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Keyword in Context (KWIC) Indexing (November 1958)


In November 1958 computer scientist Hans Peter Luhn of IBM published Bibliography and index: Literature on information retrieval and machine translation.  This contained titles indexed by the Key Words in Context system, or KWIC. The concept of Keyword in Context indexing had been first proposed and implemented manually by librarian Andrea Crestadoro in 1856-1864.

"The International Conference on Scientific Information (ICSI), Washington, DC, in November 1958, where Luhn introduced his new equipment and illustrated the practical results by producing the KWIC indexes for the conference program. Two new Luhn inventions, the 9900 Index Analyzer and the Universal Card Scanner, and the new Luhn Keyword-in-Context (KWIC) indexing technique were introduced. Following the conference, newspapers all over the country carried stories about the auto-abstracting and auto-indexing." (http://www.ischool.utexas.edu/~ssoy/organizing/l391d2c.htm, accessed 04-26-2009).