The Department 

Mr PC Coetzee started training staff members of the Merensky Library in 1938, and ten years later the Department of Library Science was established in 1948 at the University of Pretoria. In 1982 the name changed to Department of Library and Information Science, but a change in the fundamental and leading approach of the Department in the 1990's lead to the fact that Information Science was regarded as the broader field of study to train information specialists. And the name changed to the current name, the Department of Information Science in 1991.

In the same year the Department became part of the virtual School of Information Technology. In 2000 the School of Information Technology was transferred from the Faculty of Humanities to the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology (EBIT), and in 2003 the BIS, MIS and doctoral programmes were also transferred to EBIT.


Heads of the department 

The following people serve as Head of the Department:

1938     Mr PC Coetzee is involved with the subject Library Science

1948     Mr PC Coetzee is appointed as the first HOD (until 1970)

1971     Prof ED Gerryts is appointed as HOD

1975     Prof MC Boshoff is appointed as HOD

             Mr JC Swart is acting-head for five years

1983     Prof JA Boon is appointed as HOD (until July 1995)

1995     Prof TJD Bothma is appointed as HOD (Oct 1995 - )

  Prof AL Dick (Current)


Subjects and Programmes 


Library Science

During the 1930’s the subject Library Science led to the establishment of the degree, B Library & Information Science (the BBibl degree). For almost 20 years this degree was also available to part-time students. Lower and Higher Diploma’s in Library Science were also presented. In 2007 the BIS Library Science degree became part of the BIS Information Science degree.


Information Science

Our first degree in Information Science, BA Information Science, which was first presented in 1993, led to the establishment of the BIS Information Science degree in 1997. For three years the latter was also available as an Extended programme. In 2007 the subjects Library Science and Information and Knowledge Management became part of the curriculum of the BIS Information Science degree.



In 1998 the BA Multimedia degree was introduced which changed to the BIS Multimedia degree in 1997. From time to time the degree has also been presented as an extended programme.



The Publishing degree started as a BA Publishing degree in 1997 until 2005, but the BIS Publishing has also been available from 1997.


Information and Knowledge Management

In 2000 the BIS Information and Knowledge Management was introduced, but in 2007 the content matter became part of the BIS information Science degree.




A postgraduate Lower Diploma in Library Science was already available to students during the 1930’s, which led to the establishment of the Honours degrees in Library Science in 1950, in Information Science in 1988, in Publishing in 1997, and in Multimedia in 2001.



In 1960 the first Master degree in Library Science was introduced, to be followed by the other Master degrees in Information in 1988, in Publishing in 1998, and Multimedia in 2001. A MA Development Communication degree was also presented for about 10 years. Research as well as Coursework Master degrees were presented, but now only the Research Master degrees are available.



Our own doctoral programmes exist since 1973, and the doctoral degrees DPhil Library Science, DPhil Information Science, and PhD Publishing are available today.

Published by Reitumetse Ranthako

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