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Abstract

Helen Brownson (1917–) was a federal government employee from 1941–1970 and was responsible for many scientific events, technologies, and foundational aspects which fostered the transformation of the field of documentation into the field of information science. As Program Director for Scientific Documentation at the National Science Foundation's Office of Scientific Information, Brownson published dozens of reports and articles pertaining to information-handling, scientific communication, and machine-translation problems. She presented at and reported on international conferences and would allocate federal grant money toward pioneering projects—all in order to develop better methods for access, storage, and retrieval of recorded scientific information. She was responsible for identifying and supporting the Cranfield Experiments and founded the Annual Review of Information Science and Technology (ARIST) as well as the two technical systems publications which precipitated the need for an annual review. This poster is a concise history of Brownson's career taken directly from the forthcoming article, A Humble Servant: The Work of Helen L. Brownson and the Early Years of Information Science Research. More specifically, it is an opportunity to showcase many of the personal, historical, visual images collected during personal interviews with, and through scholarly research on this influential pioneer.