Science Service; ADI
Davis was President and founder of ADI. He devised methods for popularizing the study of science in general. He was editor of Science Service and Science News Letter. He was also Director of the Science Clubs of America, which he saw as an "educational force for the future" (Current Biography). The documentation division of Science Services was established in 1935 and was the "nucleus of ADI" which was organized in 1937. Through ADI, Davis sought to solve the problems "surrounding publication, bibliography, library facilities, etc."
Glenn J. Seaborg, chairman of AEC, noted that "Watson Davis has done more for the popularization of science and the understanding of science by the general public than any other individual." According to Richards, Davis was "the pioneer microfilm enthusiast." Davis saw microfilm as "basis for a data and information revolution" (Burke). In 1934, Davis attempted to create an ILL program-the Bibliofilm Service at the NAL. He wanted to "create a constantly updated world bibliography of science" (Burke).
Science Service Secretary 1923; Science Service Pres. 1933; ADI/ASIS Pres. 1937-1946
Johns Hopkins University, Special Collections. Search under: Mast, Samuel Ottmar, 1871-1947. Mast (Samuel Otter) Papers, 1912-1947.
4.2 linear feet (10 document boxes.)
3 series: 1. Correspondence, divided into incoming (arr. alphabetically) and outgoing (arr. chronologically). 2. Johns Hopkins University material, (arr. chronologically), c. 1936-1937. 3. Printed material (arr. chronologically).
Smithsonian Archives, Washington, DC. Search under: Science Service
total collection: 183 cubic feet
This collection consists of records documenting the daily activities of Science Service and Watson Davis. Unarranged, with the following apparent divisions: 1. Daily Mail Reports-Science Page; 2. Executive Committee minutes and reports, 1923-1942; 3. Edwin E. Slosson, personal files, circa 1910-1920; 4. Director's files, circa 1921-1928; 5. Managing editor, circa 1922-1925; 6. Watson Davis, personal files; 7. Manger of Science Service, circa 1921-1925; 8. General correspondence, 1927-1963; 9. American Documentation Institute, circa 1938-1946; 10. Syndicated correspondence, circa 1954; 11. Latin American translations, circa 1940-1950; 12. National Inventor's Council, circa 1940-1949; 13. Interlingua files; 14. Knud Rasmussen Expedition, 1920; 15. UNESCO, 1948-1951; 16. Rockefeller Foundation Survey and Conferences; 17. Photographs, posters, and cartoons; 18. CBS radio talks, circa 1939-1959.
Guide to the Smithsonian Archives. Smithsonian Institute Press, Washington, DC, 1978, 228-229.