Wellisch, Hans H(anan) 1920-2004

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WELLISCH, Hans H(anan) 1920-2004


See index for CA sketch: Born April 25, 1920, in Vienna, Austria; died of complications from diabetes February 6, 2004, in Rockville, WA. Librarian, educator, and author. Wellisch was widely regarded as an authority on indexing methods and the Universal Decimal Classification system. As a Jewish youth in Vienna, he was sent to the Dachau concentration camp by the Nazis, but managed to be released when he obtained a visa from Sweden. From 1939 to 1949, he remained in that country, where he received training in farming and became a library assistant, carpenter, and newsletter editor. With the founding of Israel, Wellisch and his wife moved to the new country, and he joined the Israeli Army's Signal Corps as a librarian. It was here that Wellisch first learned the Universal Decimal Classification system, a method for indexing technical and scientific publications. A study grant from the United Nations permitted Wellisch to visit the University of Maryland in 1967; two years later, the university invited him to join the School of Library Science as a visiting lecturer. He remained in Maryland for the rest of his career. Here he attended graduate school, earning an M.L.S. in 1972 and a Ph.D. in 1975, and was named a Distinguished Scholar by the division of human and community resources in 1983, before becoming a full professor in 1987; he retired the next year. Wellisch was a prolific writer and researcher, with eighteen books and pamphlets to his name. His most acclaimed work is Indexing from A to Z (1991; revised edition, 1995), which is widely regarded as a classic in the field. Among his many other works are The Conversion of Scripts: Its Nature, History, and Utilization (1978), Indexing and Abstracting, 1977-1981: An International Bibliography (1984), and Guidelines for Alphabetical Arrangement of Letters and Sorting of Numerals and Other Symbols (1999).



Washington Post, February 12, 2004, p. B6.


College of Information Science,http://www.clis.umd.edu/ (February 13, 2004).