Chemical Information Bulletin, Volume 39, Number 1, Spring 1987 Page: 1
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In my first message to you as chairman, I'd like to review some of our Division's past accomplishments- perhaps
to show my strong interest in history-and then to set forth some plans for the immediate and the somewhat more
In 1987, the Division enters its 39th year, having been established as the Division of Chemical Literature in 1948
and having had its first full-fledged technical sessions at the 115th ACS National Meeting in San Francisco in the
spring of 1949. (For about five years prior to that, chemists interested in chemical literature met as the Chemical
Literature Group of the Division of Chemical Education.) For those of you interested in Divisional history, we've
compiled a complete list of its chairmen (see page 8).
A 1949 editorial in the Chemical and Engineering News stated:
"Probably no other division has such potential interest for all members of the Society as does the Division of
We hope that we have fulfilled that expectation over the years by presenting the research (and the application
of its results) in the generation, collection, organization, interpretation, storage, retrieval, dissemination, transformation,
and use of information as related to the general field of chemistry, as well as to specific chemical subdisciplines.
We've provided a forum for reporting on the application of modern technologies, from punched cards,
KWIC indexes, and simple inventories of chemical structures in the 1940s and 1950s to laser disks, artificial intelligence,
expert systems, and graphic manipulation of structures in the 1980s. From our midst have sprung new
Highlighted below are some of our Division's many accomplishments:
1949 First joint symposium with two other Divisions (fall meeting)
1949 First issue of the Chemical Literature (divisional newsletter) (renamed Chemical Information Bulletin
1953 First Advances in Chemistry Series based on Divisional Symposium
1955 First Regional Meeting (Houston)
1961 First issue of the Journal of Chemical Documentation (renamed Journal of Chemical Information and
Computer Sciences in 1975)
1966 Cosponsorship of the Documentation Abstracts (renamed Information Science Abstracts in 1969)
1973 25th anniversary of the Division
1974 Formation of the Division of Computers in Chemistry (COMP)
1975 Name changed to the Division of Chemical Information (CINF)
1976 First Herman Skolnik Award (New York)
1976 First "vendor's" seminar/workshop (New York)
1978 First Tri-Society (ACS/ASIS/SLA) Symposium (Kansas City)
1980 Formation of the Subdivision of Chemistry and the Law
1983 Divisional Activities Committee (DAC) Outstanding Division Award
1983 Formation of the Division of Chemistry and the Law (CHAL)
1984 Videotape on Chemical Information
1985 Founding Member of the Computer Secretariat (CSEC)
1986 Founding Member of the Biotechnology Secretariat (BTEC)
In 1987 we will achieve another "first" by participating in an international cosponsorship of the Conference on
"Chemical Structures: The International Language of Chemistry" in the Netherlands, along with chemical information
groups from the United Kingdom and the Federal Republic of Germany.
Where do we go from here? We certainly thrive on changes that affect the information professionals as well as
practicing chemists and chemical engineers, whom we sometimes refer to as "end-users." The latter are becoming
more and more directly involved in information searching and utilization. In fact, this may be an example of
history repeating itself. In the "old days," all research chemists spent long hours in libraries searching and browsing
through the printed primary and secondary publications. In today's environment, more and more chemists
are beginning to rely on various computer programs at their workstations not only to do online literature searching
but also as an aid in performing their research, thus blurring the distinction between using information and doing
CHEMICAL INFORMATION BULLETIN 1
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American Chemical Society. Division of Chemical Information. Chemical Information Bulletin, Volume 39, Number 1, Spring 1987, periodical, Spring 1987; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5666/m1/3/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .