History of the Department

History of the Department  Information Science

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) In memory of Prof Boon, please click here.
1995     Prof TJD Bothma is appointed as HOD (until June 2016)
2016     Prof AL Dick is appointed as HOD (until December 2019)
2020     Prof I Fourie is current HOD since January

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 2000. 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 and which changed to the BIS Publishing degree in 2000.
  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.



Honour's degrees
A postgraduate Lower Diploma in Library Science which was already available to students during the 1930’s was later  extended to become the four-year undergraduate programme, BBibl, and later our BIS Honours programmes in Information Science in 1988, in Publishing in 1997, and in Multimedia in 2001.
Master's degrees
In 1960 the first master's degree in Library Science was introduced, to be followed by master's degrees in Information in 1988, in Publishing in 1998, and in Multimedia in 2001. An MA degree in Development Communication was also presented for about 10 years. The Department now offers research master's degrees in each of the three areas of specialisation, as well as a coursework MIT ICT in Information Science.
Doctoral degrees
Our own doctoral programmes exist since 1973, and the four PhD doctoral degrees, PhD Library Science, PhD Information Science, PhD Publishing, and PhD IT (specializing either in Information Science or Multimedia) are available today.




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