It was in 1945 that Vannevar Bush published “As We May Think” in the Atlantic Monthly in which he suggested in the future scholarly researchers would be able to consult a desktop device he called a memex that would store documents and link them in a way similar to memories are linked in the human brain. The next year, the American Chemical Society used grants from the chemical industry to establish the Committee on Punch Cards (back when mainframe computers stored information on punch cards).
The Armed Forces Medical Library (now the National Library of Medicine) gave a grant to Eugene Garfield at the John Hopkins University Welch Medical Library to do work on punch card production. James Perry, Robert Casey, Madeline Berry (Henderson), and Allen Kent edited Punched Crads: Their Applications to Science and Industry.
Luther Harris Evans (1902-1981) served as president in 1950-52. In the latter year, the ADI by-laws changed to allow individual people as well as organizations to become members. This followed much debate after a precipitous falloff in the demand for microfilm.
Thus, it was re-organized from a service organization into a professional society. Between 1949 and 1958, six annual meetings were held in Washington, D.C., but one each was held in Cleveland, Philadelphia, New York City, and Chicago.
After Evans, the post of board president was held for one-year-long terms between 1953 and 1964. The eleven men and one woman who served as president between 1953 and 1964 were E. Eugene Miller (1953), Milton Oliver Lee (1954), Scott Adams (1955), physicist Joseph Hillsenrath (1956), James Whitney Perry (1957), Herman H. Henke (1958), Karl F. Heumann (1959), Cloyd Dake Gull (1960), Gerlad J. Sophar (1961), Claire K. Schultz (1962), Robert M. Haye (1963), and Hans Peter Luhn (1964).
Laurence Bedford Heilprin (1906-1993) served as president in 1964-65. Between 1966 and ’68, the presidents were Harold Borko (1966), Bernard M. Fry (1967), and Robert Saxton Taylor (1968).
Sources of federal grants and contracts on document retrieval projects, between 1959 and 1968, included the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD), the Council on Library Resources (CLR), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the National Science Foundation (NSF). In this period, with NSF and NIH grants for work on genetics literature, the aforementioned Garfield founded the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI), a database publisher, in 1958, and the Science Citation Index.
Between 1959 and 1968, annual meetings were held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania; Berkley, California; Boston; Hollywood-by-the-Sea, Florida; Chicago; Philadelphia; Washington, D.C.; Santa Monica; New York City; and Columbus, Ohio. Eugene Wall of DuPont produced the Thesaurus of Engineering and Scientific Terms, first published in 1964.
In this period, IBM, Eastman Kodak, and other companies produced equipment designed especially for the needs of librarians in special libraries in hospitals, medical schools, and laboratories and the researchers they serve. An example was the GE-20 Search Comparator. The need for these special machines waned as general-use computers became more powerful and thus suitable for the storage and retrieval of vast amounts of information.
To reflect that it was now a professional society, the American Documentation Institute changed its name to the American Society for Information Science (ASIS) effective January 1, 1968. The presidents between 1969 and 1978 were Joseph Becker (1970), Charles Percy Bourne (1970), Pauline A. Atherton (1971), Robert J. Kyle (1972), John Sherrod (1973), Herbert S. White (1974), Dale B. Baker (1975), Melvin S. Dale (1976), Margaret T. Fischer (1977), and Audrey N. Grosch (1978). Representatives of ASIS testified before Congress several times during the 1970s.
ASIS sponsored a conference on the role of information in our federation’s development to help celebrate the bicentennial of the Declaration of Independence in 1976. A few years later, ASIS helped plan and implement the White House Conference on Library and Information Services in 1979.
 H.H. Henke (1900-1978) is a figure of local significance because he served as Director or Executive Director of the John Crerar Library from 1947 to 1968.