

In the period 1943–1953 (including meetings of the Chemical Literature Group), 470 papers were delivered and the most prominent and prolific authors were:

Perry, James W. 25 papers
Smith, Julian F. 11
Crane, E. J. 10
Hill, Norman C. 10
Alexander, Mary 8
Doss, Milburn P. 8
Dyson, G. Malcolm 8
Egloff, Gustav 7
Singer, Tibor E. R. 7
Weil, Ben H. 7

For the period 1943–1964 (again including meetings of the Chemical Literature Group), 1486 papers were presented, and the following were the most active authors:

Perry, James W. 44 papers
Smith, Julian F. 27
Weil, Ben H. 27
Singer, Tibor E. R. 21
Crane, E. J. 19
Kent, Allen 17
Skolnik, Herman 17
Dyson, G. Malcolm 16
Stephens, Irlene R. 14
Heumann, Karl F. 13
Bernier, Charles L. 10
Cortelyou, Ethaline H. 10
Friedenstein, Hanna 10
Frorne, Julius 10
Garfield, Eugene 10
Hill, Norman C. 10
Hoseh, Mordecai 10
Welt, Isaac D. 10
Casey, Robert S. 9
Doss, Milburn P. 9
Mellon, Melvin G. 9
Oatfield, Harold 9
Spitzer, Ernest F. 9
Waldo, Willis H. 9
Alexander, Mary 8
Bonnett, Howard T. 8
Egloff, Gustav 8
Fletcher, John H. 8
Schaler, Charlotte 8
Stevens, Leo J. 8
Taube, Mortimer 8
Whaley, Fred R. 8

These were the pioneers in the real sense of the word. There were others who investigated and introduced new approaches to handling chemical information in their companies or information services: Madeline M. Berry, Carleton C. Conrad, John H. Fletcher, Dean F. Gamble, Harriet A. Geer, Margaret H. Graham, Howard S. Nutting, Austin M. Patterson, Byron A. Soule, and Fred A. Tate. Their names as well as those of other pioneers appear on the rosters of Officers and Councilors in Appendix 2 and Appendix 3 and in the listings of symposia organizers in Appendix 4 and Appendix 5.

General Characteristics

A detailed list of symposia and general sessions at the ACS National Meetings for the 1949–1975 period is presented in Appendix 5. The information given includes the number of papers in each symposium or session, the name of the presiding chairman, and the name of the cosponsoring ACS Division or ACS Committee, if applicable.

The Division took part in all but three of the 55 numbered ACS National Meetings in that period, 115th through 169th. In two consecutive years, 1963 and 1964, there were three numbered ACS National Meetings each year, instead of the usual two. The Division did not participate in the 146th ACS National Meeting in Denver in January 1964 (which was one of the three in that year), in the 159th ACS National Meeting in Houston in February 1970 (since it participated in the ACS/CIC Joint Conference in Canada in May 1970), and in the 165th ACS National Meeting in Dallas in April 1973 (since it had its own meeting that month in Columbus, Ohio).

The total number of papers presented in the 1949–1975 period was 1,927. The two meetings with the record number of Divisional papers were:

128th, Fall 1955 — Minneapolis, 68 papers
130th, Fall 1956 — Atlantic City, 73 papers

Some topics presented in these years have never faded away and are being discussed to this day just as they were 50 years ago. Admittedly, the problems and solutions are different, because of the evolving laws and customs, increasing application of mechanized and electronic methods, and changing interactions between scientists at large, information professionals, and the governments worldwide.

These perennial topics are:

  • patents
  • copyright
  • education
  • nomenclature
  • Chemical Abstracts (CA)

On the topic of education, discussion centered primarily on courses, formal and informal, at universities and colleges. A gradual shift of terms occurred from “chemical literature” to “chemical documentation” to “chemical information”.

The subject of nomenclature as a method for unequivocal communication of chemical substance information was hotly discussed. The pros and cons of various needs and uses of trivial and systematic names were debated. The ACS has always had a Committee on Nomenclature for whom the Division provided formal and informal forums for their reports. Every pioneer in this field, starting with E. J. Crane and continuing with Austin M. Patterson, Howard S. Nutting, G. Malcolm Dyson, W. Conrad Fernelius, and Kurt L. Loening, spoke before the Division at one time or another.

The last topic, Chemical Abstracts and Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) as it was instituted in 1956, was in one form or another on the program of almost every meeting. Every aspect of CAS activities was reported at one time or another, including coverage of specific chemical fields, mechanization and computerization of production operations, description of publications and services, and planned expansion.

From the mid-1960’s, CAS regularly conducted CAS Open Forums at the ACS National Meetings. They were not officially part of the Divisional program, but their timing was with Divisional activities. Many members participated and did not shy away from expressing their opinion and concerns.

It should be noted that almost every ACS National Meeting had one or more Divisional general sessions. These included papers on individual subjects which could not be grouped under a common theme. Yet, they were important as they often reported breaking new ground or announcing a significant advance. Frequently, such a single paper became a precursor of a large number of papers which appeared as the field developed. Then such papers were grouped and presented under a specific symposium topic.

It is of interest to review programming trends over the years and to list the most popular topics covered by symposia in each succeeding decade.

In the 1940’s (including the activities of the Chemical Literature Group), the Division learned about and discussed:

  • abstracting, indexing, classifying, and coding
  • punched card applications
  • sorting and scanning devices
  • chemical notation systems
  • record keeping
  • technical writing
  • literature of specific fields and countries

By far the largest number of papers was on punched cards. Punched cards, and other cards such as optical cards, were quite fascinating to utilize in indexing literature and compiling data on chemicals and processes. Many of the papers on that topic were reports of the ACS Committee on Punched Cards.

The ability to mechanically manipulate punched cards prompted the investigation into notation systems or ciphers. These could replace polysyllabic Geneva-system names with unique linear expressions consisting of letters, numerals, and punctuation marks, and yet describe uniquely the full structure of a compound. By 1951, nine such notations were proposed. Dyson and Wiswesser notations are two examples. Digital computers potentially capable of revolutionizing methods of indexing and retrieval of chemical information were first discussed in 1949.

The topics of record keeping and technical writing were the outgrowth of increasing volumes of data and the resulting requirement for organization and accurate reporting. The communication, verbal as well as printed, became more confusing, as new fields of endeavor were investigated and new jargon was generated accordingly.

Papers on the literature of specific fields provided sources of information on specific materials and processes such as those related to plastics or textiles, rather than giving hints how to find specific information.

In the 1950’s, the topics discussed were:

  • communication of chemical information
  • searching techniques and aids
  • pharmaceutical and medicinal literature
  • industrial information activities
  • foreign chemical literature
  • language and translation problems
  • microdocumentation

Chemical information had become more of a household word. Papers were presented to national and international audiences on efficient methods of communicating research results in textual as well as graphic form.

As electronic digital computers became available, more and more studies were reported on their application to chemical literature searching. The ACS Committee on Punched Cards was renamed the Committee on Scientific Aids for Literature Searching. In 1956, the Division established its own Committee on Aids to Chemical Documentation which conducted open forums.

The increased medical research and development of drugs prompted many investigations into novel ways of recording and retrieving chemical and biological data. Pharmaceutical companies reported success with centralization, coordination, and integration of their files. Concerns were expressed about toxicity data. Some government agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reported on their methods for handling data.

In that period, industrial information activities received much attention. Organizations reported on improved communication of technical information within industrial research groups. Individual companies created technical information groups and services, and thus information specialists or information intermediaries came into being. Esso, in 1957, formed its Technical Information Division.

In the 1950’s more was published in languages other than English than it is today. Consequently, foreign languages received attention, especially with respect to problems of translation, transliteration, foreign abbreviations, and language instruction. Early attempts to mechanically translate technical literature were described. The launching of Sputnik in 1957 created an unprecedented interest in the Russian language and in Russian technical literature.

The growth of printed publications, primary and secondary journals alike, research reports, and patents, and the scarcity of library shelves gave impetus to the development of all types of microforms such as microcards, microfiche, and microfilm. Experiences in producing, using, and maintaining them against the background of costs and benefits were reported.

