Appendix 1 – IIS Presidents

Throughout its history the Institute was extremely fortunate in the support it gained from its Presidents. The fact that during the initial decade of formation and evolution so many distinguished people were invited to be President says a great deal about the professionalism of Council members and the value that the Presidents felt they would gain from being associated with the Institute.

The Institute gradually evolved towards a model of alternating between a distinguished external President and a President chosen from within the profession. Together with a process of having a President Elect, President and Past President, each serving a year, this gave the Institute strong leadership across a wide group of interests.

Because the Institute only had rented office space there was never an opportunity to list Presidents on a wall plaque in the way in which the Library Association was able to do within its Ridgmount Street office.

Here we present the first ever complete list of Presidents with some bibliographic information.

Dr G. Malcolm Dyson (1902–1978)

President 1958-1960

Malcolm Dyson was a distinguished research chemist from the mid-1920s to the mid-1940s. He became increasingly concerned about the multiple names that could be given to a specific organic compound and developed a notation scheme which uniquely defined the chemical structure of organic compounds. Dyson published a monograph ‘A New Notation and Enumeration System for Organic Compounds’ in 1947 that was designed to provide a structural tagging system for punched cards. In 1951 he published A Short Guide to Chemical Literature, updating it in a second edition in 1958.

Dyson was also heavily involved with the organisation of the Royal Society Scientific Information Conference in 1948, where he worked with Jason Farradane. They remained in close contact over the following decade. Dyson also served on a number of IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) committees. In 1952 he authored a letter in Journal of Chemical Education entitled ‘Preservation and availability of chemical knowledge’

Dyson’s reputation from his publications and his role as Director of Research at Chemical Abstracts Service from 1958 after an initial period as a consultant, undoubtedly were of significant support to Farradane as he began to develop his concept of a professional society for information scientists. Dyson served a three-year term as President and several of the early Presidents were closely associated with Dyson, and were prepared to put their reputation on the line to support the development of the Institute. Dyson continued his work as a consultant until 1964 but seems not to have played any further role in the Institute.

[See  pp. 14-20 for a more detailed profile and a list of Dyson’s publications] 

Dr. Alexander King (1909-2007)

President 1960–1961

Alexander King CMG CBE was a British scientist and pioneer of the sustainable development movement who co-founded the Club of Rome in 1968 with the Italian industrialist Aurelio Peccei. The Club was one of the first institutions to voice concerns about the impact on the environment of unprecedented economic growth in the twentieth century. He studied chemistry at Imperial College, where he edited the college’s literary magazine and served as President of its literary and debating society.  From 1929 to 1931, he pursued postgraduate research on a fellowship at the University of Munich. On his return to London, he became a lecturer and then senior lecturer in physical chemistry at Imperial. In 1938, he was awarded the Edward Harrison Memorial Prize by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

With the outbreak of WW2, Sir Henry Tizard invited King to join the Ministry of Production as Deputy Scientific Adviser. It was during this period that a letter from the Geigy Company in Switzerland to its Manchester branch office, detailing the composition of a new ‘mothballing agent’ dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, was intercepted by the censor.

King recognised the importance of the chemical agent and its potential use as an insecticide, allegedly coining the acronym DDT. In 1943 King travelled to the United States, becoming Head of the UK Scientific Mission and Scientific Attaché at the British Embassy in Washington. Following the war, King became Secretary of the Advisory Council on Scientific Policy and personal adviser to the Lord President of the Council, Herbert Morrison. King was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 1948 Birthday Honours. He later became Chief Scientific Adviser to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research.  In 1957, King joined the European Productivity Agency (EPA) as Director in Paris, subsequently becoming Director-General for Scientific Affairs at the OECD.

[Edited from and]

Sir Lindor Brown CBE FRS (1903–1970)

President 1961-1964

Sir George Lindor Brown was an English physiologist and Secretary of the Royal Society, of which he was elected a Fellow in 1946. In 1942 the Royal Naval Personnel Research Committee was established, and he became involved very successfully with diving and underwater operations, remaining Secretary to the RNPRC until 1949, and then its chairman until 1969. In 1949 he accepted the Jodrell Chair of Physiology at University College London, where he strengthened the physiology and biophysics departments under (Sir) Bernard Katz and worked with J.S. Gillespie on adrenergic transmission. He served on various Royal Society committees, becoming Biological Secretary, 1955-63. In 1960 he accepted the Waynflete chair of physiology in Oxford, becoming a Fellow of Magdalen. He also became a member of the Franks Commission of Inquiry into the working of Oxford University. In 1967 he resigned his chair to be elected Principal of Hertford College Oxford, although he continued with his research group in the pharmacology department.

