Vickery, Brian C(ampbell) 1918-

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VICKERY, Brian C(ampbell) 1918-

PERSONAL: Born September 11, 1918, in Sydney, Australia; son of Adam Cairns (a journalist) and Violet Mary (a homemaker; maiden name, Watson) McCay; married Manuletta Teresa McMenamin (marriage ended); married Alina Kozlowski (an information scientist), May 4, 1972; children: Susan Vickery O'Halloran, Michael. Ethnicity: "Scottish." Education: Oxford University, M.A., 1941. Politics: Socialist. Hobbies and other interests: History, poetry.

ADDRESSES: Home—9 Clover Close, Oxford OX2 9JH, England. E-mail—[email protected].

CAREER: Royal Ordnance Factory, Bridgewater, England, plant chemist, 1941-45; Imperial Chemicals, Welwyn, England, information officer, 1946-60; National Lending Library, Boston Spa, England, principal scientific officer, 1960-64; University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology, Manchester, England, librarian, 1964-66;Association of Special Libraries and Information Bureaux, London, England, research director, 1966-73; University of London, professor of library studies, 1973-83; writer, 1983—. Consultant to International Council of Scientific Unions, UNESCO, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, and British House of Commons.

MEMBER: Institute of Information Scientists, Association of Special Libraries and Information Bureaux, British Library Association.


Classification and Indexing in Science, Butterworth (Sevenoaks, Kent, England), 1958, third edition, 1975.

On Retrieval System Theory, Butterworth (Sevenoaks, Kent, England), 1961, second edition, 1965.

Information Systems, Butterworth (Sevenoaks, Kent, England), 1973.

(With wife, Alina Vickery) Information Science, Bowker Saur, 1987, revised edition, 1992.

Scientific Communication in History, Scarecrow Press (Lanham, MD), 2000.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Continued study of scientific information.

SIDELIGHTS: Brian C. Vickery told CA: "When young, I learned how to learn and cannot break myself of the habit. I write, I think, to clarify what I have learned, and I publish to share my thoughts. Arthur Mee's Children's Encyclopedia first spread a panorama of knowledge and culture before me. The Arabian Nights and the science fiction of H. G. Wells stimulated my imagination. My academic study became chemistry, but Wells and his Science of Life and Aldous Huxley fascinated me. At university I encountered Marxism, which has fostered an abiding interest in history and philosophy. One Marxist who particularly influenced me—in both personal and professional interests—was the scientist John Desmond Bernal. Clumsy with my hands, the communication aspects of science (about which he also wrote) became my career, and most of my writings have explored and expounded professional aspects of this.

"My book Scientific Communication in History sums up all these interests. I first began reading and writing notes on this during the 1950s. To try to grasp our heritage of culture—in science, philosophy, literature, and the arts—has been an underlying theme of my life, and my book is an imperfect attempt to display one small aspect of this heritage."