About the Fund
Dr. Robert V. Williams, affectionately known as Dr. Bob, passed away January 14, 2017. Bob Williams created the archival studies program, was an architect of the library school/history joint degree, and designed the undergraduate program in Information Science for the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Carolina. He received the prestigious Watson Davis award from ASIS&T in 2011 and was the primary supporter for our History of Information Science project. The ASIS&T History Fund was largely the result of Bob Williams’ dedicated enthusiasm and continued fundraising efforts to promote attention to the history of ASIS&T and of Information Science. It was a result of his initiative that the SIG Foundations of Information Science became the SIG History and Foundations of Information Science in 1995. He was tireless in his efforts, helping to organize conferences, compiling bibliographies, organizing an extensive oral history program, and serving as mentor, earning the SIG Member of the Year Award in 1999.
Under the leadership of Robert V. Williams and Boyd Rayward the History of Information Science and Technology Fund was approved by the ASIS&T directors in 2000. It has been supported with royalties from several books and by further donations. The purpose of the fund is to support and encourage research and publication in the history of Information Science and Technology. In 2007 the amount of the fund passed $10,000 making its income available for support of the SIG’s activities. In 2009 a further matching grant from Eugene Garfield brought the total to around $18,000. Contributions to the fund would qualify for tax-deductible contributions as a result of the ASIS 501-c-3 status. In 2015 the Research Grant award amount was raised from $1,000 to $2,000. In 2017 the grant and paper awards were collectively renamed the Bob Williams Awards.