[Edited from]

Thomas Allibone (1903-?)

President 1964–1967

Thomas Edward Allibone was born in Sheffield in 1903. In 1925, he was awarded a scholarship by Metropolitan-Vickers to study the properties of zirconium. He left Sheffield in 1926 to continue his postgraduate studies at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge University. At Cambridge he worked in the prestigious Cavendish Laboratory with eminent scientists such as Rutherford, Cockcroft, and Walton. Allibone returned to Metropolitan-Vickers to take charge of their high-voltage research laboratory at Trafford Park, Manchester. Allibone remained at Metropolitan Vickers throughout the 1930s and 1940s, publishing a number of scientific papers on subjects such as high voltage research and X-ray tubes.

During the Second World War Allibone was involved in a number of research projects including radar equipment and the highly secretive so-called Tube Alloys (nuclear fission) project. In 1944 Allibone formed part of a team of British scientists sent to the United States to work on the Manhattan Project which developed the world’s first atomic bomb. In 1946, Allibone was appointed director of the AEI research laboratories at Aldermaston Court. Whilst at Aldermaston Court, Allibone was involved in pioneering research into nuclear fusion and electron microscopes, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1948.  In 1963 Allibone left Aldermaston Court to become the Central Electricity Generating Board’s chief scientist, a post he held until 1970. He also became External Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Leeds in 1967.

[Edited from]

Sir Harold Thompson CBE FRS (1908–1983)

President 1967–1970

Thompson was born in Wombwell, South Yorkshire and studied at Trinity College, Oxford where his tutor was C.N. Hinshelwood. He gained first class honours in Natural Sciences (Chemistry) in 1929. He then spent a year researching in Berlin with Fritz Haber before returning to Oxford to take up a Fellowship at St. John’s College. Thompson quickly established himself as one of the finest teachers in the university and many of his students went on to great scientific distinction, including F.S. Dainton, C.F. Kearton, J.W. Linnett, R.E. Richards and D.H. Whiffen, all of whom became Fellows of the Royal Society. He contributed to international science as Foreign Secretary of the Royal Society, 1965-1971, when the Society’s overseas activities were greatly expanded, and as President of the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) 1963-1966 and of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) 1973-75. Throughout his life Thompson gave devoted service to football, from amateur player in his youth to, successively, Vice Chairman, Vice President and Chairman of the Football Association, 1976-81. Thompson was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1946 (Davy Medal 1965) and was knighted in 1968.

[Edited from]

Sir James Tait (1912–1998)

President 1970–1972

Sir James Tait obtained an engineering qualification (with a distinction in electrical engineering) at the Royal Technical College, Glasgow, and stayed on as a lecturer. While working as a lecturer, he gained a double first class honours degree in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, as an external student of London University and went on to get a PhD from Glasgow University. In 1946 he was appointed Head of the Electrical Engineering Department at Portsmouth Municipal College, but in 1947 took up the equivalent position at Northampton Polytechnic. In the mid-1950s concern grew about the quantity and quality of engineers being trained in this country and the concept of expanding further education specifically to generate more engineers and scientists evolved. A dozen or so technical colleges, including both Northampton Polytechnic and the Royal Technical College in Glasgow, were designated as Colleges of Advanced Technology (CATS) to be developed for this purpose. Tait became Principal of Northampton Polytechnic in 1951. In 1957 it became a College of Advanced Technology with Tait as its principal, and in 1966 it became the City University, London, at which point Tait became its first Vice-Chancellor. He retired in 1974. He was made a member of the Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor in 1969 for his services to education. His services to City University were recognised both by the award of the honorary degree of Doctor of Science on his retirement in 1974 and by the naming of the Tait Building.

