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Burton W. Adkinson


During the war years, Adkinson (1909-2004) worked as a geographer at the Department of State, the Department of the Interior, and the OSS.  While he was Director of the Reference Department, he established the Division of Science and Technology within the Department, reorganized the Division for the Blind, initiated a research program dealing with “talking books,” established punch-card control of loans to federal employees, and developed bibliographies and information projects for other government agencies.  While he worked at the National Science Foundation, Adkinson became concerned with the publication, retrieval, storage, and exchange of information within the national as well as internationally.

Other positions included: Library of Congress (LOC), Assistant Chief, Acting Chief, Map Division (1945-1947); Chief, Map Division, LOC (1947-1949); Director, Reference Department, LOC (1949-1957); Head of Office of Science Information, National Science Foundation (1957-1970); Director, American Geographical Society.

Offices held:

FID: President (1963-1965)

SLA: Treasurer (1954-1956); President (1959-1960)

Association of American Geographers: Secretary (1954-1957); Director (1970-1973)

Burton Adkinson Papers

University of Wyoming, Library, Special Collections Division (papers are primarily related to his doctoral research)