Sewell was born in Newport, Washington; received her BA from Washington State University; MLS from Columbia University.  She was Senior Librarian at Squibb Institute of Medical Research from 1946 to 1961.  She worked as Medical Subject Headings Specialist at the National Library of Medicine, and was instrumental in the early work with MEDLARS; later, she was head of the Drug Literature Program at NLM, where she worked until 1970. From 1970 to 1992 she worked at the Univ. of Maryland. She was an active consultant in the drug literature field until shortly before her death.  She was interested in coordination of chemical and biomedical terminology (especially online retrieval systems), medical information transfer, online searching behaviors of pharmacists. Editor Unlisted Drugs; She noted that “the better our own relationship with all non-librarians and specialized fields of knowledge, the greater can be our own progress” (Current Biography ); Also interested in bibliometrics of molecular biology.

For more biographical details see:http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=153177

Offices held:

Special Libraries Association: President (1960-1961)

Drug Information Association (1970-1971)

Awards received:

Medical Library Association: Fellow; Eliot Prize

Special Libraries Association: Hall of Fame (1998); Winifred Sewell Prize for Innovation in Information Technologies named in her honor

American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy: Honorary President (1999-2000)

Winifred Sewell Papers:

Medical Library Association, Chicago, IL (Oral history interview, conducted by Carol Fenichel, 1984, details available at www.mlanet.org)