[Edited from and]

Sir Harry Hookway (1921-2014)

President 1973-1976

Sir Harry Hookway, who completed his PhD in Chemistry in 1947, was the first chief executive of the new British Library, having masterminded the planning of the vast building at St Pancras. Sir Harry was handpicked for the task after impressing the government as a scientific attaché to the British Embassy in Washington, reporting on the technological revolution in the US that was causing the ‘brain drain’ of British scientists to organisations such as NASA. He used his scientific rigour (and diplomatic skills learnt in Washington) to bring together several disparate organisations, such as the British Museum and the National Lending Library, into the ‘hub’, as he called it. Started in 1978, the final part of the building was finished in 1996.

He was born in London and attended the Trinity School of John Whitgift in Croydon. After his PhD, he moved to Washington where he forged a partnership with the National Endowment of the Humanities to take forward the English Short Title Catalogue covering the 18th century. He foresaw the digital revolution and made plans for the catalogue to be digitised.

[Edited from]

Dr Jack Barrett CBE (1912-1998)

President 1977-1979

Dr. Jack Barrett was born in Cheltenham in 1912 and was educated at Cheltenham Grammar School before entering the Royal College of Science to study chemistry, with subsidiary physics and applied mathematics. He gained a first class degree in chemistry and in 1934 was awarded a PhD for work in structural organic chemistry. For five years he worked on the formulation of essences and perfumes, the distillation of essential oils, the extraction of resins from ginger and orris root, the production of mineral waters, and even the development of British wines. He then joined Monsanto Chemicals Ltd in 1941 as a research group leader at Ruabon, becoming General Manager of Research and Development by 1950. In 1955 he became Director of Research and Development and a member of the board. For some ten years he played a leading part in the development of computerised scientific and technical information systems which resulted in 1969 in the creation of the UK Chemical Information Service. He was Chairman of its managerial board and also of the Consortium on Chemical Information.

He was Chairman of the Institution’s Research Committee for five years from its inception and also served on the Council both as a member and latterly as Vice President. He was appointed as a part-time member of the Board of the British Library in 1973. He also served on the Advisory Committee on Scientific & Technical Information of the Department of Education & Science.

[Edited from]

Cyril Cleverdon (1914–1997)

President 1980–1981

Cyril Cleverdon worked at Bristol Libraries from 1932 to 1938, and from 1938 to 1946 he was the librarian of the Engine Division of the Bristol Aeroplane Co. Ltd.  In 1946 he was appointed librarian of the College of Aeronautics at Cranfield (later the Cranfield Institute of Technology and then Cranfield University), where he served until his retirement in 1979, the last two years as professor of Information Transfer Studies. In 1957, with the help of National Science Foundation funding, Cleverdon started a series of ground-breaking projects that lasted for about ten years in which he and his colleagues set the stage for information retrieval research. The Cranfield retrieval experiments were conducted on test databases in a controlled, laboratory-like setting. The aim of the research was to improve the effectiveness of information retrieval systems, by developing better indexing languages and methods. The components of the experiments were:  a collection of documents, a set of user requests or queries, and a set of relevance judgements – that is, a set of documents judged to be relevant to each query.

Together, these components formed an information retrieval test collection. The test collection served as a standard for testing retrieval approaches, and the success of each approach was measured in terms of precision and recall. Test collections and evaluation measures based on precision and recall remain the driving forces behind modern research on search systems. Cleverdon’s approach formed a blueprint for the successful Text Retrieval Conference (TREC) series that began in 1992.

Not only did Cleverdon’s Cranfield studies introduce experimental research into computer science, the outcomes of the project also established the basis of the automatic indexing as done in today’s search engines. Essentially, Cleverdon found that the use of single terms from the documents achieved the best retrieval performance, as opposed to manually assigned thesaurus terms, synonyms, etc. These results were very controversial at the time.

For many years, Cyril Cleverdon also ran the Cranfield conferences, which provided a major international forum for discussion of ideas and research in information retrieval. This function was taken over by the SIGIR conferences in the 1970s.

[Edited from]

Monty Hyams (1918-2013)

President 1980–1981

A research chemist by training, Hyams became an employee of Pyrene Ltd. Learning from his experience of searching for British patents relevant to the company, Hyams started abstracting patents in his spare time in 1951, before going full-time. His vision was a weekly publication giving informative summaries of British patents. His handwritten abstracts were typed, duplicated and dispatched by a couple of part-time workers.

