Angela Haygarth-Jackson

Information science pioneer

Angela Haygarth-Jackson was a pioneer in the new discipline of "information science" and also had the distinction of achieving senior management status within ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) at a time when women managers were few and far between in the chemical industry.



Angela Ray Haygarth- Jackson, information scientist: born Heaton Mersey, Cheshire 25 July 1929; information scientist, ICI 1956-86, Head, Literature Services Section 1968-84, Head, Information Services Section 1984-86; OBE 1984; died Bowdon, Cheshire c23 March 2004.



Angela Haygarth-Jackson was a pioneer in the new discipline of "information science" and also had the distinction of achieving senior management status within ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries) at a time when women managers were few and far between in the chemical industry.

She was the first woman to hold the office of President of the Institute of Information Scientists, in 1983-84. Appointed OBE in 1984 for services to information science during her presidential year, she was an active member of many national and international committees including the Royal Society Scientific Information Committee, the British Library Advisory Council, and the International Users Council of the Chemical Abstracts Service Division of the American Chemical Society. Although not a chemist, in 1993 she was awarded fellowship of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Angela Ray Haygarth- Jackson was born in Heaton Mersey in Cheshire in 1929, and educated at Cheltenham Ladies' College and Manchester University, where she was awarded an MSc in Botany. Deciding not to pursue further research, she joined ICI Pharmaceuticals Division in 1956 as an information scientist in the Techno-Commercial Department then based in Blackley, Manchester.

She transferred to Alderley Park, Cheshire, in 1957, and started to develop the division's information services as a member of the library staff. In 1968 she was promoted to Head of Literature Services Section with responsibility for the three libraries and technical information services that supported ICI Pharmaceuticals' international business. When, in 1984, Information Services Section was formed from the merger of literature services and data services, she headed an even larger group.

Over the years, as new technology became available, Haygarth-Jackson and her colleagues implemented dramatic advances in information processing techniques. This had an impact not just on the company's pharmaceuticals division: she was also a member of the management team which co-ordinated activities within the ICI Group Information System.

There were very few women of Haygarth-Jackson's managerial rank in ICI in the early 1980s. A handful of them used to lunch together occasionally in what their male colleagues called the "Ms Mafia", a term that amused Haygarth- Jackson. She was by no means a feminist in the 1970s sense, but she was a mentor and example to the many women who worked for her; a caring manager who valued her staff and developed them to their maximum potential.

She lectured widely on information science, and in 1979 undertook a three-week tour of Australasia to give nine lectures on new technologies and resources available in literature services. In 1986 she spent three weeks in China advising on library and information science matters. She was an external examiner of the MSc course in Information Studies for the Department of Information Studies at Sheffield University.

Continuing to serve the profession in her retirement, she was the editor of Training and Education for Online (1989). She was chairman of the editorial board of the Journal of Documentation for many years, finally resigning at the end of 2001.

Those who had never met Angela Haygarth-Jackson, in particular Americans, were often advised that meeting her would be like meeting the Queen. Perhaps there was a slight physical resemblance, but the greatest similarity was in the effortless social graces, hospitality and genuine interest in people. Angela was certainly not regal in the "not amused" sense: she enjoyed recounting the tale of her chauffeur-driven car following the dustcart into Buckingham Palace when she was invested as OBE.

She lived in the family home in Bowdon, Cheshire, for 40 years. She was a do-it-yourself enthusiast and did her own painting and wallpapering. The tapestries displayed in the house are a tribute to her embroidery skills. She was keen on the countryside and an ardent supporter of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds.

Wendy Warr

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