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Claire K. Schultz

Claire K. Schultz

Detail of Image, Gift of Claire Schultz, CHF Collections

  • Born: November 17, 1924, Etters, Pennsylvania

  Interview Details

Interview no.: 0161
Interview Date: June 9, 1997
Location: Line Lexington, Pennsylvania
Interviewer: Robert V. Williams
No. of pages: 69
Sponsor: Eugene Garfield Foundation
Eugene Garfield Foundation

  Abstract of Interview

Claire K. Schultz begins the interview by discussing her childhood in south central Pennsylvania. Raised primarily by her father and grandmother, Schultz dreamed of becoming a doctor from a young age. Inspired by her grandmother's belief in her abilities, Schultz graduated from Juniata College in three years, and went on to medical school after a year of work in the Philadelphia State Hospital. Forced to leave medical school by the birth of her first child, Schultz went on to a job as a research assistant at the Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology, and then to Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD), where she held her first position in a library. Schultz's interest in information retrieval began at Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratory, where she met Calvin Mooers. After talking to Mooers about his ideas regarding information retrieval, Schultz joined forces with Robert Ford, of MSD's Pharmacology Lab, and began a campaign to get an IBM 101 system at Merck Sharp & Dohme. Schultz wrote her master's thesis at Drexel University in Library Science on the MSD library system. While working at MSD, Schultz met John Mauchly, Eugene Garfield, and Peter Luhn. As one of the pioneer documentalists, Schultz worked at Sperry Rand Univac Corporation, and later at the Institute for the Advancement of Medical Communication, and taught various courses on information science at Drexel University and at the Medical College of Pennsylvania. Schultz closes her interview with anecdotes about her post-retirement hobbies, and her work as a computer consultant in a local elementary school.


1944 B.S., Chemistry and Biology, Minor in Mathematics, Juniata College
1952 M.S., Library Science, Drexel University

  Professional Experience

Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology

1946 - 1948 Research Associate

Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories

1949 - 1957 Librarian

Sperry Rand Univac Corporation

1958 - 1961 Senior Systems Analyst

Institute for the Advancement of Medical Communication

1961 - 1970 Research Scientist

Drexel University

1961 - 1970 Associate Professor of Information Science


1970 - 1972 Consultant

Medical College of Pennsylvania

1973 - 1982 Professor of Information Science and Director of Libraries


1980 Award of Merit, American Society for Information Science

  Table of Contents

Title and Description Page

Family Background and Early Education 1

Growing up in Pennsylvania. Influence of grandmother. Close relationship with father. Elementary and high school.

College Education and Medical School 5

Three years at Juniata College with scholarship. Dream to go to medical school. Working for Philadelphia State Hospital. Marriage to Wallace L. Schultz. Attending medical school at Women's Medical College. Birth of first child.

Early Career 10

Job as researcher at Wistar Institute of Anatomy and Biology. Librarian at Merck Sharp & Dohme. First interest in information retrieval. Master's degree in Library Science from Drexel University. Work with early sorter systems. Activity with Philadelphia Chapter of the Special Libraries Association.

Information Scientist 25

First information science courses taught at Drexel. Tension between SLA and ADI librarians. Representative of Sperry Rand. Work on NLM and ASTIA projects. Work at Institute for the Advancement of Medical Communication. Medlars project. Consulting and Teaching at Medical College of Philadelphia.

"Retirement" and Beyond 49

Work as EMT. Sailing with husband. Caring for grandchildren. Volunteer computer assistant at local elementary school. Reflections on career.

Notes 61

Index 63

  About the Interviewer

Robert V. Williams

Robert V. Williams is a professor of library and information science at the University of South Carolina. He holds a Ph.D. in library and information studies from the University of Wisconsin, Madison; an M.S. in library and information science from Florida State University; and an M.A. in history from New York University. Before joining the University of South Carolina in 1978, he was an archivist and information services manager for the Ford Foundation, and the Georgia Department of Archives and History. Williams has also been an information consultant for many organizations including Appalachian Council of Governments of Greenville, South Carolina, and Pontifical Catholic University Madre y Maestra, Dominican Republic. He came to the Chemical Heritage Foundation as the Eugene Garfield Fellow in the History of Scientific Information in 1997. He is a member of the South Carolina Historical Records Advisory Board, the American Library Association (ALA), and the American Society for Information Science (ASIS), where he served as chair of ASIS History and Foundations of Information Science Special Interest Group in 1994–1995. Williams is also a member of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) and Chair of the SLA Membership Committee. Williams has numerous publications on the historical role of information science.

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