In 1960 Derwent Publications Ltd. was established in an office in Rochdale House, Holborn, eventually occupying the entire building. Five years later the company revenues had reached over £500,000 (around £10 million in current terms) and the company was acquired by Thomson Publishing. It expanded to cover the patents issued by all the major countries of the world, and Derwent’s services, especially its Central Patents Index, became essential tools for organisations around the world. Derwent’s World Patent Index was launched in 1974. Monty Hyams stayed in charge of the company until 1984, when he became managing editor of Index to Theses. He commuted to this part time role on public transport until he was 93.

[Edited from and]

Sir Raymond Appleyard (1922–2019)

President 1982-1983

After biophysics research in the USA Appleyard returned to Europe in 1960 to lead the biological research and training activities of Euratom. He took on the administration of EMBO concurrently from 1965 until 1973. With Britain’s accession to the European Economic Community (EEC), he joined the European Commission as Director General, Scientific and Technical Information and Information Management (DG13).

[Edited from]

Justin Dukes (1946–2008)

President 1984–1985

Justin Dukes read Marine Engineering at King’s College, Durham. In the 1960s he became group manpower adviser to McCorquodale, before joining the Financial Times as industrial relations adviser in the early 1970s. He was joint managing director of the Financial Times Group and the founding managing director and deputy chief executive of Channel 4, where, with the chief executive Jeremy Isaacs, he spearheaded a transformation in British television. He chaired the Media stream of the Department of Industry’s IT ’82 Steering Committee.

[Edited from]

Michael Aldrich (1941–2014)

President 1985–1986

Michael Aldrich was an inventor, innovator and entrepreneur. Although he read History at Hull University he moved quickly into the IT business. In 1979 he launched a successful online (videotext) shopping system to enable online transaction processing between consumers and businesses. In 1980 he invented the Teleputer, a multi-purpose home infotainment centre that was a fusion of PC, TV and telecom networking technologies. In 1981 he developed the concept of interactive broadband local loop cable TV for mass market consumer telecommunications. Aldrich had a 38-year career in the IT industry. He retired as CEO from ROCC in 2000 and became non-executive Chairman (2000-2014). He was an IT adviser to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher 1981-1986, IT adviser to the Confederation of British Industry 1982-1983 and Chairman of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations 1989-1999. He had a long, formal association with the University of Brighton (originally Brighton Polytechnic) in various capacities. In 1982 he became member of the Polytechnic Council and then Chair of the Council in 1987, overseeing the institution’s transition to university status and serving as chair of the new university’s Board of Governors until 1998.

[Edited from]

Professor Lewis Wolpert (1929-2021)

President 1986-1987

Lewis Wolpert CBE FRS originally trained as a civil engineer in South Africa but changed to research cell and developmental biology in 1955. Through research into body and limb patterning in developing organisms, Lewis formulated the theory of positional information – now a central concept that describes how cells do the right thing in the right place to morph correctly within the embryo. He was Emeritus Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine at University College, London and a chairman of the Committee on the Public Understanding of Science (a subject very close to him) for four years. He was vice-President of the British Humanist Association. In his book, You’re Looking Very Well: the surprising nature of getting old (2012), Wolpert presented research arguing that happiness peaks at the age of 74. “It’s a nice age because any major problems you might have would have already been solved by then.”

[Edited from]

Tom Aitchison (1923-2018)

President 1987-1988

Tom Aitchison started his career as Librarian of Courtaulds from 1948–1955 and then moved to the British Aircraft Corporation, Luton and Stevenage, where he was Divisional Librarian and Information Officer from 1955-1964. In 1964 he was appointed as a Technical Officer of the National Electronics Research Council with the responsibility for looking at the potential for computer-based SDI (Selective Dissemination of Information) services. The experience he gained led him to be appointed as Deputy Director and subsequently Director of the Institution of Electrical Engineers, London, with specific responsibility for the development of the INSPEC service between 1967-1988. From 1980-1988 he also acted as Director of Peter Peregrinus Ltd. the publishing subsidiary of the IEE. He retired in 1988 and then worked with his wife Jean in J&TM Aitchison, Information Consultants, Letchworth. He was awarded the OBE in 1986 and elected as an Honorary Fellow, Institute of Information Scientists in 1998. He was also elected as an Honorary Fellow, National Federation of Abstracting and Indexing Services in 1988.

