[Asis-l] Winifred Sewell

mjruhl at shell.cais.net mjruhl at shell.cais.net
Fri Nov 22 22:39:50 EST 2002

There follows an obituary for Winifred Sewell who died on October 23, 2002.
I have not seen a posting on this list re: Win's death, although there's a
possibility that it was posted and I missed it.  If not, I thought it would
be of interest to the many ASIS members who knew Win. 

This came to me quite indirectly.  I understand that Mary Ellen Bates
[mbates at BatesInfo.com] prepared it for the AIIP (Association of Independent
Information Professionals) list.  

Mary Jane Ruhl

Winifred Sewell
Win Sewell, a long-time member of AIIP and SLA and one of the leaders in
health sciences librarianship, passed away on Oct. 23.  A short description
of some of her accomplishments follows, and her obit, which appeared in 
The Washington Post, can be found at
There will be a celebration of Win Sewell's life at her home at 6513 76th
Place, Cabin John, MD  20818 on Dec. 8 from 3-6pm, hosted by Win's sister.
It's an open house; you can drop in any time from 3 until 6. Those of us who
had the good fortune to have known Win feel lucky to have met such an 
extraordinary woman - someone who truly lived a full life.

The Biomedical and Life Sciences Division of SLA named the WINIFRED SEWELL 
Sewell, whom had been a member of the Biomedical and Life Sciences Division 
since 1946. Miss Sewell was Senior Librarian at Squibb Institute of Medical 
Research from 1946 until 1961. She was instrumental in the development of 
MEDLARS as Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Specialist and later served as 
Deputy Chair of the Biological Services Division and Head of the Drug 
Literature Program at the National Library of Medicine. Miss Sewell served 
as President of the Special Libraries Association from 1960-1961, was 
President of the Drug Information Association from 1970-1971, and served as 
Honorary President of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy in 
its 100th anniversary year in 1999-2000. She was the first woman and first 
librarian to be so honored. In addition, Miss Sewell was a Fellow of the 
Medical Library Association and was recipient of MLA's Eliot Prize for her 
book Guide to Drug Information (1977). In 1998 she was inducted into SLA's 
Hall of Fame at the annual conference in Indianapolis.

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