Samuel C. Bradford

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Samuel Clement Bradford (born January 10, 1878 in London , † November 13, 1948 ) was an English librarian .

Bradford studied chemistry at the University of London and received his doctorate. From 1899 he worked at the Science Museum in South Kensington , whose library he headed from 1925 until his retirement in 1937. In his successful efforts to build one of the most important collections of scientific literature in Europe, he advocated the introduction of the decimal classification and was active in various documentation science committees.

In library science , Bradford is known for Bradford's law , named after him , with which he described the distribution of articles on a topic across various journals in 1934. He is also the namesake for the Bradford Glacier in Antarctica.


  • Bradford, Samuel C .: Documentation . London: Lockwood, 1948


  • Ursula Lelle, Michaela Lambach, Barbara Kremmling: Samuel Clement Bradford and his “Law of Scattering” . Frankfurt am Main: Society for Information and Documentation mbH, 1984. An introductory presentation with a selection bibliography.