[Edited from]

Ken Cooper (1931-)

President 1988–1989

After attending Queen Elizabeth’s School in Barnet from 1942–1950, Ken Cooper did his national service and gained a commission in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He then read Modern History at Oxford, following which he joined the Home Civil Service, working in the Department of Employment. Various jobs followed, including four years at the Treasury. He was Chief Executive successively at the Employment Service Agency, the Training Services Agency, the Building Employers Association and the British Library. In retirement, he undertook various voluntary roles, including serving with the Housing Association and on governing bodies and admission appeals tribunals for schools.

[Edited from]

Marino Saksida (1939- )

President 1990-1991

Marino Saksida joined Standard Telephones & Cables (STC) in London in 1961. He subsequently held positions in Timesharing Ltd., London, and Computer Terminals Ltd. He was Head of the Internal Revenue Service of the European Space Agency Information Retrieval Service, Rome from 1977 and became a well-respected advocate for computer-based information retrieval services. He was an active member of EUSIDIC and the European Information Industry Association. He is now an ESA STEM ambassador, and Chairman of the Association of Retired ESA Staff, UK branch.

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Brenda White (1937- )

President 1991–1992

Brenda White was originally a public librarian, and then a special librarian, before becoming a Research Assistant at The Library Association, where she investigated the information needs of town and country planning and produced a seminal report on that subject.   She was then for some years a Research Fellow at Edinburgh University’s Planning Research Unit, and at the Planning Exchange in Glasgow.   She then became a freelance, and set up the information and research consultancy Capital Planning Information Ltd. with Don Kennington, at that time Head of Information Services at the Greater London Council.   They specialised in information management in the area of planning and government, and later in government generally, and did many contracts for government departments including the British Library.    Brenda then formed her own consultancy, Brenda White Associates, based in Edinburgh, and worked extensively in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Europe until she retired in 1996.

Brenda was an active member of the Scottish Branch of the IIS for several years before becoming involved also at national level where she eventually chaired IIS Council and was elected President in 1991-1992.    She was elected an Honorary Fellow in 1992.    At various stages, she also served on the Advisory Committee of the British Library Science and Reference Information Service;  the UGC/NAB Transbinary Group on Library and Information Studies Education;   and, as a consultant, provided secretariat services and wrote the reports  for a number of joint LISC/BLR&DD working parties including on public/private sector interaction in the provision of library and information services.    Brenda is the author of several books including  Sourcebook of planning information which won The Library Association’s Besterman Medal.

Martin White (1948- )

President 1992-1993

Martin read Chemistry at Southampton University but from his first position as an Information Officer at the British Non-Ferrous Metals Research Association, London, adopted the profession of an information scientist. In 1982 he joined Reed Publishing with responsibility for its electronic information service development, including Lexis and ABC Travel Guides. After a period in senior management positions with IT consulting companies, he set up Intranet Focus Ltd. in 1999.

He served as Chairman of the IIS Council from 1982-1983 and so became one of the few people to hold the positions of both Chairman and President. Martin was an active member of the UK Electronic Information Group (UKeiG), serving as Chairman for a number of years, and then again after the IIS had amalgamated with the LA. He is primarily known for his work on intranet management and since 2008 on enterprise search management. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Information School, University of Sheffield since 2002. He also served as a Non-Executive Director of CABI from 2003–2011 and was a member of the Publications Committee of the Royal Society of Chemistry from 2008–2013. He is a Fellow of both the RSC and of the British Computer Society.

Brian Lang CBE (1945-  )

President 1993-1994

Brian Lang is a Scottish social anthropologist who served as Chief Executive and Deputy Chairman of the British Library from 1991 until 2000. In this capacity he led the final delivery and occupation of the British Library in St Pancras, London, the most substantial UK public building of the 20th century and established the digitisation of this world leading institution. In 2000 he was appointed Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of St Andrews, retiring from this position in 2009. He completed two terms as Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland, acted as Deputy Chair of the UK’s National Heritage Memorial Fund, and chaired the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Edinburgh World Heritage Trust.

