Chemical Information Bulletin, Volume 60, Number 1, Spring 2008 Page: 8
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History of the Chemical Information
by W. Val Metanomski
Chemical Information Bulletin (CIB) enters this year into its
60th year of publication. This has prompted us to publish a
somewhat broader history of CIB. There are some historical
facts regarding the CIB mentioned in the 1993 CINF history,
but that was 15 years ago. CIB is the most important medium
of communication between all the CINF members. There are
ACS national and regional meetings at which CINF members
meet, present the papers, listen to presentations, and engage in
fruitful discussions. Yet, the number of CINF members
attending such meetings is relatively small. The CIB allows all
to participate by reading abstracts of all presented papers, and
all sorts of messages, reports, and announcements. Although
plenty of information is available on the CINF Web site, to
many members, not just the old-timers, browsing through the
printed pages is still a preferred thing to do.
The ACS Division of Chemical Literature (earlier name of
CINF) was established at the 114th ACS National Meeting in
Washington, DC, in September 1948. It presented its first
technical session at the 115th ACS National Meeting in San
Francisco in March 1949. At the very next 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 members and to issue a Divisional
News Bulletin 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" note (dues were $1), news
notes and a two-page "Annotated Bibliography on Chemical
Documentation." The mechanization, albeit mechanical and
not yet electronic, of handling information had already started,
as evidenced by a couple of published papers, titled
"Microcards and Punched Card Filing" and "Application of
Punched Cards to Indexing Rubber Compounds."
Any publication, be it a journal, a bulletin, a newsletter, is
only as good as its editor. CINF has been most fortunate to
have these outstanding and dedicated volunteers to do the job:
Ben H. Weil
Ethaline H. Cortelyou
Ethaline H. Cortelyou
James E. Rush
Gabrielle S. Revesz
Margaret A. Matthews
Patricia C. Rosso
It is important to note that the employers of these editors
were most helpful in providing assistance such as in typing,
cold-type composition or keyboarding, graphic layout, and
postage costs. Especially unique support was provided by
the Institute of Scientific Information (ISI) in the years
1973-1999, which correspond to the editorship tenure of
their four employees (Gaby Revesz, Bonnie Lawlor, Marge
Matthews, and Pat Rosso).
Covers typically inform in some graphical way what the
publication is all about. In the case of a newsletter of a
professional organization, what is displayed are a logo and
drawings or pictures related to the work the members do.
Still, for the first 24 volumes (1949-1972) there were no
special covers. The first page of text, however, had a
relatively large title "CHEMICAL LITERATURE", the
ACS logo, a list of Divisional Officers, and a table of
Figure 1. Vol. 1, No. 1, November 1949
A break-through in that tradition occurred in the Divisional
25th anniversary year. The two issues in 1973 had different
cover designs, in the Spring a composite drawing showing
all sorts of beakers, flasks, and tubes, a microscope, a
refinery, and computer tapes; and in the Fall issue drawing
of a dirigible on the move over clouds, no doubt, signifying
the Division moving forwards. Both covers were designed
by the ISI staff.
Chemical Information Bulletin, Vol. 60, No 1 (Spring) 2008
http: / /www.acscinf.org
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American Chemical Society. Division of Chemical Information. Chemical Information Bulletin, Volume 60, Number 1, Spring 2008, periodical, Spring 2008; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5616/m1/10/: accessed August 21, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; .