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By the mid-1930s microfilm technology improved to the point where librarians and archivists with an experimental bent were embarking on microphotographic projects. The first operations based on the 1926 ideas of Slosson and Davis were launched. In 1935, with the support of a grant from the American Chemical Foundation, Davis could start up Science Service’s own documentation activities, initiate development of microphotographic equipment, and take over microfilm-based service operations. His activities brought him in contact with the library and archival community, while the two meetings mentioned in chapter 21 broadened his vision and exposed him to the breadth of ideas in documentation.

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Davis’s later references to 1926 as the beginning of Science Service or ADI’s documentation activities may have been exaggerated but not entirely unjustified, as his documentation projects were outgrowths of the ideas described at that time. The first project to come to fruition started spontaneously with Davis as a catalyst rather than as a participant — perhaps foretelling the role he was to play in U.S. documentation. In November 1934, at one of Davis’s Cosmos Club luncheons, Atherton Seidell, Lieutenant Rupert Draeger, and Claribel R. Barnett, librarian of the Library of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA library), were among the guests invited to discuss film copying of documents. Seidell was a chemist who worked at the National Institutes of Health and, later, in the Army Medical Library. While working on critical temperature tables, he had become interested in the use of microfilm and was devising a microfilm reader with one of his French colleagues. In later years he supported microfilm projects in France and in the United States from his own funds. Draeger, an inventive career navy physician attached to the U.S. Naval Medical School, started to experiment with microphotography when he realized

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that voluminous medical books — even an entire medical library — when recorded on microfilm, could be carried aboard ships or transported to remote navy bases.

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At this Cosmos Club luncheon Draeger described the microphotographic equipment on which he was working and showed film rolls of books he had copied. When Seidell suggested that Draeger’s camera be installed at the USDA library to start a copying service, Barnett agreed at once. She made the necessary administrative arrangements; Draeger and Seidell contributed the equipment, film, and chemicals. The first film copies were dispatched only ten days after the Cosmos Club meeting.1

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The objective of the service was to reduce the number of interlibrary loans and to “extend the use of the resources of the Library to isolated scientific workers without library facilities.”2 The library had been sending facsimile copies as a substitute for interlibrary loans for more than twenty years. A few major libraries in the country had established microfilm laboratories and were copying materials from their own collections. But this operation, which the founders decided to call Bibliofilm Service, was more far reaching. It went outside the USDA library’s collection, if necessary, to track down documents, microfilm them, and deliver them to the user.

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The service was started “on enthusiasm, cooperation and hope,” as no funds were available to sustain it. Charges were kept at a minimum: one cent per page for microfilm copies and five cents per page for photoprints, even if the library had to make a special effort to obtain the document from outside sources. The service was not publicized widely because the equipment could not handle large volumes and, with no better reading devices on the market, users had to struggle with their “dissecting microscopes, movie or slide film projectors or hand lenses” to read microfilm. Still, within half a year, ninety different institutions and individuals had used the service and “over 150,000 pages had been run through the camera”; by the end of the first year, twice that number had been reproduced.

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Despite technical difficulties and inadequate reading devices, small projects were proliferating in libraries. Several institutions, such as the National Archives, the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the National Bureau of Standards, and the ACLS, also became interested in microphotography for their own purposes. Their staffs and the staff of the libraries had to contend with all the problems typical of new technologies: the total absence of standards, unreliable or untested equipment, inexperienced operating staff, and uneven quality of products. Introducing a technology alien to the organization brought with it management and staffing problems. In addition, libraries were inexperienced in charging for the invisible operating costs and overhead expenses.

