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Hardcover | $10.75 Short | £9.95 | 496 pp. | 7 x 9 in | 11 illus. | July 2003 | ISBN: 9780262025386
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A History of Online Information Services, 1963–1976


Every field of history has a basic need for a detailed chronology of what happened: who did what when. In the absence of such a resource, fanciful accounts flourish. This book provides a rich narrative of the early development of online information retrieval systems and services, from 1963 to 1976—a period important to anyone who uses a search engine, online catalog, or large database. Drawing on personal experience, extensive research, and interviews with many of the key participants, the book describes the individuals, projects, and institutions of the period. It also corrects many common errors and misconceptions and provides milestones for many of the significant developments in online systems and technology.

About the Authors

Charles P. Bourne, a pioneer in information retrieval services, was formerly Director of the Institute of Library Research at the University of California and Vice President of DIALOG Information Services.

Trudi Bellardo Hahn is Manager of Library User Education Services and Adjunct Professor at the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland.


“This extraordinary encyclopedic work is likely to become a major resource to be mined by historians of information science and computing for many years to come. It begins in the early 1960s when the seeds of what were to become online systems were merely glints in the eyes of a few pioneering figures. It ends little more than a decade later, with the emergence of a mature industry. The book embodies meticulous research by two collaborators whose backgrounds and expertise complement each other in ways that have led both to great richness of detail and balance in its treatment.”
W. Boyd Rayward, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
“This work will be a significant contribution to the field! There is nothing at all like it in the existing literature. Because it is carefully researched and documented, it will be the standard source for all historians of information science and technology of the period.”
Robert V. Williams, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies, University of South Carolina
“This marvelous book provides a unique blend of historical precedent with a revealing personal touch through interviews with many of the field's pioneers. It bridges a disturbing disconnect between the heyday of information retrieval research and development and the modern era. It is an essential work for anyone seriously interested in the online retrieval industry.”
Donald W. King, Research Professor, School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh