Biographical history:

Dates : 1928-2002

Education and Career

1946-1949: English, BA Hons., Queen Mary College , London

1949-1950: Kent County Library Service

1950-1951: North-Western Polytechnic School of Librarianship

1951-1952: Reference Librarian, Royal Institute of International Affairs

1952-1959: Assistant Librarian, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

1959-1963: University of Ghana

1963-1965: Librarian, University of Lagos

1965-1967: Reading Room Superintendent, University of Glasgow Library

1968-1989: Librarian, Goldsmith's College, University of London

1985: joined the Society of Indexers and qualified as a registered indexer

Betty Moys is known for the Moys Classification Scheme for Legal Material . In 1961, whilst at the University of Ghana , Moys produced a classification scheme ( Classification Class K, Law) , "based on one used by a College Library in London ". Three years later, whilst at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, Africa , she developed A Classification Scheme for Law Books which she submitted in 1965 for Fellowship of the Library Association. This was in turn published by Butterworth's in 1968. The second edition was published in 1982 with the new title Moys Classification Scheme for Law Books ; the 3rd and 4th editions, published in 1992 and 2001 respectively, were titled Moys Classification and Thesaurus for Legal Materials . The classification scheme was adopted by law libraries in Australia , New Zealand , Canada and the UK . The Moys user group was set up in 1995 and both the 3rd and the 4th editions were produced in conjunction with an Editorial Board. In her will, Moys bequeathed the copyright and therefore the royalties from the Moys Classification Scheme to the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) so that the work may be continued.

Professional Associations

International Association of Law Libraries (IALL): Moys was a member of the Board of Directors, 1965-1968; she edited the European Law Libraries Guide , commissioned by Council of Europe; and reviewed books for the IALL Bulletin.

BIALL: Moys was a founding member of the Association and established and edited the Association's journal, The Law Librarian, between 1970 and 1977. She was Chair of the Publications Committee until 1980; oversaw production and publication of the Manual of Law Librarianship in 1976 and was editor of the 2 nd edition in 1982. She was Vice-President between 1987 and 1990, and President from 1990 to 1993.

Society of Indexers: she was a member of the Society's Council from 1991; Treasurer 1992-1999; member of the Publications Committee from 1992; and was Vice President at the time of her death. She was joint author of Indexing Legal Materials, 1993.


1991 awarded the Wheatley Medal by the Society of Indexers for her index to British tax encyclopedia .

1998 joint recipient of BIALL's Wallace Breem Award: for editing Information Sources in Law , 2 nd ed, 1997.

1999 was awarded the MBE in recognition of her contribution to law indexing and classification.

Sources : British Association of Law Librarians Collection BIALL/23/05; "History of a Classification Scheme", The Law Librarian vol 23, no 2, June 1992, pp96-98; "In Memoriam", Legal Information Management Vol 2, no 1, Spring 2002, pp4-7

Page last updated: 27th May 2016

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