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First Steps Toward Realization 43

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Thus, microfilm activities turned out to be more costly to the organizations and more stressful for their staff than expected.3

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A GRANT FOR DOCUMENTATION ACTIVITIES

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In the summer of 1935, a grant from the American Chemical Foundation at long last enabled Davis to embark on his own documentation projects. Francis P. Garvan, president of the foundation, donated $15,000 — about $135,000 in 1990 dollars — to the Documentation Institute of Science Service (DISS). The Chemical Foundation, which administered the German patents seized during World War I, strengthened the fledgling U.S. chemical industry and used its income to support chemical research and education. In the mid-1930s, as the patent rights started to run out and the foundation’s income dwindled, Garvan, a wealthy man in his own right, supplemented the grants from his private funds. He promoted science in imaginative ways: arranging to distribute Slosson’s book on chemistry and other popular science literature to high schools; establishing an award to honor and encourage women chemists; and persuading President Roosevelt to establish a Science Advisory Board in 1933 to bring together scientists and the government,4 and now, funding new approaches to scientific documentation.

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Davis’s news announcements about the grant were deliberately ambiguous, stating that “the Documentation Institute” (DISS) had become a division of Science

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Service and would “replace the tentative name,” Scientific Information Institute. Albeit the SII, discussed in the previous chapter, was just a proposal on paper, Davis at times referred to it as if it were a functioning entity. The new name, Davis announced, “will allow operation in the fields of publication and bibliography, and the development of mechanisms needed for photographic, microphotographic and other methods of reproduction and for the bibliographic scheme projected.” The DISS would not be limited to natural sciences and would “lend its aid in the future. . . to other fields of intellectual endeavor.”5

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Documentation was used in the name because the term “has found international usage (as Institut International de Documentation) and includes all phases of issuance, use and interchange of recorded information,” such as publication, classification, and bibliography. Another advantage of this term, Davis explained, was that “it [did] not have wide U.S.A. usage in any restricted sense” — which later proved to be somewhat of a disadvantage as well. To explain the term, Davis cited the definition from IID’s letterhead: “DOCUMENTER c’est reunir, classer et distribuer des documents de tout genre dans

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tous les domaines de l’activite humaine. (Documentation is the assembling, classification and distribution of documents of all sorts in all fields of human activity.)”

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Davis charged ahead with his plans, publicized his projects, and sought the opinion of established leaders. His meetings at the Cosmos Club “for thinking aloud” now regularly included librarians and archivists, in addition to the surgeon general of the U.S. Navy, directors of national institutions and government bureaus, members of the President’s Science Advisory Board, and other influential scientists.

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Davis’s plans were ambitious, appropriate for a growing institution but too ambitious for his small organization. Developing equipment that would enhance the use of microfilm had a high priority and included designs for a microfilm camera; development and production of a projection printer and a reading machine; and “investigation of photographic emulsions, films, papers, etc.” to be pursued under the direction of Draeger.6 Even in the 1930s, when the cost of technological development was much lower than in the last quarter of the twentieth century, the available funds may have allowed experimentation but were not sufficient for commercialization of equipment or chemicals.

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Other DISS goals included publication of original papers on microfilm, enlargement of the Bibliofilm Service, and a plethora of other projects: studies of bibliography in general, the compilation of a bibliography for science, language problems in scientific publication and bibliography, the classification of science, cooperation with social science fields, copyright, standardization of films, equipment for automatic retrieval of “photographically recorded” items, microphotographic publication of periodicals, lithography, the bibliography of microphotography, and duplication and photocopying methods in general.

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Even before he concluded the agreement with Garvan in July 1935, Davis was making arrangements for Draeger to continue the development of equipment and microphotographic techniques and the testing of emulsions he had begun at the Naval Medical School. Draeger, an ingenious designer, worked with unpredictable degrees of intensity on developing microphotographic equipment while serving as a navy physician. He received only his navy salary, but several organizations supported his experimental work. Among these organizations were the Naval Medical School, the Rockefeller Foundation (which funded him both directly and indirectly through the ACLS or ALA) and later the Department of Agriculture, the Library of Congress, and the Bureau of the Census, which provided the space to build the equipment.

