A highlight of the 2012 ASIS&T Annual Meeting, the pre-conference session on the History of ASIS&T and Information Science and Technology Worldwide drew presenters and attendees from around the globe. The day featured papers on four historical themes, starting with the institutional roots of ASIS&T and recognizing decades of research presented in the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology. The evolution of the field was apparent through a review of information revolutions prompted by the printing press, the post-World War II information crisis and the Internet, as well as through presentations on digital curation, ongoing work on relevance, sense-making theory and developments from Croatia to France. Discussion of the historical contexts of technology innovations and impacts considered photographic documentary techniques, binary computing and networking standards. The development of foundational ideas was explored through presentations on pioneering document indexing methods, the semantic challenge of term-oriented retrieval, early European perceptions of classification systems and the French view of communication and information science. Efforts to deepen the historical understanding of information science and technology will continue through oral history interviews, funded research and awards for outstanding papers.