In the 1960’s the topics were:

  • chemical structure searching
  • vocabulary control and thesaurus
  • machine-produced publications and indexes
  • mission-oriented literature searches
  • specialized information systems and centers
  • selective dissemination of information (SDI)
  • value and cost of information

First attempts to code chemical structures for the specific purpose of retrieving structures and substructures by computer were reported in the late 1950’s, but many more were described in the 1960’s. Innumerable techniques involving fragment coding, connection tables and connectivity matrixes, and line notations were investigated, tested, and proven successful within a given company’s environment. The National Research Council (NRC) investigation of chemical notation systems was reported. The CAS Registry System, based on connection tables, and the ISI’s Index Chemicus Registry System, based on Wiswesser Line Notation (WLN) became operational.

As the literature searching utilized more and more mechanized aids and as profiles to retrieve the relevant information had to become relatively precise, the need for fairly comprehensive standardization and vocabulary control was examined. Various dictionaries, lists of descriptors, and thesauri were described in detail.

The big innovation of the 1960’s was the machine production of printed publications and indexes. KWIC, KWOC, and even double KWIC indexes were produced. These were first exemplified by CAS’s Chemical Titles, and ISI’s Science Citation Index. ISI’s Rotadex was an example of rotated molecular formula index. Design and implementation of mechanized systems to produce such publications were described. The key to success was that from a single data entry multiple products could be derived. In other words, creation of a database could yield individually tailored publications and products.

Mission-oriented concerns first led to the need of searching interdisciplinary databases and then to the creation of mission-oriented bibliographic services. Specialized information systems such as those of the Department of Defense (DOD), National Library of Medicine (NLM), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) are examples.

Computerized literature searches led to the creation of other information centers, often within the academic communities. Their purpose was to experiment with batch searches and to provide selective dissemination of information (SDI) services.

With the mounting expenses associated with the acquisition of electronic hardware, development of software, and creation of information centers and services, questions arose about the value of such services, with emphasis on the cost of missing the needed information. Cost effectiveness was also questioned.

Highlights at Selected Meetings

At the 119th ACS National Meeting in Boston in April 1951, the Division members toured the Library of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

At the 120th ACS National Meeting, which was the Diamond Jubilee Meeting, in New York in September 1951, the Division presented three symposia on “Mechanical Aids to Chemical Documentation”, “Communication of Chemical Information”, and “Chemical Nomenclature”. The attendance averaged about 250, with a high of about 300. The luncheon speaker was Pieter E. Verkade of The Netherlands, a long-time chairman of the IUPAC Commission on the Nomenclature of Organic Chemistry.

A 1988 review paper by Charles E. Meadow cited Mortimer Taube’s paper on “The Coordinate Indexing of Scientific Fields”, presented at the 1951 symposium on “Mechanical Aids to Chemical Documentation” (James W. Perry, chairman), as one of the “firsts” in the development of information science.

Within the symposium on “Communication of Chemical Information”, D. H. Killeffer presented a paper entitled “We Talk to Ourselves — Too Much”, commenting on the inability of scientists to explain what they were doing to laymen, and pointing out the need for a group of people who would be able to stand between and in contact with both scientists and the lay public.

For the symposium on “Chemical Nomenclature”, Austin M. Patterson remarked in his introduction that the symposium was a unique event, since it constituted the first such symposium held anywhere, not counting prior conferences on chemical nomenclature. Six different countries and three IUPAC nomenclature commissions were represented among the speakers.

At that ACS Diamond Jubilee meeting, E. J. Crane, Editor of Chemical Abstracts since 1915 and the first elected chairman of the Division (1950), received the highest ACS honor, the Priestley Medal.

At the 124th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in September 1953, the Division included in its program an exposition with demonstrations of equipment for the preparation, reproduction, and utilization of technical information. Forty-six companies exhibited all varieties of equipment from dry-type photo copiers to microcopiers with such names as “Coxhead DSJ Machine”, “Develop Combi”, “EZ Sort System”, “Thomas Tandem Collator”, and “Stenefax”.

At the 125th ACS National Meeting in Kansas City in April 1954, an interesting prediction was made that the number of known compounds in the organic chemistry field was expected to increase from about 600,000 to over 1,000,000 within the next 20 years. [The CAS Registry had close to 3,000,000 chemical substances by the end of 1974, the majority of which (over 96%) contained carbon, and only 6 years later by the end of 1980 the number rose to over 5,000,000.]

At the 126th ACS National Meeting in New York in September 1954, a symposium on “Aids to the Use of the Foreign Chemical Literature” was organized in participation with the Modern Language Association of America. The attendees were invited for an evening demonstration of a Mechanical Translation Machine at the IBM office in New York.

At the same meeting, Tibor E. R. Singer presented a paper, coauthored with Hanna Friedenstein, Ronald M. Warren, and Albert T. Winstead, on “Preparing a Program of the Division of Chemical Literature”. The paper was later published in the Spring 1955 issue of Chemical Literature.

At the 127th ACS National Meeting in Cincinnati in March 1955, a symposium on “New Tools for the Resurrection of Knowledge” was organized by James W. Perry and Allen Kent. A hot topic, it continued through several more meetings including the 133rd ACS National Meeting in San Francisco in April 1958. Among the tools considered were notation systems, structural codes, encoders, electronic searching equipment, automatic language translation, unit concept coordinate indexing, and chemical structure display on the oscilloscope.

At the 129th ACS National Meeting in Dallas in April 1956, E. J. Crane paid tribute at the Divisional luncheon to Austin M. Patterson, former Editor and long-time consultant to Chemical Abstracts, and a pioneer in the development of chemical nomenclature.

At the 130th ACS National Meeting in Atlantic City in September 1956, Chemical Abstracts observed its 50th anniversary by presenting a symposium on CA policies, production, and use. At the same meeting, there was an open discussion on documentation needs of ACS members, organized by a newly appointed Divisional Committee chaired by Allen Kent.

At the 134th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in September 1958, papers in the symposium on “Organic Chemical Nomenclature” not only discussed specific fields (boron and phosphorus compounds, steroids, vitamins, carbohydrates, and polymers), but reported on the French, Japanese, German, and Russian chemical nomenclature and on the activities of national and international committees. At an informal evening session devoted to the comparison of the U.S.S.R. and U.S. scientific literature, two Russian visitors, Victor V. Kafarov of the All-Union Institute of Scientific and Technical Information (VINITI) of the U.S.S.R. Academy of Sciences, and Sergei J. Komov of the Committee of Invention and Discovery of the U.S.S.R. Council of Ministers (equivalent to the U.S. Patent Office) told the attendees that scientific literature abstracting services in the U.S.S.R. faced the same challenges as their U.S. counterparts. It was pointed out, however, that the Soviet Union’s patent system differed by giving the inventor either a patent, exclusive right of invention, or an author’s certificate which assigned the invention to the state as its property. A third Russian visitor, K. Postnova, represented the Chamber of Commerce in Moscow.

At the 136th ACS National Meeting in Atlantic City in September 1959, Herman Skolnik chaired an open meeting of the Committee on Chemical Documentation to discuss chemical literature problems. This open meeting of the Committee eventually became a regular feature at almost every meeting for the next 10 years. The last one was at the 155th National Meeting in San Francisco in April 1968. The consecutive chairmen were Carleton C. Conrad, Helen F. Ginsberg, and Henry M. Kissman

Another panel discussion, organized by J. G. Tolpin, Ben H. Weil, and Hanna Friedenstein took place on Soviet technical literature, ways and means of increasing its proper use. Two Soviet academicians, N. S. Nametkin and K. A. Andrianov were invited to attend. Gennady M. Kosolapoff and Michael Becker served as hosts and translators for the visitors.

During another session of the same meeting, Hans Peter Luhn described the Keyword-In-Context (KWIC) index of titles, automatically processed with the aid of electronic data processing equipment.

At the 137th ACS National Meeting in Cleveland in April 1960, Division members toured the Center for Documentation and Communication Research at the Western Reserve University.