[Edited from] 

Professor Charles Oppenheim (1946- )

President 1994-1995

Charles graduated from Manchester University with a BSc (1967) and PhD (1970) in chemistry. He joined Glaxo as a patents information officer in 1970, and followed this with jobs at Plymouth Polytechnic (now University) in 1973, City University in 1976, Derwent Publications in 1980, Pergamon Infoline in 1984, Reuters in 1987, before returning to academia at Strathclyde University in 1992 and finally Loughborough University. In these last two posts he was Professor of Information Science. He took early retirement in 2009 and has been an independent consultant since. He has conducted research on the legal issues involved in the creation, dissemination and consumption of information, as well as on research assessment, patent information, bibliometrics, open access, and scholarly publishing.  He is currently a Visiting Professor at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. He is an Honorary Fellow of CILIP.

Professor Michael Lynch (1932- ) 

President 1995-1996

Michael Lynch MBCS is a Professor Emeritus in the Information School of the University of Sheffield, England, his main research having been in Chemoinformatics.  He obtained BSc and PhD degrees in chemistry from University College, Dublin in 1954 and 1957. Following two years in industry in the UK, he sought a position at Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) in Columbus, Ohio in the US, in 1961. There he was ‘apprenticed’ to Malcolm Dyson, Research Director, and his imagination was caught by the prospect of applying computers to chemical structures and text in the earliest large-scale experiments in this area.

In 1965 Michael returned to the UK and was a teacher and researcher at the then Sheffield Postgraduate School of Librarianship and Information Science, later the Department of Information Studies and now the Information School of Sheffield University.  The University awarded him a Personal Chair in 1975 and he remained there for the rest of his professional career, ending in 1995. During his time in Sheffield, he made significant contributions to the theory and practice of information science. His research interests centred on the characterisation of data structures implicit in records of information, both in relation to databases of text and of chemical structures, and on applying these data structures for the development of algorithms which might then lead to useful applications. Among the applications resulting from his work are text compression, as well as methods for searching databases of chemical substances for substructures, the identification of changes due to chemical reactions, and the design of improved chemical patent information systems.

In 1989 he was awarded the Skolnik Award of the American Chemical Society. In 1990 he received the annual Award of the Institute of Information Scientists in recognition of his services to information science. Lynch was Honorary President of the Chemical Structure Association, which awards the triennial CSA Trust Mike Lynch Award in his honour. In 1999 the University of Sheffield Information School opened the Michael Lynch Research Lab, named in his honour, and used as a base for the Chemoinformatics and Health Informatics research groups.

[Edited from and]

Béla Hatvany (1938- )

President 1996-1997

Béla Hatvany is a pioneer in the automation of libraries and the information industry. Companies founded by him have been responsible for the first Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC) the first CD-ROMs, the first networked CD-ROM, the first client-server library databases, and some of the earliest internet library database retrieval engines.

He was born in 1938 in London a few weeks after his parents arrived as immigrants. His father was a Hungarian Jew and a Baron, his mother from Spanish nobility. Béla spent his childhood in England. He received a scholarship to attend the University of St Andrews from BP (British Petroleum). In 1956 he began his career as a customer service engineer, a computer programmer and a salesman. In 1965, he moved to the United States to get an MBA at Harvard University. He founded his first company, COMSISA, in Mexico City, in 1968 which computerised and served sugar mills and local businesses.  In 1971, in partnership with Dennis Beaumont, Computer Library Services (CLSI) was started in Boston. This was the first company to develop the minicomputer for use in libraries, in effect building the Online Public Access Computer (OPAC) market. After returning to London in 1981, he sold the company to Thyssen Bornemisza in 1983. In 1980, with Henry Ng, he invented the touch screen which is now used on smartphones and tablets.

In 1982, he started a small organisation called “INCubator” based in West London. This later became SilverPlatter Information. The company published the first CD-ROMs in 1982 and developed a number of innovative products including networked CD-ROMs, and client-server delivery for bibliographic databases. Silver Platter Information was one of the first companies to deliver databases on the internet.[6] In 2001 it was sold to Wolters-Kluwer.