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In the summer of 1935, Davis explored the concept of publishing scientific journals on microfilm with Thomas Midgley, Jr., chairman

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of the board of the American Chemical Society (ACS). The idea appealed to Midgley. He had been disturbed that journal editors were bringing “pressure on authors for brevity” to reduce publication costs, allowing less and less space for theorizing and speculation, which, in turn, would bring about the stagnation of science. He thought that a periodical such as the Journal of Physical Chemistry published on microfilm could provide an arena for specialists to exchange “speculative thought.” Anticipating microfiche as a medium for journals, Davis performed cost estimates based on three-by-five inch film. But with only a small staff and considerable responsibilities at Science Service, he did not develop the project further.7

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While Davis was energetically working on the program for DISS, a crisis was brewing in the executive committee of Science Service. Although he had widely publicized the 1933 proposal for a Scientific Information Institute and had kept W. H. Howell, chairman of the committee, abreast of his ideas, Davis had not mentioned the SII in his terse reports for the board of trustees of Science Service or in his discussions with the executive committee. Thus, when the Chemical Foundation awarded a grant to the Documentation Institute of Science Service, which was not even an official entity of the organization, some trustees were caught by surprise.

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J. McKeen Cattell, editor of Science and past president of Science Service, was furious: the “grandiose” proposals for the DISS were “all right for an irresponsible amateur,” he wrote to Howell, “but I do not understand how Science Service can be involved overnight in their endorsement and in a futile gesture toward putting opium dreams in effect.”8 While it was “desirable to develop microphotographic methods,” it was, however, more appropriate for Kodak or for the specialist at the Bureau of Standards to do so. The grant of $15,000 for Draeger’s work was useful but could not carry development very far. Furthermore, Cattell, a staunch advocate of government-supported research, objected to accepting the Chemical Foundation’s “stolen” money derived from German patents seized during the war, “stained with blood and national dishonor.”

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The executive committee voted to accept the grant for the support of Draeger’s work, Cattell wrote to Howell, but “we committed ourselves in no way to any plan for the distribution of microphotographic copies of manuscripts or printed material, still less to any scheme of publication or bibliography.” Cattell was disturbed that Davis has been spending “a large part of his time in propaganda committing Science Service to these projects” and was concerned that the objectives of Science Service might be fundamentally changed. Cattell did not object to continuing development work on microphotographic equipment until the Chemical Foundation funds were depleted, but

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he stressed that such development work was not Science Service’s task. He thought Garvan should be notified that Science Service had no projects for scientific publication and bibliography, “least of all those castles in the air built up by Mr. Davis’s description” of the SIT.

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Cattell considered SIT not so much utopian, as “SILLI.” He had long experience with bibliographic publication: “I initiated the Psychological Index (which, with the Psychological Abstracts that have followed, has been successful) .. . and have taken part in the plans and difficulties of the Concilium Bibliographicum, the Catalogue of the Royal Society and Biological Abstracts.” The three undertakings, he wrote, ”have been under the best of auspices, but all have failed owing to the great cost and complications.” What chance would there be for Davis’s far more grandiose schemes to succeed? “It is like a mouse trying to bite off more than a hippopotamus can chew.”

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Howell disagreed. He had given his general approval for those projects and considered the SIT project a worthwhile experiment “along the lines of the Concilium Bibliographicum except for the introduction of the methods of microphotographic reduction.” From a theoretical point of view the idea seemed more promising “than the method of printing as illustrated by the International Scientific Catalogue,” which failed because its “bulk, expense and delay in publication brought it to an end.” Even if the Catalogue project were revived with adequate financial support, Howell thought, “it could not overcome these intrinsic difficulties in a way to make it useful to scientific workers.” 9

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Davis’s concept was utopian, but “not silly or impossible,” wrote Howell, and without money for the projects, the plans would not be carried out in the immediate future. Howell was in favor of trying out Bibliofilm Service, as well as creating an auxiliary publication scheme, even though it “may not take, not because of financial difficulties but more likely because the pride of authors may make them unwilling to be read only by the select and interested.” He believed that, as a result, technical journals, at some time, “may be limited to the publication of short papers and long abstracts.” He was in favor of Science Service “taking the responsibility of inaugurating these movements” if funds could be obtained from outside sources but was ready to defer to the decision of the executive committee on the fate of the project. Davis had made a commitment only to accept funds from the Chemical Foundation and establish a link with the U.S. Naval Medical School, although, admittedly, he had widely discussed “by means of conferences and in writing” the feasibility of establishing a copying and publication service under Science Service auspices.