At the 141st ACS National Meeting in Washington, DC, in March 1962, during a symposium on “Education of Literature Chemists” a question was posed: “What makes a literature chemist?”. Identified were training in chemistry and library science, technical writing, literature searching, foreign language, and “more”, which meant on-the-job training. At that time, information retrieval and storage could only be learned on-the-job. These subjects were not taught at schools as yet, and were not considered quite respectable academically.

At the 144th ACS National Meeting in Los Angeles in April 1963, a whole day was devoted to visiting the Armed Services Technical Information Agency (ASTIA) and Douglas Aircraft Company to see “information systems in action”.

At the 148th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in September 1964, an evening session was organized in conjunction with a symposium on “Mechanized Handling of Information on Drugs”. This gave the opportunity to further interact with the speakers and to continue relevant discussion. At the same meeting the report of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council (NAS/NRC) Committee on Modern Methods of Handling Chemical Information was discussed in detail.

At the 149th ACS National Meeting in Detroit in April 1965, the Division sponsored a trip to Chemical Abstracts Service in Columbus, Ohio.

At the 152nd ACS National Meeting in New York in September 1966, chemical nomenclature was revisited after a long absence. Reports were presented on the nomenclature of organic, inorganic, and biochemical compounds, polymers, carbohydrates, and highly fluorinated hydrocarbons. The need for users’ feedback on chemical information sources was highlighted by a symposium on user evaluations.

At the 153rd ACS National Meeting in Miami Beach in April 1967, the subject of “selective dissemination of information”, which became better known as “SDI”, was discussed at length. This was the result of the advances in handling and extracting information from magnetic tapes.

The 154th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in September 1967 included a symposium on “Present and Future Communication within the Division of Chemical Literature”. It was a reexamination of the ways the Division functioned in the past. Suggestions were offered on how to communicate better in the future. Of main concern were the development of information science as a field in its own right and the emergence of a multitude of documentation groups. It was concluded that the Division must relate to those other groups and to broader activities in the field of documentation.

At the 157th ACS National Meeting in Minneapolis in April 1969, Ralph E. O’Dette chaired an open meeting with a panel discussing “Literature and Creativity, Help or Hindrance”. This form of an open discussion on broad topics was repeated at subsequent National Meetings with such themes as “How It Will Be in 10 Years?”, “Information — Does It Cost What It Is Worth?”, and “Information Issues and Problems”. The last two were chaired by Charles E. Granito.

In May 1970, the Division participated in the ACS/CIC Joint Conference in Toronto, Canada, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC). Since the CIC had no formal counterpart of the ACS Division of Chemical Literature, the Division organized and presented two symposia on communicating scientific and technical information. Among 24 speakers, there were eight Canadians reporting on their problems and solutions.

At the 160th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in September 1970, Karl F. Heumann in a paper on “How To Listen To a Paper Given Before the ACS Division of Chemical Literature” suggested that the listener should approach a spoken talk as an opening to a free-form discussion somewhat modeled after Gordon Research Conferences. He presented mechanical and organizational requirements for such a new approach.

At the 166th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in August 1973, the Division observed its 25th anniversary with an open forum and panel moderated by James E. Rush with a theme “Where to Now?”. Other panelists were Florence E. Wall, Herman Skolnik, Peter B. Schipma, and Anthony E. Petrarca. The following questions were explored:

  • Where is the Division headed?
  • What should be its scope?
  • What should be its goal?

At that meeting, due to the concerns of many Division members about Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) and its publications and services, a joint symposium was held with the ACS Board Committee on CAS on “Chemical Abstracts in Transition”.

At the 168th ACS National Meeting in Atlantic City in September 1974, Herman Skolnik presented a paper on “The Division of Chemical Literature: A Historical Survey — 1943 to the Present” [Ref. 13].

Just how important the CAS publications and services were to the chemical information community was again illustrated by a symposium on “User Reactions to CAS Data and Bibliographic Services”. Cynthia H. O’Donohue chaired this session at the 169th ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia in April 1975.

4. Special Meetings, Joint Meetings, and Regional Activities, 1949–1975

A detailed list of symposia and sessions at the special and joint meetings is presented in Table II, along with the number of papers and the names of organizers and chairmen.

Table II.
Special and Joint Meetings, 1949–1975

Regional Meeting, February 25, 1955 — Houston, TX
The Activities of a Literature Chemist (Martin Padwe)
What Management Expects in a Literature Chemist (Louis Koenig)
Training the Literature Chemist (Otis C. Dermer)
Geological Literature in the Gulf Coast Area (H. B. Stenzell)
Patent Practices in Southwestern Research Institutions (Charles E. Zerwekh, Jr.)
The Present Status of Mechanical Aids in Documentation (James W. Perry)
Market Research from the Literature (Douglas Benton)
Microdocumentation (John Eben)
Regional Meeting, January 20–21, 1958 — Pittsburgh, PA
Punched Cards and Chemical Documentation (3) (Allen Kent)
Future of the Division of Chemical Literature (9) (Ben H. Weil)
General (11)
Acquisition of Material (6)
Winter Conference, March 14–17, 1973 — Columbus, OH
Information Center Outlook (3) (Gerald J. Lazorick)
Information Handling in Small Industries (3) (Hanna Friedenstein)
Outlook on Proposed Copyright Revision (2) (Ben H. Weil)
Information Supplier Outlook (3) (Russell J. Rowlett, Jr.)
New Directions in University Research (3) (Anthony E. Petrarca)
Information Handling in Large Industries (3) (Judy E. Davis)
Information Handling in Government (3) (Saul Herner)

Divisional Meetings

The first Divisional regional meeting, outside the framework of any ACS National Meeting, was held in Houston on February 25, 1955. Eight papers were presented on topics ranging from training and activities of the literature chemists to reviews on patent documentation, microdocumentation, and mechanical aids in documentation. The papers were well received, but attendance was not large, possibly due to lack of publicity.

The next Divisional special meeting was held in Pittsburgh on January 19–21, 1958, with 157 attending. It also covered a wide range of topics from acquisition of material and copyright aspects to evaluation of information sources and information departments to available mechanized documentation equipment. An unusual feature of the meeting was a panel discussion on the future of the Division of Chemical Literature, moderated by the 1958 Chairman, Ben H. Weil. All living past-chairmen of the Division participated, E. J. Crane, James W. Perry, Julian F. Smith, Robert S. Casey, Byron A. Soule, Milburn P. Doss, Melvin G. Mellon, and John H. Fletcher, along with Hanna Friedenstein as chairman-elect.

The Winter Conference in Columbus on March 14–17, 1973, chaired by Judy E. Davis, was an experiment that grew out of the Long Range Planning Committee’s recommendation. It covered the field of chemical information from a broader perspective and was organized in such a way that participants could engage in a dialog with the speakers and among themselves. Each panel in seven different technical areas, ranging from information handling in small and large industries to the operation of information suppliers and information centers to university research to copyright law revision, was skillfully moderated by a professional knowledgeable in a given area. One-hundred-and-forty seven (147) participants attended, and many also toured information services in the Columbus area: Chemical Abstracts Service, the Battelle Memorial Institute, the Ohio State University Library, and the Ohio College Library Center (OCLC).

Joint Meeting

The Division participated in the Nuclear and Engineering Science Congress in Cleveland on December 11–15, 1955. A 1-1/2 day symposium on “Literature Resources Applied in Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy” was sponsored.

Local Section Activities

The Division had realized early that only a certain number of members can regularly attend the ACS National Meetings. The Division, or rather dedicated individuals on the local scene, formed local Chemical Literature Groups as counterparts of the Division on the national level.

The first such Group was the Delaware Valley ACS Chemical Literature Group, jointly sponsored by the ACS Delaware and Philadelphia Local Sections. Herman Skolnik, the 1960 Divisional Chairman, and Herbert K. Livingston, the 1960 Delaware Section Chairman, were most responsible for the formation of the Group. The group was formally launched on May 10, 1961, with a talk by G. Malcolm Dyson on “Fundamentals of Mechanized Chemical Documentation”. The first elected officers of the Group were:

Carleton C. Conrad chairman
Fred A. Tate chairman-elect
Benn E. Clouser treasurer

In 1962, a new Chemical Literature Group became active in the ACS Chicago Local Section. This Group evolved from the Midwest Science Information Club, organized two years earlier by Walter Southern, Howard T. Bonnett, and Frederick K. Broome.

The Division established the Section Liaison Committee in 1962 with the following goals:

  • to provide potential speakers to Local Sections on various aspects of chemical literature
  • to work with Local Sections in planning programs on chemical literature
  • to aid in formation of local chemical literature groups

The ACS Columbus Local Section organized a panel discussion on “Problems in Finding and Using the Chemical Literature”, chaired by Kurt L. Loening, on May 18, 1962.

ACS Regional Meetings

While the regional meetings of the ACS Local Sections had a long history, most of the formalized ACS Regional Meetings started in the 1960’s (Middle Atlantic in 1963, Great Lakes in 1964, Midwest in 1964, and Central in 1968). As with the Local Section meetings, the Division was interested in promoting programs on chemical literature, but had no organizational resources to do that formally. Therefore, the Division depended on individual members to become responsible for promoting, organizing, and chairing the chemical literature or documentation symposia.

A complete list of participation in the ACS Regional Meetings is not available, but representative examples for the period 1949–1975 are listed in Table III. A most active group was that associated with the Middle Atlantic Regional Meeting (MARM), primarily due to the large concentration of active members of the profession in that geographical area.

Table III.
Symposia at the ACS Regional Meetings, 1949–1975

5th Middle Atlantic, April 1970 — Newark, DE
Chemical Documentation. General (10) (Herman Skolnik; Paul N. Craig)
Information System Design (8) (Melvin L. Huber; Paul N. Craig)
Polymer Nomenclature (5) (Herman Skolnik)
3rd Central, June 1971 — Cincinnati, OH
Chemical Documentation (7) (Anthony E. Petrarca)
3rd Northeast, October 1971 — Buffalo, NY
Wordage Problems: Amount, Languages, Access (8) (Charles L. Bernier; Russell J. Rowlett, Jr.; Peter F. Urbach)
General (5) (Charles L. Bernier)
7th Middle Atlantic, February 1972 — Philadelphia, PA
Chemical Documentation (19) (Herman Skolnik; Charles E. Granito; G. D. Little; Bruno M. Vasta)
4th Northeast, October 1972 — Hartford, CT
Information Retrieval (3) (Robert E. Maizell)
8th Middle Atlantic, January 1973 — Washington, DC
Chemical Documentation (16) (Herman Skolnik; Bruno M. Vasta)
Panel Discussion: Current Status of Information Programs Concerned with Environmental Quality (Henry M. Kissman)
5th Central, May 1973 — Cleveland, OH
Chemical Literature (8) (M. Parsons)
9th Middle Atlantic, April 1974 — Wilkes-Barre, PA
Informational Groups in Chemical Companies — Services, Special Systems, and Research and Development (10) (Herman Skolnik; Barbara A. Montague)

5. Educational Activities, Workshops, and Seminars, 1949–1975

Long before the formal organization of the Division in 1948, concerns were expressed by chemistry educators and researchers on educating undergraduate and graduate students to utilize chemical literature. Two 1937 papers presented at the 93rd ACS National Meeting in Chapel Hill, “Acquainting the Undergraduate with the Chemical Library” and “Use of References and Collateral Readings in Inorganic Chemistry”, were examples of such concern.

The seminal 1943 paper by Gustav Egloff, presented at the 105th ACS National Meeting in Detroit, provided impetus for the formation of the Chemical Literature Group. Clearly identified was the “lack of fundamental training in the use of chemical literature”.

When the Division was formed in 1948, there was no clear reference in the Bylaws to initiate educational activities. Yet, the Division’s role was interpreted as providing assistance to the laboratory chemists in their own work with the literature, and providing a forum for the exchange of knowledge and techniques facilitating the use of chemical literature.

Early papers presented before the Division often referred to the topic of instruction or instructional materials, for example, “Training the Student in the Use of Chemical Literature” and “Searching German Chemical Literature”.

In 1953 during the week of April 13–18, the Division joined in the sponsorship of a “Workshop on the Production and Use of Technical Reports”, held at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. More than 250 participants registered from the Government, and from industrial libraries and laboratories.

At the 124th ACS National Meeting in Chicago in September 1953, the Division had its own booth at a highly successful exhibition held in conjunction with the symposium on “Equipment for the Preparation, Reproduction, and Utilization of Technical Information”.

At the 127th ACS National Meeting in Cincinnati in March 1955, the Division presented, jointly with the ACS Division of Chemical Education, a symposium on “Training of Literature Chemists” (Melvin G. Mellon, chairman). Specific topics included training in colleges and universities, on-the-job training in industry, the role of library schools, and careers such as abstractors and indexers.

At the 128th ACS National Meeting in Minneapolis in September 1955, the Executive Committee discussed “possible activities to promote the choice of chemical literature as a career, particularly for women“.

In 1956, the ACS Advances in Chemistry Series No. 17, “Training of Literature Chemists” (Melvin G. Mellon, editor) was published. It contained the seven papers presented before the Division in 1955.

In the Fall 1957 issue of Chemical Literature, Ben H. Weil reviewed the 2nd edition of “A Guide to the Literature of Chemistry” by E. J. Crane, Austin M. Patterson, and Eleanor B. Marr (John Wiley, New York), praising the book. He commented on what a tremendous growth had occurred in the 30 years since the first edition and on the new attempts to cope with it, among them the efforts of the Division itself.

At the 133rd ACS National Meeting in San Francisco in April 1958, the Executive Committee authorized approaching the Division of Chemical Education with a proposal to form a joint committee on chemical literature courses. This committee would study the existing courses, prepare a suggested course outline, set up minimum library holdings necessary for such courses, and work toward the preparation of course requirements needed for approval by the ACS.

In 1959, the Divisional Chairman, Hanna Friedenstein, included among the Divisional goals “instruction in chemical literature in all ACS accredited schools”. She repeated that Division members felt strongly that all chemists should receive instruction in the effective use of the chemical literature as part of their college education. In that year, for the first time, a dedicated Committee was established:

  • Committee on Instruction in Chemical Literature (Melvin G. Mellon, chairman).

Later in the year it evolved into a joint Committee of the Division of Chemical Education as well. In February 1960, the Committee began a survey of training in the use of chemical literature in the U.S. by mailing a questionnaire to about 600 colleges.

At the 139th ACS National Meeting in St. Louis in March 1961, the Committee reported on the completion of this survey of 330 responding schools that taught chemistry and chemical engineering. More than 96% were teaching the use of the chemical literature, but only about 40% taught formal courses. Others taught by course projects, assigned reading, reports, term papers, and the like. While the proportion of schools giving some instruction was high, there was evidence that in many cases the quality of this instruction was not good.

As a follow-up of the survey, the Division jointly with the Division of Chemical Education organized at the 141st ACS National Meeting in Washington, DC, in March 1962, a symposium on the “Education of Literature Chemists” (Melvin G. Mellon; Willis H. Waldo, chairmen). One paper by Elbert G. Smith specifically suggested that new methods of chemical information retrieval should be part of a college chemistry curriculum.

In 1962, Waldemar T. Ziegler succeeded Melvin G. Mellon as chairman of the Committee on Instruction in Chemical Literature. Its task was reaffirmed as being concerned with collecting information on and helping to improve college and university instruction of chemists and chemical engineers in the use of chemical literature. This included the desirability of developing a curriculum and perhaps setting standards as well.

At the 155th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco in April 1968, a tutorial session (conducted by Elbert G. Smith) on the Wiswesser Line Notation (WLN) took place. Earlier a considerable discussion was held at the Executive Committee’s level on whether the Division should sponsor such a tutorial in the first place. At that time the matter of using the WLN was still controversial and some members wished to avoid any possible perception that the Division was actually approving this notation.