[edited from and]

Dr Sandra Ward (1943- )

President 1997-1998

Sandra read Chemistry at the University of Durham. Following the award of a PhD in organic chemistry in 1970 from the University of Bath, Sandra began work in pharmaceutical data and information management, firstly at Wellcome Research Laboratories where she became involved in the early computerisation of their chemical collections and biological data and from 1980 at Glaxo Group Research (now GSK). Here her role as Director of Information Services pushed forwards archives, records management, online access to external information, library process automation, report databanks, competitor intelligence and knowledge management. Her department was recognised as a Centre of Excellence.

As a passionate advocate for corporate information management and information science, she was the recipient of the 1997 IIS award. She made the transition to IIS Corporate Membership after the statutory six years. She was a Council Member, convened the 1985 group advising on the implementation of the new IIS Committee structure, chaired Publications Committee, and was an Associate Editor of JIS.  She was also an external examiner for information courses at the Universities of Sheffield and Strathclyde.

She was an active member of the Chemical Notation Association (now the CSA Trust) and of AIOPI (now PIPA). She served on LISC and in 1994 was appointed to the Library and Information Commission until its transition to MLAC. She was Chair of the BL’s Scientific and Information Committee until the move to St Pancras and a member of the BL’s Advisory Committee.  She became an Executive Director of TFPL Ltd in 1998, and latterly became an independent KIM consultant, joint editor of Business Information Review, and one of a CILIP/KPMG team updating the Hawley report. She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship by IIS in 2002, chaired CILIP Council for its first four years and was elected to Honorary Fellowship by CILIP in 2018.

Professor Peter Brophy (1950-)

President 1998–1999

Peter Brophy is an independent project director, author, editor and consultant. He became involved in IT applications in the late 1960s and developed IT and management information systems for libraries in the early part of his career. Moving on to management, he directed library services at the then Bristol Polytechnic (now University of the West of England) and library and IT services at the University of Central Lancashire.

From 1998-2008 he was Director of the Centre for Research in Library & Information Management (CERLIM) at the Manchester Metropolitan University, UK and held the Chair in Information Management at that University. Particular research foci included IT services for disabled people, the use of narrative in management and in evidence-based practice, and library service evaluation. He was Principal Consultant with LIMC Ltd. until 2009.

He is the author of a large number of books and academic papers, including ‘Narrative-based Practice’ (Ashgate, 2008), ‘The Library in the Twenty-First Century’ (Facet, 2nd edition, 2007) and ‘The Academic Library’ (Facet, 2nd ed., 2005).

Peter Brophy is a Fellow and Honorary Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library & Information Professionals (CILIP), and was President of the Institute of Information Scientists in 1998-99. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the Higher Education Academy. He was awarded the OBE for services to blind and visually-impaired people in 2009.


Brian Clifford (?)

President 1999–2000

Brian Clifford was appointed Head of Learning and Research Support at Leeds University in 2001 having previously been Library and Information Services Manager at Manchester Business School. He was appointed as Deputy Librarian in 2013.

Professor Peter Enser (?)

President 2000–2002

Peter was Professor of Information Science and Head of Research in the School of Computing, Mathematical & Information Sciences at Brighton University, and held the title Professor Emeritus after his retirement. His research interests in information retrieval were focused on subject access to visually-encoded knowledge. His publications and conference presentations addressed international communities in library and information science, computer science and cultural heritage, and he directed a number of externally-funded research projects in this field. His professional roles included Chair of Council and President of the Institute of Information Scientists, member of the libraries, archives and information science peer review panel of the Arts & Humanities Research Board, member of the UK Higher Education Quality Assurance Agency’s Subject Benchmarking Group for Librarianship & Information Management, member of the librarianship and information science subject benchmark panel of the QAA, and Co-Chair of the CILIP Accreditation Board. Since retirement he has given talks on the social history of communication and communications to a number of organisations, including the University of the Third Age, Probus and on board cruise ships.

[Unedited from]




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Evolution and impact: a history of the Institute of Information Scientists 1958-2002 Copyright © 2022 by Sandra Ward and Martin White is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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