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Oral history interview with A. J. Meadows

  • 2000-Jun-29

Oral history interview with A. J. Meadows

  • 2000-Jun-29

A. J. Meadows begins the interview with a discussion of his early employment at the University of Illinois. He reveals why he studied both astronomy and the history of science, and how, through his knowledge of both those subjects, he was appointed to those departments simultaneously at the University of Leicester. Next, Meadows discusses his initial interest in information science, which led him to establish two centers for communication studies. Further, he details particular studies undertaken at those centers, and the results. Then, Meadows discusses his various relationships with the Institute for Information Scientists (IIS), the Library Association (LA), and Aslib. He details the merger between the IIS and the LA, and the significance of Aslib's research department. Subsequently, Meadows discusses online communication's impact on information science, and vice versa. As examples, he explains the creation and growth of BioMedNet and the e-print system. Also, Meadows describes his relationship with Donald J. Urquhart. In conclusion, Meadows talks about the various peaks of information science, and ponders the definition of the words “information,” “documentation,” and “library.“

Property Value
Place of interview
Place of manufacture
  • 27 pages
  • 01:49:00
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

About the Interviewer

W. Boyd Rayward is a research professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Chamapaign. He turned to librarianship after graduating in English literature from the University of Sydney. He received his PhD from the Graduate Library School at the University of Chicago in 1973. He has held positions in the University of Chicago (where he became Dean of the Graduate Library School). He served as professor and head of the School of Information Library and Archive Studies and Dean of the University's Faculty of Professional Studies at the University of New South Wales in Sydney where he is now professor emeritus. He has published two books related to Paul Otlet, Belgian documentalist and internationalist, and a great many articles on history of national and international schemes for the organization and dissemination of information.

Institutional location

Oral history number 0206

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • January 24, 1934
  • Sheffield, United Kingdom
  • July 18, 2016
  • United Kingdom


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1957 University of Oxford BS Physics
1959 University of Oxford MS Physics
1959 University of Oxford PhD Astronomy
1965 University College, London MSc History and Philosophy of Science

Professional Experience

University of Leicester

  • 1965 to 1986 Professor, history of science and astronomy

Loughborough University

  • 1986 to 2001 Professor, information science department


Year(s) Award
1996 Hon DSc, City University London
1996 Permanent Vice President, Library Association

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PDF — 176 KB

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

3 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads