Bernard M. Fry was born on October 24, 1915 in Bloomfield, Indiana. Fry was an alumnus of Indiana University, earning his Bachelors and first Masters degrees here in 1937 and 1939. He later went on to earn a second Masters from Catholic University and his Ph.D. from American University. Before his tenure at IU, he worked for the Library of Congress, the Atomic Energy Commission, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Commerce. Additionally, Fry served as editor of two international research journals, Government Publications Review, and its successor, Information Processing and Management.
Much like the recent School of Library and Information Science merger with the School of Informatics, in 1967, the library and information program here at Indiana University also underwent a major change. The library program was then a part of the School of Education and was known as the Division of Library Science. The Division of Library Science split from the School of Education to become the Graduate Library School. Shortly thereafter, Fry was named Dean of the Graduate Library School, a position he held until 1980. The same year he retired, the school changed names again to become the School of Library and Information Science.
One of Fry’s crowning achievements during his time as dean was the establishment of the Research Center for Library and Information Science in 1968. The Research Center was responsible for major studies conducted for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Education, the Department of Defense, and the Library of Congress. From a NSF-funded project Fry co-authored a book with RCLIS director Herbert S. White, Publishers and Libraries: A Study of Scholarly and Research Journals. The book was awarded the “Best Information Science Book of the Year” for 1977.
In 1980, Fry retired as dean and spent nearly four years as the director of the RCLIS. Upon his retirement from IU in 1984, he was named Professor Emeritus of Library Science. Fry passed away in 1994 at the age of 78.