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Howell informed Davis at once about Cattell’s “long and disturbing letter” and advised Davis “to discontinue the issue of documents,” to

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“postpone conferences” on documentation projects, and to “push as hard as possible on the preparatory work and apparatus under Draeger; so that at the scheduled meeting of the Exec. Corn. in October there may be enough to present in the way of completed methods to convince the Committee, including Cattell, that the beginning of publication is feasible and desirable.” If Davis proceeded to make commitments in the name of Science Service, Howell advised, there would be “an active conflict” in the board of trustees regarding the management of the organization. “If the action should be adverse. . . I should, of course, withdraw and you might be forced to consider the same step.10

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Shortly after he received Howell’s letter, Davis sailed for Europe to attend the IID Congress in Copenhagen. Undeterred by the controversy brewing at home, Davis threw himself into the activities of the congress and presented his proposal on the SII.

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By the time the meeting of the executive committee of Science Service was called to order in October, the lines were drawn. McKeen Cattell still thought it absurd for Davis and Draeger to compete with Kodak, opposed Science Service’s involvement “in projects so remote from the objects for which it was founded,” and felt that the activities ought to be transferred “to a special committee or board of experts that will assume responsibility for commitments in which Science Service has become involved.”11Other members of the board of trustees may not have objected as forcefully as Cattell, but they also had reservations about Science Service moving into areas outside its original objectives.

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Davis had his ducks in a row by the time of the executive committee meeting. Draeger was ready to demonstrate the reading machine he had “designed and structured” in the previous two months, as well as a camera for microphotography. Before the meeting Davis visited the director of research of Eastman Kodak, the largest camera manufacturer in the country. According to C. E. K. Mees, Kodak’s primary interest in developing cameras was to sell film and he agreed that their camera was less advanced than the book-reading camera Draeger was developing.12

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The executive committee finally voted that “the ordinary resources of Science Service shall not be used“ to carry out the documentation activities Davis had proposed. After considerable debate, the committee authorized the Documentation Division (DDSS) to operate the Bibliofilm Service in the USDA library and publish “by microphotographic film and projection prints of manuscripts, documents, scientific records and other material in cooperation with journals, societies, universities and institutions conducting research pursuits” between January 1, 1936, and March 31, 1937.13

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Davis was thus free to take over the Bibliofilm Service, start the Auxiliary Publication Service, and support Draeger’s work. But the new documentation division also had to stand on its own financially — and its lifespan was restricted to fifteen months.

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THE DOCUMENTATION DIVISION OF SCIENCE SERVICE

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After the stormy executive committee meeting in October, Davis concentrated on development of services, work on microphotographic equipment, and the conceptual design of a scientific bibliography on microfilm. He had not given up the notion of the Scientific Information Institute, however, and directed the activities of the DDSS in such a way that they could eventually become modules of an SIT organization.

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Davis was thus As Davis reviewed DDSS activities for Garvan in December 1936, he was pleased to report that the operation, development, and research accomplished under the initial $15,000 and a subsequent $5,000 grant had “more than any other factor developed the tool of microphotographic duplication.” He wrote to Garvan that the Bibliofilm Service and Auxiliary Publication Service served two major purposes: to “unlock the written literature” and to “break the log jam of scholarly publications.”14

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These and other well-turned phrases recurred like repetitive musical themes in his letters, reports, and general publicity for the services.

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Unlocking the Written Literature

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Davis was thus As part of a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Science Service took over operation of Bibliofilm Service as of January 1, 1936. The USDA contributed the laboratory space, the services of a technician and the library work needed to carry out Bibliofilm operations.15

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The cause for this changeover is not documented, and one can only speculate whether Barnett and Davis had an early understanding that Science Service would take over operations as soon as feasible, that the Bibliofilm activities were overtaxing the resources of the USDA library, or possibly, that Davis persuaded Barnett to turn over operations to Science Service.

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At a time when only a few institutions in the country had laboratories for microfilm copying and the National Union Catalog was not yet available to help locate books or journals, Bibliofilm Service opened up the rich resources of Washington libraries and government bureaus and offered a central facility through which

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scholars and scientists were able to gain much easier access to the materials needed for their research.

