Estelle Brodman and the First Generation of Library Automation

Estelle Brodman and the First Generation of Library Automation

In an undated curriculum vitae from late in the career of Estelle Brodman, PhD, she listed her present interests, with the first one being “Impacts of new technologies on methods by which scientists gather information and inspiration for research and teaching, and the relationship of the library as a communication center for this” [1]. The manual typewriter, with carbon paper for copies, the rotary-dial analog telephone, and elegant handwriting constituted state-of-the-art desktop information technology for the first two decades of Dr. Brodman’s career. As the computing era began to take shape, however, Dr. Brodman was quick to recognize its transformational potential for library operations. This paper will chronicle Dr. Brodman’s leadership in the earliest days of computing, building a foundation for automation at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and extending the technology model through the development of library applications and networks that would benefit libraries of all sizes. A comprehensive review of Dr. Brodman’s information technology efforts is beyond the reach of a single article. Selected projects are provided to illustrate the challenges, accomplishments, and impact of her distinguished career. EARLY WORK

Estelle Brodman and the First Generation of Library Automation



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