At the 156th ACS National Meeting in Atlantic City in September 1968, yet another joint symposium with the Division of Chemical Education was presented on “Training Chemists in the Use of the Chemical Literaure” (Gerald Jahoda, chairman). One paper summarized the results of an earlier survey on the status of chemical literature teaching practices in the U.S. chemistry departments with graduate programs. A decline in the number of chemical literature courses was ascribed to a faculty preference for integration of chemical literature in other courses and to a belief that literature was less important than other courses.

A tutorial on available computer programs for information retrieval (chemical structures, physical data, analytical data, document processing system) was conducted by Freeman H. Dyke, Jr., at the 158th ACS National Meeting in New York in September 1969.

In 1971, the Division reinstated the Committee as

  • Committee on Continuing Education (Margaret H. Graham, chairman).

The Committee took note of comments and suggestions offered by the members in conjunction with the 1971 salary survey. Mentioned were:

  • continuing education programs
  • courses at affordable prices
  • education programs oriented toward modern information services, including their management techniques
  • courses on utilization of information resources for bench chemists and information scientists

In spite of apparently high interest in continuing education programs, when two workshops on “Introduction to Computers” and “Fundamentals of Indexing” were conducted at the 168th ACS National Meeting in Atlantic City in September 1974, the attendance was disappointingly small. Similar workshops planned for the 169th ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia in April 1975 had to be cancelled.

6. Publications, 1949–1975

Chemical Literature Bulletin

At the 116th ACS National Meeting in Atlantic City in September 1949, James W. Perry and Ben H. Weil were authorized to collect items of interest to the Division, and to issue a news bulletin to Division members about four times a year. Ben H. Weil was appointed the Editor of the bulletin, named Chemical Literature (with a byline “News Bulletin of the ACS Division of Chemical Literature”), which made its debut in November 1949. It was five-pages long and contained an inaugural editorial, articles on program plans for the next two Divisional meetings, a “1950 Dues Now Due” notice, news notes, and a two-page “Annotated Bibliography on Documentation”, contributed by Mary Alexander, Milburn P. Doss, Frances Jenkins, Arthur B. Johnson, and Julian F. Smith.

With Issue No. 2 of Volume 2 (Spring 1950), the “Annotated Bibliography on Chemical Documentation” was divided for the convenience of the readers into several sections:

  • chemical terminology
  • presentation of data
  • reproduction of data
  • classifying, indexing, coding
  • sorting
  • searching, abstracting
  • library operations
  • miscellaneous

In 1950, the Executive Committee approved the carrying of advertisements in the bulletin. Three advertisements from a book publisher, a serials bookseller, and a translation service appeared in the Winter 1950 issue. The Spring 1951 issue included an article by E. J. Crane entitled “Are Abstracts Expensive?”. The Fall 1951 issue had an article by Ben H. Weil on “Preparation of Scientific and Technical Papers”.

A complete set of Divisional abstracts for a forthcoming ACS National Meeting was first included in the Fall 1951 issue and so was the “1951 Directory of Members and Associates”. Ben H. Weil contributed an ode:

The chemical literature worker
Delves deep into journals and books,
But unless he is wise
His work testifies
To the references he overlooks.

Oh chemical literature worker,
Adrift on a deep sea of lore,
Take heed while you may
And go not astray,
For whatever you find, there is more.”

The Winter 1951 issue introduced a new feature “Know Your Officers”, a list of biographies of Divisional Officers. The Summer 1952 issue reported on the Executive Committee’s lengthy discussion on the Divisional publication policy, especially with respect to the publication of papers presented before the Division, on the future of the bulletin, and on the role of preprints and photocopies. This eventually led to a full-fledged article by Ben H. Weil on “Division Publications”in the Spring 1953 issue. He concluded that Chemical Literature would remain a “news bulletin”, and that one could expect the publication pattern of Divisional papers to evolve into their regular inclusion in the ACS Advances in Chemistry Series or in a new self-sustaining ACS journal.

In the Winter 1954 issue, Ben H. Weil reviewed the performance of Chemical Literature and indicated some financial strains on the Divisional resources since the bulletin has never been a self-supporting publication. It also depended on the generosity of several industrial companies, especially the employers of the Editor.

The Winter 1957 issue was the last one edited by Ben H. Weil. He concluded his editorship with a note of appreciation “Vale!”. Ethaline H. Cortelyou became a new Editor for one year only (1958) but took the reins again for the period 1965–Spring 1969.

Table IV lists all the Editors of Chemical Literature (renamed Chemical Information Bulletin in 1975) for the period 1949–1993. The Editors’ employers are listed for a good reason. The Division could not have afforded to publish the bulletin without their assistance. In addition to providing staff time, these organizations provided the typing, cold-type composition or keyboarding, and the required layout. Especially unique has been the support provided by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI). Since 1973 to this day, that is, for a period of over 20 years ISI has aided the Divisional bulletin.

Table IV.

Editors of Chemical Literature/Chemical Information Bulletin, 1949–1993
Years Editor Employer
1949–1957 Ben H. Weil Georgia Tech Engineering Experiment Station
Ethyl Corporation Research Laboratories
Exxon Research and Engineering Company
1958 Ethaline H. Cortelyou Armour Research Foundation
1959–1961 Iver Igelsrud Battelle Memorial Institute
1962–1964 Virginia Valeri Arthur D. Little, Inc.
1965–Spring 1969 Ethaline H. Cortelyou National Aeronautics and Space Administration
National Institute of Arthritis and Metabolic Diseases
Fall 1969 Lorraine Dupuis Wm. S. Merrell Company
1970–1972 James E. Rush The Ohio State University
1973–Spring 1977 Gabrielle S. Revesz Institute for Scientific Information
Fall 1977–1982 Bonnie Lawlor Institute for Scientific Information
1983–1993 Margaret A. Matthews Institute for Scientific Information

In the Spring 1964 issue, Ben H. Weil added a “reprise” to his 1951 ode:

“But now the strident computer
Does this searching so very much cuter —
With a click and a hiss,
Scarcely ever a miss —
And it hardly needs man as a tutor.”

That, in turn, brought a “reprise” to reprise by Elizabeth G. Rose in the Summer 1964 issue:

“Oh dear Mr. Weil, you exaggerate.
No computers have lore that is innate.
Your same human searcher
Must put in all its nurture:
The machine only speeds up the rate.”

The “Annotated Bibliography on Chemical Documentation” was published in the Fall 1964 issue for the final time. It was felt at that time that the bibliography might be an unnecessary duplication. The majority of members had access to developments in the information field through the membership in other professional associations such as the American Documentation Institute (ADI) or the Special Libraries Association (SLA). Eventually, in 1966 the Division, along with other information-related professional societies, founded a new abstracting journal, Documentation Abstracts, which responded to the need of locating information about new documentation and information work.

Once the issue of where to publish papers presented before the Division was resolved by the establishment of a new ACS journal, Journal of Chemical Documentation, the Divisional bulletin, Chemical Literature, continued to serve the members by publishing:

  • meeting papers information, such as detailed programs and abstracts of the forthcoming Divisional papers
  • detailed information about Divisional Officers, Committee Chairmen, and other Functionaries
  • useful information about the Division’s business, such as minutes of the Executive Committee meetings and of the Divisional Business Meetings
  • proposed and approved versions of the Divisional Bylaws
  • a Membership Directory

During the years 1950–1964, the bulletin was published four times a year, and in the period 1965–1977, twice a year.

The last issue of Chemical Literature under that name was Issue No. 1 of Volume 27, edited by Gabrielle S. Revesz and published in Spring 1975. It contained minutes from the September 1974 Executive Committee meeting and the Divisional Business Meeting; a message from Bruno M. Vasta, the 1975 Chairman-Elect; a summary of the 1974 Committees’ activities; the Treasurer’s report; a schedule of future meetings (1975–1980); abstracts of papers to be presented at the 169th ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia in April 1975; a list of Divisional functionaries; and six advertisements.

Bibliographies of Divisional Papers

In 1951, a bibliography was prepared by Milburn P. Doss of all the papers that had been presented before the Division of Chemical Literature and its predecessor, Chemical Literature Group [Ref. 3]. The 23-page booklet included author, company, institution, and subject indexes. It was prepared as an extra service for Division members and associates.

In 1954, Milburn P. Doss extended this bibliography to cover the period 1943–1953 and published a 46-page booklet listing 470 papers [Ref. 6]. The same indexes were provided. Full citations were given for those papers which were subsequently published in technical journals or as book chapters.

In 1967, another bibliography, this time in the form of a Keyword-in-Context (KWIC) Index to Papers, was published by George F. Lewenz and Judith A. Feltham [Ref. 9]. It was modeled after Chemical Titles and was, in fact, processed by Chemical Abstracts Service. The period covered the years 1943–1964 and 1486 papers were listed. In addition to a KWIC Index of titles, an author index, a journal (or book of abstracts) reference index, and full citations were provided.

Books Containing Papers from Divisional Meetings

The first Divisional contribution to the ACS Advances in Chemistry Series resulted in the publication of “Searching the Chemical Literature”, ACS Advances in Chemistry Series No. 4, in 1951. Included were a collection of papers presented at the symposium on “Chemical Literature Searching Techniques” at the 117th ACS National Meeting in Detroit in April 1950, and revised papers from the symposium on the “Preparation of Literature and Patent Surveys” at the 11lth ACS National Meeting in Atlantic City in April 1947. The book was so popular that it was reprinted four times. Its price was $2 (for members $1).

A second collection of papers, originally presented at the symposium on “Chemical Nomenclature” at the 120th ACS National Meeting in New York in September 1951, led to the publication of “Chemical Nomenclature”, ACS Advances in Chemistry Series No. 8, in 1953. It brought up to date the work on inorganic, organic, and biological nomenclature, and discussed among other topics the development of chemical symbols, and the role of terminology in indexing, classifying, and coding.

In an editorial, Walter J. Murphy, Editor of Chemical & Engineering News, stated on August 20, 1956, while commenting on the progress in publication of the ACS Advances in Chemistry Series:

“Great credit is due the Division of Chemical Literature for pioneering, not only in the field of chemical literature, but in the broader fields of documentation. Today there is widespread interest in documentation and scientific communication, not only among literature chemists, libraries and documentalists, but in management circles as well, where ‘productivity of research’ is a meaningful term.”

In addition to publishing Divisional papers in the ACS’s own Advances in Chemistry Series, enterprising members of the Division found other outlets by submitting collections of papers, some presented before the Division and some derived from other meetings, to commercial publishers. Examples are:

  • “Punched Cards: Their Applications in Science and Industry” by Robert S. and James W. Perry (Reinhold, 1951; 2nd ed., 1958)
  • “Information Processing Equipment” by Milburn P. Doss (Reinhold, 1955)
  • “Progress Report in Chemical Literature Retrieval” by Gilbert L. Peakes, Allen Kent, and James W. Perry (Interscience, 1957)
  • “Technical Editing” by Ben H. Weil (Reinhold, 1958)

In 1961, a revised and enlarged edition of the Advances of Chemistry Series No. 4 from 1951 was published as No. 30. To the original papers from the ACS National Meetings in April 1947 and April 1950, a symposium from the 130th ACS National Meeting in Atlantic City in September 1956 was added and all of the 31 chapters were updated.

A complete list of books related to Divisional symposia is presented in Table V.

Table V.
Books Containing Papers From Divisional Meetings, 1949–1975

  • “Searching the Chemical Literature”, Advances in Chemistry Series No. 4, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1951, 184 pp.
  • “Punched Cards: Their Applications to Science and Industry”, Casey, R. S.; Perry, J. W. (eds.), Publishing Corp., New York, 1951, 516 pp.
  • “Chemical Nomenclature”, Advances in Chemistry Series No. 8, American Chemical Society, Washington, 1953, 112 pp.
  • “Literature Resources for Chemical Industries”, Advances in Chemistry Series No. 10, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1954, 582 pp.
  • “The Technical Report, Its Preparation, Processing, and Use in Industry and Government”, Weil, B. H. (ed.), Reinhold Publishing Corp., New York, 1954, 485 pp.
  • “Information Processing Equipment”, Doss, M. P. (ed.), Reinhold Publishing Corp., New York, 1955, 276 pp.
  • “A Key to Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry Literature”, Advances in Chemistry Series No. 16, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1956, 254 pp.
  • “Training of Literature Chemists”, Advances in Chemistry Series No. 17, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1956, 44 pp.
  • “Advances in Documentation and Library Science. Vol. I. Progress Report in Chemical Literature Retrieval”, Peakes, G. L.; Kent, A.; Perry, J. W. (eds.), Interscience Publishers, New York, 1957, 217 pp.
  • “Punched Cards: Their Applications to Science and Industry”, 2nd ed., Casey, R. S.; Perry, J. W.; Kent, A.; Berry, M. M. (eds.), Publishing Corp., New York, 1958, 697 pp.
  • “Information and Communication Practice in Industry”, Singer, T. E. R. (ed.), Reinhold Publishing Corp., New York, 1958, 310 pp.
  • “Technical Editing”, Weil, B. H. (ed.), Reinhold Publishing Corp., New York, 1958, 288 pp.
  • “Literature of the Combustion of Petroleum”, Advances in Chemistry Series No. 20, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1958, 295 pp.
  • “Searching the Chemical Literature”, Advances in Chemistry Series No. 30, American Chemical Society, Washington, 1961, 326 pp.
  • “Patents for Chemical Inventions”, Advances in Chemistry Series No. 46, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1964, 117 pp.
  • “Literature of Chemical Technology”, Advances in Chemistry Series No. 78, American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 1968, 732 pp.

Preprints and Photocopies

Associated with the inability to publish the many papers presented before the Division were various projects to make them available to members as prints or photocopies. In 1951 and 1952, discussions centered on the fact that the Division could not sell preprints outside its own membership to help defray the cost of printing them. Furthermore, the Society journals would not be interested in publishing papers already widely distributed. Consequently, the Division decided not to engage in a paper-preprinting program. But in 1955 the question surfaced again, this time as a proposal to produce photocopies of manuscripts. The Division could establish a central service where a manuscript of each paper would be deposited after the presentation for preparation of copies on demand.

A survey of members, reported in the Spring 1956 issue of Chemical Literature, indicated their willingness to pay a nominal fee for copies of requested manuscripts. Subsequently, a Meeting-Paper Photocopy Service, operated by Ben H. Weil, was established on a trial basis for 1957. It proved to be a successful operation. Listings of available papers (with prices of photocopies) were occasionally published in Chemical Literature. For the period 1958–1964, the service was operated by Eugene Garfield.

With the appearance of the Journal of Chemical Documentation as a formal medium to publish Divisional papers, the demand for photocopies slowly diminished. In 1967, the Executive Committee decided to discontinue the service, except for the papers already on deposit and listed in the “Index to Papers Delivered before the Division of Chemical Literature 1943–1964” [Ref. 9]. Papers available from the Divisional Photocopy Service were identified there, with the number of pages, so that proper payment ($0.25 per page) could be made.

Journal of Chemical Documentation

When the Division was formed in 1948, it did not take long for it to become a forum for exchange of news and views on all aspects of chemical documentation through technical meetings and papers. However, relatively few of these technical papers could find a medium for publication. A few were published in the Journal of Chemical Education, Chemical & Engineering News, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, and American Documentation. Some were published as chapters in books or in proceedings such as the ACS Advances in Chemistry Series. The bulk of the papers remained unpublished.

As early as the 121st ACS National Meeting in Buffalo in March 1952, the Executive Committee, discussed at length its publication policy. The possibility of the ACS publishing a new self-supporting journal was mentioned. At the 128th ACS National Meeting in Minneapolis in September 1955, Tibor E. R. Singer discussed again the establishment of a journal to provide for publication of the papers presented before the Division.