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Scientific editors were elated by the announcement of the service. The response of Colin G. Bliss, president of Engineering Index, Inc., was typical. Albeit Engineering Index was indexing and annotating “some two thousand magazines, covering all the technical literature of the world,” few corporations had access to such a wide variety of journals. Now Bibliofilm Service would make it possible for people to follow up and read the articles to which Engineering Index had alerted them.16

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Davis always spoke in glowing terms about the operation at the USDA library, which, in 1935-36, was only a pioneering effort with makeshift equipment and served only a limited group of scholars and scientists. Davis soon became convinced of the need for not one node but a centralized network of bibliofilm services with all major libraries in the country participating. He soon began to take steps to develop a formal network, starting with the Washington, D.C., area.

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A New Publication Service

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The Auxiliary Publication Service was inaugurated at the beginning of 1936, a decade after Slosson and Davis described the concept in their “Plan for Film Record.” Despite the opposition he encountered to SII, Davis hoped that eventually the Auxiliary Publication Service could become part of the model institute he had proposed a few years before 17

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The objective of the Auxiliary Publication Service was to make available to “the intellectual worker” for an unlimited time period “all the material that should be recorded.” In essence it was a central depository of manuscripts that were too voluminous, highly specialized, “or not of sufficient general interest. . . to be published under existing publishing conditions.” The existence of these works would be announced in the appropriate specialty journals, the documents reproduced on demand, and, just like Bibliofilm Service materials, delivered to the users who had requested them. This service would, in Davis’s oft-repeated words, provide a “relief for crowded journals,” allowing editors to publish shorter and livelier articles or abstracts.18 Science editors liked the idea; some were enthusiastic. Within a few months after the service was started, forty-three editors indicated their willingness to cooperate with auxiliary publications.

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Chemical Abstracts was the first abstracting service to participate. Its highly respected editor, E. J. Crane, who became a strong supporter of Davis, thought the idea of auxiliary publication very important.

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First Steps Toward Realization 50

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Editorial Questions

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The ALA had rejected Binkley’s first plan for alternate scholarly publications just a few years earlier, because its advisory committee did not believe authors could prepare acceptable copy. Davis did not consider this an important issue in the context of the Auxiliary Publication Service. In his view, careful editing was justified for journals of large circulation serving many readers, but the highly technical and detailed material likely to be submitted for auxiliary publication would be read by very few people and thus did not warrant rigorous editing or even perfect typing.19

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Validating Publication on Microfilm

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While Davis dismissed the editorial question lightly, he took steps to ensure that material submitted to the Auxiliary Publication Service and typically distributed only on microfilm would have validity in the scientific community. After all, scientific publication is more than a news announcement: to get full recognition, a discovery or new idea must be accepted by an authors’ peers, their intellectual community. In case of parallel discoveries, pinpointing priority is especially important.20

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As soon as the service started Davis made two important inquiries. First, he asked an examiner of the U.S. Patent Office to evaluate the concept of publication on microfilm. The examiner concluded that microphotographic publications did indeed fall into the category of writings and printed publication;thus the priority for authors of such publications would be recognized.

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Second, in the spring of 1936, Davis approached the respected Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia to find out “whether the auxiliary method of publication really constitutes publication and would be acceptable by the international scientific community.” He pointed out that an examiner of the Patent Office had looked into the legal aspects of this mode of publication and that the National Bureau of Standards estimated the stability of microfilm to be as good as the best rag paper — more enduring than the paper on which most journals were printed.21

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But the council of the academy was not easily swayed. Whether or not a publication is valid cannot be determined by the laws of the United States alone, they maintained. “The definition of this term is based upon international understandings of practical scientific men who formulate their own rules as to what they will accept as publication.”22 The secretary of the academy in Philadelphia, James A. G. Rehn, wrote to Davis that the consensus among scientific administrators throughout the country was that the choice of medium was less important than “immediate distribution” of the

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publication. The date of the publication was based on the date of distribution, and if the paper was not “immediately readable . . . publication was not achieved.”23 Davis eventually suggested that microfilm copies could be distributed to a specified number of places throughout the world to accomplish official “publication”; this Rehn did not reject out of hand. No further action followed. Three years later, publicity for the Auxiliary Publication Service stated unequivocally that through this service “[priority in any paper can be further established by its immediate issuance.”24

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Bibliography on Microfilm

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Davis had not relinquished the idea of a scientific bibliography on microfilm, and he used the Chemical Foundation grant to carry out planning for such a project. In the summer of 1935, Davis, his wife Helen Miles Davis, and Draeger made detailed plans. Davis and Draeger described some of their concepts of necessary technical developments, mentioned in the previous chapter, and Helen Davis developed a plan for a bibliographic department of DISS.

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Helen Davis suggested that the bibliographic department would accumulate and classify a complete collection of abstracts, of about two hundred words each, of all scientific articles ever printed. By using the automated information processing equipment mentioned earlier, the abstracts could then be retrieved by subject, date, or author. She was concerned that documents be classified properly. She was aware of the need for cross-references and the problem of “overlapping fields,” subject areas where, for instance, medicine and chemistry overlapped. She realized, however, that including all collections from the past in such a bibliography was an ideal that could not be achieved and suggested therefore to give current literature higher priority.

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Watson Davis believed that “cooperation between scientists of various nations as well as various groups of scientists within nations” was essential but understood that cooperation alone was not sufficient to carry out the DDSS projects. “The necessity of international cooperation in scientific bibliography had long been realized, in theory at least” and had been attempted in a few cases. These attempts had been unsuccessful, Davis maintained, because of “the difficulty of bringing together the bibliography desired” and because of the method of distribution.25

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As the Davises were progressing with plans for a world bibliography of science, Watson Davis stayed in close contact with the scientific community about the issues involved. They were far removed,

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however, from the community of librarians and bibliographers. Possibly with a touch of chauvinism, Davis did not attempt to find out how librarians viewed the issues or the problems they encountered with existing bibliographies.

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Development of Equipment

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Of utmost importance in Davis’s view was the development of a technical infrastructure for the various DDSS projects: mechanisms for photocopying library materials, for improving the film itself, and for reading microfilm. If appropriate equipment was not available, the grand plans for a scientific bibliography would have to remain dreams, and the other projects could only hobble along. Because of Lieutenant Draeger’s unique capabilities, Davis was eager to engage him in DDSS projects.

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Cattell and others understood that only large companies were in the position to develop the necessary equipment for microphotography. At the time some of the most forward-looking librarians and archivists, thwarted in their efforts to harness the promises of microfilm technology, had come to the conclusion that, if microfilm were to fulfil its potential as a tool for research workers, the equipment would have to be developed on a not-for-profit basis.26

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Davis, having had no response from industry in the past, was eager to take on the challenge. He also had as his model a successful company set up by Frederick Cotrell that was funneling back money earned by the precipitron Cotrell had invented to support research and development on a non-profit basis. Davis participated in the discussions when Cottrell set up a second, similar company, which, however, failed within a few years.27

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Despite opposition from several members of the board of trustees, Davis’s determination prevailed: for a brief period between July 1935 and March 1937 when the ADI was organized, development of equipment was part of Science Service’s documentation activities, symbolizing perhaps the eagerness of librarians and archivists to extend services to their users, and of scientists and scholars to gain access to the literature.

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Draeger applied for twelve patents on aspects of equipment he developed in 1935-36, which were later issued. Institutions eager to move ahead on their own microfilm projects were interested in the cameras and reading machines. But Draeger’s work was progressing in spurts. By 1936, he had built two cameras and was also working on five microfilm cameras of new design. Thus sale of Draeger’s equipment could not support further technical development.

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First Steps Toward Realization 53

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The Science Service project was, nonetheless, valuable. By building and publicizing the need for microfilm equipment when commercial firms were not yet ready to take the risk, the DDSS under Davis’s direction demonstrated the feasibility of the various uses of microfilm in documentation. Furthermore, using Draeger’s cameras, several institutions became first users of the technology — so important for development. These microfilm demonstrations showed sufficient promise for commercial firms to enter this risky field and manufacture the equipment for microphotographic work.

