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Robert M. Hayes

  • Born: December 3, 1926, New York, New York

  Interview Details

Interview no.: 0217
Interview Date: February 26, 2001
Location: Los Angeles, California
Interviewer: Colin B. Burke
No. of pages: 27
Sponsor: Eugene Garfield Foundation
Eugene Garfield Foundation

  Abstract of Interview

Robert M. Hayes begins the interview with a discussion of his father's and his stepfather's affect on his life. He describes how he traveled frequently because of his stepfather's acting career, attending over sixteen different high schools before receiving his diploma. Hayes graduated from UCLA in 1947 with a B.A. in mathematics, and afterwards was drafted into the Navy. He recounts his acceptance into the Navy's V-12 program, and the courses he took for that program at the University of Colorado at Boulder. After the War, Hayes returned to UCLA, where he earned his M.A. in mathematics in 1949, and his Ph.D. in mathematics in 1952. While earning his Ph.D., Hayes worked on information science at the National Bureau of Standards. In 1952, he decided to move into industry, and was hired at Hughes Aircraft. He describes his work at Hughes, where he programmed a computer to fly an airplane. Further, he recounts his teaching responsibilities in UCLA's University-extension program, which he continued in parallel with his experiences at Hughes. In 1954, Hayes began working at the National Cash Register Company, and a year later he moved to Magnavox Research Labs. He discusses the important developments in information storage and retrieval at Magnavox, such as the Minicard and the Magnacard systems, and his realization that his efforts at Magnavox could be taught to students. Eventually, Hayes was teaching at locations all over the United States, including American University, the University of Washington, and Wright Patterson Air Force Base. In 1960, Hayes was invited to join the Electrada Corporation, which he did, as vice-president. Hayes relates how, soon after joining Electrada, he and John Postley created Advanced Information Systems as a subsidiary of Electrada. Hayes also explains why he became a fulltime professor at UCLA at that time, and discusses his roles in the formation of the School of Library Service and the Institute for Library Research. In 1969, Joseph Becker and Robert Hayes started Becker and Hayes Incorporated, with the purpose of creating an interlibrary network for the State of Washington. Hayes discusses the obstacles he and Becker overcame to accomplish that task, and goes on to recount his work with NCLIS and the SILC system. Hayes concludes the interview with his interpretation of the relationship between information science and library science, and the importance of libraries and librarians.


1947 B.A., Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles
1949 M.A., Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles
1952 Ph.D., Mathematics, University of California, Los Angeles

  Professional Experience

National Bureau of Standards

1949 - 1952 Mathematician

Hughes Aircraft Corporation

1952 - 1954 Technical Staff Member

University of California, Los Angeles

1954 - 1964 Adjunct Lecturer

University of California, Los Angeles

1964 Professor, School of Library Services

University of California, Los Angeles

1965 - 1970 Director, Institute for Library Research

University of California, Los Angeles

1974 - 1989 Dean, Graduate School of Library Service, School of Library and Information Science

National Cash Register Company

1954 - 1955 Applications Division

Magnavox Corporation

1955 - 1960 Head of the Business Systems Group

Becker and Hayes, Incorporated

1959 - 1973 Vice President

Becker and Hayes, Incorporated

1993 - 1996 Vice President

American University

1959 - 1960 Visiting Lecturer

University of Washington

1960 - 1962 Visiting Lecturer

Electrada, Incorporated

1960 - 1963 Vice President and Research Director

Advanced Information Systems, Incorporated

1960 - 1964 President

University of Illinois

1970 Windsor Lecturer

White House Conference on Libraries and Information Sciences

1979 Advisory Council Member

University of New South Wales

1979 Visiting Professor

Japanese Universities

1987 Visiting Professor

Japanese Universities

1994 Visiting Professor

Loughborough University

1989 Visiting Professor

Online Computer Library Center, Incorporated

1990 Consultant

University of New South Wales

1993 Visiting Professor

Khazar University

1994 Visiting Professor


1971 Best Information Science Book Award, ASIS
1985 Beta Phi Mu Award, American Library Association
1986 Professional Achievement Award, UCLA Alumni Association
1990 First Tezak Award, University of Zagreb, Croatia
1993 Award of Merit, American Library Association

  Table of Contents

Title and Description Page

Family, Education, and Early Career 1

Recollections of his father and stepfather. Moving to California and attending UCLA. Being drafted into the Navy and joining the V-12 program. Earning his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. at UCLA. Working on the mathematical-tables project for division 11 of the Institute for Numerical Analysis.

Returning to UCLA 5

Getting a fellowship at UCLA. Being taught by Grace Hopper. Programming computers. Being in a class with Richard P Feynman. Going to work at Hughes Aircraft Company. Teaching through the University-extension program. Working at the National Cash Register Company, and then for Hughes Dynamics.

Magnavox Research Laboratories 9

Working on the Minicard system for information storage and retrieval. The success of the magnetic disk. Studying the various forms of information storage. Teaching information science at various institutions. Meeting Mortimer Taube at Documentation Incorporated. The Magnacard system.

From Electrada to Becker and Hayes, Inc. 13

Being invited to join Electrada. Creating AIS with John A. Postley. Becoming a fulltime professor at UCLA. The creation of Hughes Dynamics. The founding of the School of Library Service and the Institute for Library Research. Forming Becker and Hayes to develop a library network. Rationalizing the funds for a national library network.

Conclusion 18

Writing the SILC report. The public-sector/private-sector taskforce. Discussing the difference between information and library science. Affirming the importance of libraries and librarians.

Notes 22

Index 23

  About the Interviewer

Colin B. Burke

Colin B. Burke had recently retired from the history department at the University of Maryland at Baltimore County and held a research fellowship at Yale University when he came to CHF. He spent his residency working on his book on the history of computer-based scientific information systems and related government policies, from the 1950s through the early 1990s. He received his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and currently serves as associate professor emeritus at the University of Maryland. He also served as a Fulbright Scholar in Poland and as a scholar-in-residence at the National Security Agency.

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