Eventually, in 1957 the Division appointed a Journal Study Committee (Herman Skolnik, chairman), which carefully evaluated papers presented before the Division and judged most of them as meriting publication. Consequently, the Committee recommended that a new journal be established. From that Committee, the Publications Committee (Herman Skolnik, chairman) evolved. It consulted with the ACS staff and officers and finally presented its case before the ACS Board of Directors. The Board approved the publication of the Journal of Chemical Documentation in 1961 and appointed Herman Skolnik as its Editor [Ref. 15].

Upon taking the editorship, Herman Skolnik summarized for Division members three obligations towards the Journal:

  • to conduct mature studies and research in chemical documentation
  • to prepare well written and well thought out articles for the Journal
  • to support the Journal through personal subscription

In his first editorial to Issue No. 1 of Volume 1, he remarked jokingly that he had been writing it for 12 years, that is, since the Division was formed in 1949 and the obvious need for a publication medium arose.

The breadth of topics contained in the 24 papers published in the first issue is impressive:

  • nomenclature
  • data interchange
  • patents
  • editing of abstracts
  • chemical literature in the Soviet Union
  • photocomposition
  • chemical indexing
  • codes
  • mechanized searching

The very first paper published in that issue was on ”French Organic Nomenclature” by Noel Lozac’h.

Initially, two issues per year were planned. The flow of excellent papers was such that an immediate expansion to three issues was warranted in 1961 and to four issues per year in subsequent years. By the time the second issue was published, the number of subscriptions exceeded 1,500. Incidentally, the subscription was $7 a year for an ACS member and $10 for a non-member.

Starting with Volume 2 in 1962, the Journal was produced by photocomposition using a Photon machine. This was an experiment in which the ACS had been involved for some time.

A total of 59 papers were published in 1961, of which 40 had been presented before the Division. In the second volume, 71 of the 81 papers published had been on the Divisional program. The early volumes were very much dominated by chemical information papers, for the most part from the industrial sector. In the early 1970’s, papers from the academic world took over the first place and by 1980 became the dominant source, the majority being concerned with computer science related to chemistry.

Although impetus for the introduction of the Journal came from the Division and until 1971 a relatively high percentage of papers came from the Divisional programs, in the 1970’s the number of such papers progressively decreased, and those written for publication only progressively increased, becoming the dominant source of papers published in the Journal. Papers from outside the U.S., especially from Japan, the United Kingdom, and West Germany were growing towards the 50% participation, making the Journal internationally important.

Nevertheless, the Division has always regarded the Journal as its own, although administratively the Journal and its Editor were independent and worked with the ACS Books and Journals Division staff. A cooperative relationship was maintained by having the Journal’s Editor serve as an ex officio member of the Executive Committee, and having the Divisional Officers and the Program Committee Chairman on the Journal’s Advisory Board.

In his editorials over the years Herman Skolnik frequently referred to Divisional activities [Refs. 10–12, 16]. He made a special point in 1970, at the time the Journal was 10 years old, that as the Editor he tried to help both the Journal and the Division attain their objectives [Ref. 11].

Documentation Abstracts (Information Science Abstracts)

When in 1965 the Divisional Executive Committee decided to eliminate the “Annotated Bibliography of Chemical Documentation” section from the Divisional bulletin, Chemical Literature, it assigned to the Publications Committee (Herman Skolnik, chairman) a task of finding a suitable replacement. Subsequently, Herman Skolnik met with Arthur W. Elias, the Editor of American Documentation, published by the American Documentation Institute (ADI), and Bill M. Woods, the Executive Director of the Special Libraries Association (SLA), to discuss the possibility of the ADI’s Literature Notes becoming a joint venture of the three organizations.

This became a reality in March 1966 when the first issue of Documentation Abstracts, a new quarterly abstracting journal, aimed to provide comprehensive coverage of the rapidly expanding literature of documentation and related fields, was published [Ref. 14]. The first issue, produced under the editorship of Burton E. Lamkin and published jointly by the Division and the American Documentation Institute, contained 479 citations and abstracts of articles appearing in 102 journals worldwide. Items were arranged alphabetically by author’s name in 20 subject-oriented sections. The editorial was coauthored by Harold Borko, President of the ADI, and Howard T. Bonnett, the 1966 Divisional Chairman. The very first abstract was that of a paper by R. Astall on “Identifying and Locating Standards”.

In May 1966 the Special Libraries Association joined the other two organizations in cosponsoring Documentation Abstracts. A new Editor, Isaac D. Welt, was appointed, yet he soon asked to be relieved because of his other commitments. A combined 2nd and 3rd issue was produced under the direction of Mary B. O’Hara. With the 4th issue of Volume 1, Ben-Ami Lipetz became the Editor, a post he held till 1980.

In mid-1966, a governing body, Documentation Abstracts, Inc., a non-profit corporation, was organized mainly through the dedicated efforts of Carleton C. Conrad, Joseph H. Kuney, Richard L. Snyder, and Judith A. Werdel, who were among the earliest directors.

The role of each sponsoring organization was to nominate two directors for a limited term on the corporation’s Board of Directors. For the years 1966–1975, the following were the Divisional representatives:

1966 Herman Skolnik, President
Carleton C. Conrad
1967 Carleton C. Conrad, President
Ben H. Weil
1968–1969 Carleton C. Conrad, President
Lee N. Starker
1972 Carleton C. Conrad, President
Peter F. Sorter
1973 Carleton C. Conrad, President
Charles H. Davis
1974 Carleton C. Conrad, President
Frederic R. Benson
1975 Peter F. Sorter, President
Frederic R. Benson

In 1968, the American Documentation Institute (ADI) was renamed the American Society for Information Science (ASIS). This, in turn, led to a new name for the abstracting journal, Information Science Abstracts, in March 1969.

The frequency of publication was changed from four to six issues per year in 1970. In the first year 1,205 abstracts were published, in the second 1,327, and by 1975 Volume 10 had 4,210 abstracts or about 700 abstracts per issue.

7. Awards and Recognitions, 1949–1975

At the 129th ACS National Meeting in Dallas on April 11, 1956, the Division presented at a luncheon scrolls of appreciation to Ben H. Weil for his contributions in setting up and editing the Divisional bulletin, Chemical Literature, and to Tibor E. R. Singer for his work as Program Chairman. Ben H. Weil related an amusing incident at that luncheon. His ACS badge read simply “B. H. Weil”. Another person showed up with her badge reading “Mrs. B. H. Weil”. Naturally, the Divisional Chairman, Melvin G. Mellon, jumped to the conclusion that she was Ben’s wife and was ready to invite her to the head table. It turned out that she, as Barbara H. Weil, was a Division member in her own right and unrelated to Ben.

At the 134th ACS National Meeting in Chicago on September 10, 1958, the Division presented a scroll of appreciation to Evan J. Crane for his outstanding contribution to chemical literature, namely, for his long-time editorship of Chemical Abstracts, for his many contributions to chemical nomenclature, and pioneering contributions during the formation of the Division, culminating in his service as the Division’s first elected Chairman.

In 1962, a Divisional Committee on Awards and Recognition was established under the chairmanship of Robert J. Kyle to investigate possible ways of providing recognition to individual literature chemists. There is no record, however, of any awards established or recognition given until the Herman Skolnik Award was established in 1976.

Shortly after Tibor E. R. Singer’s death in December 1966, a suggestion was made that a T. E. R. Singer Award be established for the best paper presented before the Division. At the 155th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco in April 1968, several papers were rated as an experiment to explore the feasibility of establishing such an award.

In May 1970, the idea was still alive, but extended into an investigation whether the award should be for the best presented paper, best published paper, or life work; whether sponsorship by a commercial organization was possible, etc. Consequently, an Award Committee (Carlos M. Bowman, chairman) was reestablished in September 1970. In March 1971, the Committee reported that, in view of the existence of the ACS Dayton Local Section’s Patterson Award and the planned ACS National Crane Award, the Division should not sponsor yet another award for work in chemical literature, but should help in administering the Crane Award. In 1972, the two awards, one existing and one proposed, were reviewed by an ACS ad hoc Patterson-Crane Award Subcommittee.

Eventually, no ACS National Award in Chemical Documentation was ever created, and the ACS Dayton and Columbus Local Sections established a joint Patterson-Crane Award in 1975. In the same year, a proposal for a Divisional Award, to become the Herman Skolnik Award in 1976, was revived.