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A MICROFILM SYMPOSIUM

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The first American microfilm symposium was held at the 1936 ALA conference in Richmond, Virginia. Davis and Binkley organized the meeting, which provided a consolidated picture of microfilm activities in the country and created a momentum that for the first time pulled together the small group sharing this interest. The symposium was cosponsored by five divisions of the ALA, as well as the Bibliographical Society of America, the Joint Committee, the National Bureau of Standards, and the Documentation Division of Science Service. “The country’s foremost experts, in and out of the profession, from educational and commercial ranks alike” reported on “the situation of this revolutionary medium down to the minute for library folk,” wrote Llewellyn Raney. Presentations during the full-day meeting ranged from the ideal camera (Binkley); discussion of films, paper, and emulsions (Draeger); criteria for measuring the effectiveness of reading devices (Vernon Tate of the National Archives); and the microfilming of newspapers (C. Z. Case of Eastman Kodak) to the problems of specification and standards and consideration of a project to provide a revolving fund for microfilming significant documents (Keyes Metcalf, New York Public Library) 28

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The reports practically erupt with excitement, conveying a sense that this was the start of a major movement. The ALA established a Committee on Photographic Reproduction as a result of this intensive meeting. The committee, however, was not in the mainstream of ALA activities, and Peggy Sullivan, for example, who has examined the history of the ALA during this period, does not even mention the committee or interest in microfilm activity.29 But the committee provided the focal point for microfilm activities within ALA and, a year later, vied with the ADI in its attempt to establish the first U.S. journal on documentation — and prevailed.

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Planning the various projects described in this chapter brought groups into contact that would not otherwise have worked together.

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First Steps Toward Realization 54

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These included archivists, librarians, and scientific editors and administrators. Because of Davis’s recognized expertise in microfilm duplication, archival and scholarly administrators called on him for advice, and he was generous in responding to their requests. With the spiraling interest of librarians, the greater involvement of archivists in microphotographic reproduction, and the concern of the scholarly and scientific community about bibliography and exploration of alternate publication channels, Davis believed that the stage was set for an independent information institute.

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NOTES

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1. Watson Davis, “Microphotographic Duplication in the Service of Science,” Science

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83 (1 May 1936): 402-4.

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2. Claribel R. Barnett, “The Bibliofilm Service: A Review of its Past Work and an Announcement Regarding its Future Plans and Arrangements,” Agricultural Library Notes 11 (January 1936):55 (Mimeographed). Cited also in the paragraph below.

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3. Keyes D. Metcalf, “Proposal for Reproduction of Research Material on Film,” New York, 13 August 1935 (Carbon), p. 1, SA.

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4. Kenneth M. Reese, “American Chemical Society, the First 100 Years,” Chemical Engineering News, (6 April 1976): 26; Lewis E. Auerbach, “Scientists in the New Deal: A Pre-war Episode in the Relations between Science and Government in the United States,”

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Minerva 3 (Summer 1964):457; and “Garvan Dead, Who’ll Carry On?”

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Business Week (27 November 1937): 42-43.

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5. “Regarding the Name: Documentation Institute”, Doc. 45, Washington, D.C., DISS, 11 July 1935 (Mimeographed), SA. Cited also in the paragraph below.

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6. “Projects of the Documentation Institute of Science Service as of July 1935,” DISS Doc. 65, 30 July 1935 (Mimeographed), SA. Cited also in the paragraph below.

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7. Watson Davis and R. H. Draeger, “Project for Microphotographic Publication of Periodicals,” Doc. 46, Washington, D.C., DISS, 11 July 1935 (Mimeographed), SA. The views of Thomas Midgley, Jr., are discussed in his “Memorandum of Remarks of Thomas Midgley Jr. to Watson Davis and Dr. R. H. Draeger, July 9, 1935,” DISS. Doc. 67,31 July 1935 (Mimeographed), SA. When scientists and two founding agencies were making plans in the 1950s to publish Wildlife Disease, the first U.S. periodical on microfilm, all believed that the concept was original (Gerald Sophar, interview with author, Washington, D.C., 15 February 1978).

