Mooers coined the terms “information retrieval” (1950) and “descriptors.” He promulgated “Mooers’ Law” on the use of information. He advocated assigning random superimposed codes to reduce the possibility of false drops and assure greater accuracy. He was the son-in-law of Watson Davis. He worked on early information retrieval experiments during WWII (Farkas-Conn). He worked at: Pres., Rockford Research (Cambridge, MA); Worked in Naval Ordnance Lab building an electronic computer-the NOL (WWII). Amemoir of his work on the NOL computer project and his association with early computer pioneers, Mauchley, Atanasoff, and others was published in the June, 2001 issues of IEEE Annals of History.
Mooers developed his own coding and indexing ideas. He was a pioneer of IR systems, establishing a new approach to intellectual organization of knowledge. By 1947, Mooers was an “influential figure in the early information science community” (Burke). His Zatocoding system used superimposed random codes to improve information retrieval from a file of edge-notched cards. He began his own information management company. He also developed a programming language, TRAC, which is still in use today
“In the 1940’s Taube, Mooers, and Perry were the leaders among Americans…investigating subject analysis, the coding of subject terms, and their relationship to information retrieval. Their approach combined a pragmatic view and abstract thinking” (Farkas-Conn). He was editor ADI? (Bellardo). For additional biographical information see the Babbage Institute Web site noted below and the Web site developed by Mooers’ daughters, Helen and Edith:
ASIS&T: Award of Merit (1978)
Calvin Mooers Papers:
University of Minnesota, Babbage Institute, Minneapolis, MN (Papers, spanning 1930-1994, finding aid available at http://www.cbi.umn.edu/collections/inv/mooers.html)