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NIST Virtual Library

Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler
Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler, “grandfather” of NIST

Welcome to the public home page of the NIST Virtual Library (NVL), the portal to the services of the NIST Information Services Office (ISO). The links on this page provide access to publications and information services available to the public.

About ISO

The Information Services Office (ISO) is responsible for creating, maintaining, and disseminating a NIST knowledge base which supports the research and administrative needs required to fulfill the scientific, engineering, and technical mission of NIST. Learn more about the work and best practices of ISO by reading papers and viewing presentations by ISO staff. More about ISO...

NIST staff: access the internal NVL.

Selected ISO Presentations

Assessing Library Performance Using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: Framework and Systems that Focus on Results and Ensure Sustainability

Assessing Library Performance Using the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence: Role Model Practices

Developing and Implementing a Digital Media Device Lending Program

"Grandfather of NIST"

NIST's roots are in the Treasury Department’s Office of Weights and Measures established in 1836, whose first superintendent was Swiss surveyor Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler. From a wealthy family, the NIST history book Measures for Progress says, “he was destined by events to a life of unending storm and stress.” Hassler moved to the U.S. and lost most of his fortune. Years later, when surveying U.S. custom houses, Hassler found disarray and developed his own standard measures, formally approved by Congress in 1836. From Measures for Progress: “His genius lay… in his tireless efforts to contrive the best possible standards of weights and measures with the best possible materials.” Hassler laid the strong foundation that NIST builds on today. The NIST Digital Archives include the Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler Photographic Collection.

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