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8. J. McKeen Cattell to W.H. Howell (August 1935) SA, cited also in the next three paragraphs.

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9. Citations through the next two paragraphs are from the letter, Howell to Cattell, Chebaugue, Maine, 19 August 1935, SA.

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10. Howell to Davis, Chebaugue Island, Maine, 18 August 1935, SA. First Steps Toward Realization 55

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11. J. McKeen Cattell, “Memorandum for Members of the Executive Committee of Science Service,” 30 August 1935 (Garrison, N.Y.), SA.

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12. Watson Davis, Memorandum, “Conference between Dr. C. E. K. Mees, Director of Research, Eastman Kodak Co., Dr. R. H. Draeger and Watson Davis, Oct. 11, 1935,” DDSS Doc. 96, 24 October 1935 (Mimeographed), 2 pp., SA. Marked “For use of trustees and collaborators only.”
13. Minutes of the Meeting of the Executive Committee of Science Service, Washington, D.C., Oct. 26, 1935“ (Carbon), SA.

87 0

14. Watson Davis to Francis P. Garvan, ”Report on Operation of Documentation Division under Chemical Foundation Grants,“ 16 December 1936 (Carbon), 4 pp, SA.

88 0

15. Barnett, ”The Bibliofilm Service,“ 58 (see n. 2).

89 0

16. Comments on Bibliofilm Service and Auxiliary Publication Service of Science Service’s Documentation Division,” DDSS Doc. 176, 18 May 1936 (Mimeographed), p. 2, SA.

90 0

17. Watson Davis to W. H. Howell, “Information Memorandum on Progress of Science Service,” 15 January 1936 (Mimeographed), SA; Davis to W. W. Buffum, 21 January 1935 (Carbon), SA; and Davis, “Project for Publication of Scientific Papers and Monographs that Can Not Now Secure Prompt and Complete Issuance,” 20 June 1935 (Washington, D.C., Mimeographed), SA.

91 0

18. Watson Davis, “Microfilm — New Tool for Intelligence, Address to the Special Libraries Association, Pittsburgh, 8 June 1938” (Mimeographed), SA; and Davis to Garvan, “Report,” December 1936, p. 2 (see n. 14).

92 0

19. Watson Davis to H. E. Howe, 25 July 1935 (Carbon) p. 2, SA.

93 0

20. Daniel J. Boorstin, The Discoverers: A History of Man’s Search to Know His World and Himself; (New York: Random House, 1983), 413-17.

94 0

21. Watson Davis to James A. G. Rehn, 14 May 1936 (Carbon), SA.

95 0

22. James A. G. Rehn to Watson Davis, 18 May 1936 (Typed), SA.

96 0

23 Rehn to Davis, 1 June 1936 (Typed), SA.

97 0

24. Bibliofilm Service — A General Description,“ p. 3.

98 0

25. Watson Davis, ”Activities of Science Service in Scientific Documentation,“ DDSS Doc. 72, 2d ed., 10 February 1936 (Mimeographed) 7-8, 8A.

99 0

26. Watson Davis to W. W. Buffum, 21 June 1935 (Carbon), 2 pp., SA; and Vernon D. Tate, interview with author, Annapolis, Md., 5 July 1977.

100 0

27. Frank Cameron, Cottrell, Samaritan of Science (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1952).

101 0

28. M. Llewellyn Raney, ”Microphotography at Richmond,“ Library Journal 61 (1 May 1936):368, and ”Microphotography Symposium,“ ALA Bulletin 30 (1936):719-23; and American Library Association, Microphotography for Libraries: Papers Presented at the 1936 Conference of the American Library Association, ed. M. Llewellyn Raney (Chicago: American Library Association, 1936), the first book published on microphotography in the United States. Details of the project Metcalf proposed can be found in his ”Proposal for Reproduction of Research Material“ (see n. 3).

102 0

29. Peggy Ann Sullivan, Carl Milam and the American Library Association (New York: H. W. Wilson, 1976), 131.