Brian Campbell Vickery

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Brian Campbell Vickery (New South Wales, Australia, 11 September 1918 – 17 October 2009) was a British information scientist and classification researcher, and Professor and director at the School of Library, Archive and Information Studies at University College London from 1973 to 1983.[1]


Vickery was born in New South Wales in Australia, where his father Adam McCay [2] was working as journalist, and his uncle James Whiteside McCay was Australian general and later politician.[3] Vickery went to schools in Australia, Cairo in Egypt, and Canterbury in England.[4] He received his MA in Chemistry from Oxford University in 1941. He started his career as plant chemist in the explosives factory of the Royal Ordnance in Bridgwater, Somerset in 1941.[5] In 1945 he got married to Manuletta McMenamin.[6]

After the war he was Assistant Editor of the Industrial Chemist review in London, England for one year. In 1946 he started his career as librarian at the Akers Research Laboratories of the Imperial Chemical Industries in Welwyn, Hertfordshire, England, where he worked until 1960. Here he started writing about library science, which resulted in a series of books. In 1960 he became Principal Scientific Officer at the UK National Lending Library for Science and Technology in Boston Spa in Yorkshire, and from 1964 to 1966 he was Librarian at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology in Manchester. In 1967 he married Alina Vickery. From 1966 to 1973 he was Research Director at Aslib in London, and finally from 1973 to 1983 he was Professor and Director, School of Library, Archive and Information Studies, University College London. After 1983 as Professor Emeritus of the University of London he remained active as part-time consultant and kept writing.


Vickery wrote a series of books about library science and related subjects[7][8] A selection:

  • 1953. Recent Trends in Special Libraries, 1953
  • 1958. Classification and Indexing in Science, eds. 1958, 1959, 1975
  • 1960. Faceted Classification, 1960
  • 1960. The National Lending Library for Science and Technology, 1960
  • 1961. On Retrieval System Theory, eds. 1961, 1965
  • 1966. Faceted Classification Schemes, 1966
  • 1970. Techniques of Information Retrieval, 1970
  • 1971. Computer Support for Parliamentary Information Service (with H.East), 1971
  • 1973. Information Systems, 1973
  • 1978. The Use of Online Search in Teaching, 1978
  • 1982. Information System Dynamics (with R.G.Heseltine), 1982
  • 1987. Information Science in Theory and Practice (with A.Vickery), eds. 1987, 1992, 2004
  • 1991. Intelligent Intermediary System: reference functional model, 1991
  • 1993. Online Search Interface Design (with A.Vickery), 1993
  • 2000. Scientific Communication in History, 2000
  • 2004. A Long Search for Information, 2004

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cronin, Blaise (2010). In Memoriam. Brian Vickery: An Appreciation. Journal of the American Society for information Science and Technology, 61(4), 850–851.
  2. ^ Brian Vickery (2008)""Adam Cairns McCay 1874-1947"". Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  3. ^ B.C. Vickery (2004) A Long Search for Information. Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. p.1
  4. ^ Brian Vickery (2005)""Coming of age in the 1930s"". Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  5. ^ Brian Vickery (2005)""What did you do in the war, daddy?"". Archived from the original on 2008-05-31. Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  6. ^ Who's who in Frontier Science and Technology (1984) Vol 1. p. 736
  7. ^ Bibliography of Vickery's publications up to 1987 in: Essays presented to B.C.Vickery, Journal of documentation, vol.44, pp.199-283, 1988.
  8. ^ Supplement to Bibliography of Vickery's publications. In: A long search for information, Occasional Paper 213, Graduate School of Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.

External links[edit]