8. Social Events, 1949–1975

At almost every ACS National Meeting, the Division members enjoyed having a Divisional luncheon, usually on a Tuesday. On a few occasions only, a dinner or a social hour was held.

The luncheon speakers are listed in Table VI. The tradition was started with the Chemical Literature Group in 1943, long before the Division was formed in 1948. The speakers represented a broad spectrum of well informed individuals with great credentials, mostly from within the ACS membership. One can easily identify among them:

  • past and future ACS presidents (Edward P. Weidlein, Joel H. Hildebrand, W. Albert Noyes, Jr., Harry L. Fisher, Wallace R. Brode, Maurice H. Arveson, Robert W. Cairns, Byron Riegel)
  • editors of the ACS journals (Walter J. Murphy, Sidney D. Kirkpatrick, Richard L. Kenyon, George H. Coleman, Frederick D. Greene, Benjamin J. Luberoff)
  • future Patterson Award winners (G. Malcolm Dyson, Pieter E. Verkade, E. J. Crane, W. Conard Fernelius, Melvin G. Mellon, Herman Skolnik, Eugene Garfield)
  • educators (Hubert N. Alyea, Sidney Siggia)
  • government administrators (Walter M. Carlson, Andrew A. Aines)
  • a famous science-fiction writer (Isaac Asimov)

Table VI.

Luncheon Speakers at the ACS National Meetings, 1943–1975
106th 7 September 1943 Pittsburgh Edward R. Weidlein
107th 4 April 1944 Cleveland M. J. Rentschler
109th 9 April 1946 Atlantic City Hubert N. Alyea
110th September 1946 Chicago Joel H. Hildebrand
111th 15 April 1947 Atlantic City W. Albert Noyes, Jr.
112th 16 September 1947 New York Colin G. Fink
113th 20 April 1948 Chicago Franklin B. Snyder
115th 29 March 1949 San Francisco G. Malcolm Dyson
117th 18 April 1950 Detroit Walter J. Murphy
119th 5 April 1951 Boston Vernon D. Tate
120th 6 September 1951 New York Pieter E. Verkade
121st 26 March 1952 Buffalo Sidney D. Kirkpatrick
122nd 17 September 1952 Atlantic City William E. Hanford
123rd 18 March 1953 Los Angeles Richard L. Kenyon
124th 9 September 1953 Chicago George H. Coleman
125th 29 March 1954 Kansas City Harry L. Fisher
126th 15 September 1954 New York Donald I. Rogers
127th 31 March 1955 Cincinnati B. D. Thomas
128th 15 September 1955 Minneapolis Louis C. McCabe (dinner)
129th 11 April 1956 Dallas E. J. Crane
130th 19 September 1956 Atlantic City Wallace R. Brode
131st 8 April 1957 Miami Beach Sidney D. Kirkpatrick
132nd 10 September 1957 New York Gerald L. Wendt
135th 7 April 1959 Boston Isaac Asimov
137th 7 April 1960 Cleveland David Dietz
140th 6 September 1961 Chicago Maurice H. Arveson
141st 22 March 1962 Washington, DC Richard H. Belknap
142nd 11 September 1962 Atlantic City W. Conard Fernelius
143rd 3 January 1963 Cincinnati Perley F. Ayer
145th 11 September 1963 New York Melvin G. Mellon
147th 8 April 1964 Philadelphia Robert W. Cairns
148th 2 September 1964 Chicago Walter M. Carlson
150th 15 September 1965 Atlantic City Edward J. Brenner
155th 2 April 1968 San Francisco Gaylord P. Whitlock (dinner)
156th 10 September 1968 Atlantic City Byron Riegel
160th 16 September 1970 Chicago N. B. Haney
161st 30 March 1971 Los Angeles Sidney Siggia
162nd 14 September 1971 Washington, DC Andrew A. Aines
163rd 11 April 1972 Boston Frederick D. Greene
164th 19 August 1972 New York Benjamin J. Luberoff
168th 10 September 1974 Atlantic City Herman Skolnik
169th 8 April 1975 Philadelphia Eugene Garfield

In 1959, at the 136th ACS National Meeting in Atlantic City on September 14, the Division celebrated its 10th anniversary with a birthday party. A cake was served during a social hour held at a location with ocean view.

In 1973, at the 166th ACS National Meeting in Chicago on August 28, the Division celebrated its 25th anniversary with a special dinner.

9. Financial Aspects, 1949–1975

In the early 1950’s the only sources of Divisional revenues were the dues and the fees for advertisements in Chemical Literature. The annual dues were $1 for an ACS member and $2 for a Division Associate (non-ACS member). The first three small advertisements appeared in the Winter 1950 issue of Chemical Literature, after its Editor, Ben H. Weil, had found that there were no ACS regulations prohibiting the solicitation of advertisements to help defraying the publishing expenses. John C. Lane at that time was named the Advertising Manager.

The expenses in those days were the cost of publishing Chemical Literature, printing ballot forms, stationery, postage, and providing members with separates of abstracts of papers to be presented at the Divisional meetings, prior to the inclusion of such abstracts in the bulletin starting with the Fall 1951 issue.

By the end of 1950, the Divisional treasury had a balance of only about $175. With increasing membership to about 900 in 1954, the Divisional assets reached then $1,000.

In 1953, Ben H. Weil pointed out that publishing Chemical Literature might cost $300–400 per year because of a falling off in the revenue from advertisements. The only action taken then was the formation of the Finance Committee in 1954 (Madeline M. Berry, chairman).

In the Winter 1954 issue of Chemical Literature, Ben H. Weil further analyzed the financial performance of the bulletin and concluded that in the absence of a support from industrial companies the bulletin would be in serious financial trouble. He discussed such alternatives as increasing the membership dues and discontinuing some of the bulletin’s features. Since the financial situation of the Division remained relatively stable, nothing was changed.

In 1958, the Division had a surplus of $300 from its own Divisional meeting in Pittsburgh in January. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s significant profits were realized from the photocopy service.

In 1956, the Executive Committee approved a transfer of $1,000 to a saving account, but the first Divisional saving account was not established till 1961 when the Executive Committee came to the agreement that only working funds need be in a checking account. Helen F. Ginsberg, the 1961 Divisional Treasurer, transferred $2,500 to a saving account which was closed in 1964. Subsequently, Barbara A. Montague, the 1965 Divisional Treasurer, opened a new saving account for $3,000 and somewhat later invested in a small saving certificate. These investments provided the Division with additional revenues.

For 1967, the dues were raised to $2 and $3 for an ACS member and a non-ACS member, respectively. A new method of collecting Divisional dues stemmed from the efforts of Carleton C. Conrad, and later of Keatha K. Krueger and Barbara A. Montague, by working with the ACS Operational Services Division to have central collection of Divisional dues done by the ACS headquarters in conjunction with the ongoing mechanization of producing membership lists and labels. In 1966, the Division participated in an ACS pilot study to centrally collect Divisional dues and produce membership lists and labels. Since 1969, the ACS has provided those services.

Between 1965 and 1972, the Divisional assets rose steadily and reached over $6,000 in 1972. At the 161st ACS National Meeting in Los Angeles in March 1971, the Executive Committee discussed a more effective way to use the financial resources, e.g.,

  • to support some of the audiovisual aids for teaching chemical literature
  • to defray the costs of future experimental meetings of the Division

Among one-time revenues was a surplus of $780 from the 1969 workshop on “Available Computer Programs for Information Retrieval” in New York and a surplus of $966 from the 1973 Winter Conference in Columbus.

Special expenses included the support of the start-up of Documentation Abstracts in 1966–1968 to the tune of $2,500 and the production of the third edition of the bibliography of Divisional papers in the form of an index to papers in 1967.

In 1975, the ACS started the Program Development Fund as financial support to enhance divisional programming at the ACS National Meetings as well as other divisional programs. The Division received $250 for programming at each of the two 1974 ACS National Meetings and $515 based on session attendance at those meetings, a total of over $1,000.