Belver Griffith papers 1962-1989

Summary Information

Drexel University: Archives and Special Collections
Griffith, Belver C.
Belver Griffith papers
Date [inclusive]
1.0 Cubic feet

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Biographical Note

Heralded as a pioneer in information sciences, Professor Belver Griffith is internationally recognized for his contributions in scientific communication, citation analysis and bibliometrics. Originally a student of psychology, Griffith entered the field of information science in 1961 as associate director of the Project on Scientific Information Exchange in Psychology of the American Psychological Association. In 1969 he joined the faculty at Drexel University, where he would be instrumental in establishing the doctoral degree program in information science. A prolific researcher, Griffith authored or co-authored over 70 journal articles, 36 technical reports, 12 chapters, one edited book, and one research monograph. These works have been translated into several languages and many are considered to be among the most cited works in their field. He collaborated with other well-known information science scholars including Henry Small, Carl Drott, Katherine McCain, Derek de Solla Price, William Garvey and others. Among his many accolades and awards are the Outstanding Teacher award from the American Society for Information Science (ASIS), the NJ/ASIS Distinguished Lectureship award, the American Association for the Advancement of Science fellowship, the Derek J. de Solla Price Medal for Scientometrics and recognition from the Chemical Heritage Foundation and ASIS with the Pioneer in Information Science Award. Griffith received emeritus status in 1992 and died in 1999.

Sources: Original Biographical note.

Nicholson, J. (1999, Oct. 5), Belver C. Griffith, Drexel Prof [obituary]. Philadelphia Daily News, p. 40.

White, H. D. and McCain, K. W. (2000), In memory of Belver C. Griffith. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 51: 959–962

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Scope and Contents note

The Belver Griffith papers shed much light on the acclaimed professor’s scholarly activities from the 1960s until the late 1980s, and include, but are not limited to, his work at Drexel University. The majority of the collection consists of Dr. Griffith's correspondence with collaborators and scholars studying scientific communication and information science, and date primarily from the 1970s and 1980s. Included with these correspondences are drafts and edited manuscripts that Griffith co-authored. Notations suggest that these items were filed alphabetically by subject/author. Therefore, this arrangement has been preserved. Also included in the collection are several lectures, information on the awards Griffith received, a memoir dating from 1972, and reports to the dean of the College of Information Studies offering summaries of Griffith's activities. The collection has been arranged into three series—Awards, the Name File and Professional Activities.

The first series, Awards, consists of one folder of materials related to Griffith’s receipt of the Research Achievement Award (1976) and the ASIS Outstanding Information Science Teacher Award (1982).

Accounting for the bulk of the collection is its second series, the Name File. Here one can find the correspondences and collaborations between Griffith and several scholars, which date from 1962 until 1989 [bulk date: 1974-1986]. Of note are two folders of materials pertaining to Griffith’s collaboration with Paul D. Allison and John A. Stewart for the article “Lotka’s Law: A Problem in Its Interpretation and Application”, subsequently published in the sixth issue of Social Studies of Science in 1976. Also of interest are the three folders consisting of the work and correspondence between Griffith and his friend and colleague, Derek de Solla Price. Also included in this series are letters between Griffith and Drexel President W.W. Hagerty. The third series, Professional Activities primarily consist of materials pertaining to Griffth’s tenure at Drexel University. Included are the professor’s annual performance reports from 1977 to 1986, his 1984 faculty leave report, transcripts of lectures given from 1974 to 1975, and a professional memoir penned in 1972.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Drexel University: Archives and Special Collections 2011

W. W. Hagerty Library
3300 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Access restrictions

Portions of this collection are restricted until January 14, 2022.

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Controlled Access Headings

Personal Name(s)

  • Allison, Paul David
  • Brookes, B.C., (Bertram Claude)
  • Drott, M. Carl , 1942-
  • Edge, David O.
  • Garfield, Eugene
  • Gillmor, C. Stewart, 1938-
  • Hagstrom, Warren O.
  • Merton, Robert King, 1910-2003
  • Mullins, Nicholas C.
  • Price, Derek J. de Solla, (Derek John de Solla), 1922-1983
  • Stewart, John A.


  • Drexel University--Faculty
  • Drexel University--History
  • Drexel University. College of Information Science and Technology. History.
  • Information science

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Collection Inventory

Name file 1962-1989  (Bulk, 1973-1984)

Allison, Paul D. and John A. Stewart 1974-1976 

    Box Folder
Text   1 2

Allison, Paul D. and John A. Stewart 1974-1976 

    Box Folder
Text   1 3

Aslib [editor] 1981 

    Box Folder
Text   1 4

Brookes, B.C. 1974-1986 

    Box Folder
Text   1 5

Drott, Carl 1976 

    Box Folder
Text   1 6

Access restrictions

Folder restricted until January 14, 2022.

Edge, David 1969-1974 

    Box Folder
Text   1 7

Edge, David 1975-1977, undated 

    Box Folder
Text   1 8

Garfield, Gene 1970-1989 

    Box Folder
Text   1 9

Garvey, Bill 1970-1976 

    Box Folder
Text   1 10

Gillmor, C.S. 1973, 1985 

    Box Folder
Text   1 11

Access restrictions

Folder restricted until January 14, 2022.

Hagerty, W.W. 1973-1981 

    Box Folder
Text   1 12

Hagstrom, Warren 1973-1978 

    Box Folder
Text   2 1

Keenan, Stella 1975-1976 

    Box Folder
Text   2 2

Merton, Robert K. 1969-1989, undated 

    Box Folder
Text   2 3

Mullins, Nicholas 1969-1976, undated 

    Box Folder
Text   2 4

Mullins, Nicholas 1972 

    Box Folder
Text   2 5

Price, Derek de Solla 1962-1975 

    Box Folder
Text   2 6

Price, Derek de Solla 1977-1979 

    Box Folder
Text   2 7

Price, Derek de Solla 1980-1984, undated 

    Box Folder
Text   2 8

Small, Henry G. 1983 

    Box Folder
Text   2 9

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Professional activities 1977-1986, undated 

Annual performance reports 1977-1986 

    Box Folder
Text   2 10

Faculty leave report 1984 

    Box Folder
Text   2 11

Lectures 1974-1975, undated 

    Box Folder
Text   2 12

Memoir 1972 

    Box Folder
Text   1 13

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Awards circa 1976-1982 

Research achievement award and ASIS outstanding information science teacher award circa 1976-1982 

    Box Folder
Text   1 1

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