The American Federation of Information Processing Societies (AFIPS) was established on May 10, 1961, to advance and disseminate knowledge in the field of information science and to represent member societies on an international level in the newly formed International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP). The three founding societies of AFIPS were the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, and the Institute of Radio Engineers (the latter two eventually merged into the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers).
AFIPS was managed by a board of directors, originally called the "Governing Board." Each member society had one to three directors on the board depending on the size of the society; each affiliated member had one director. Under this board were various committees including the executive committee, the education committee, the finance committee, and the awards committee.
AFIPS was an outgrowth of the National Joint Computer Committee, which was established in 1951 and sponsored the Eastern and Western Joint Computer Conferences (EJCC, WJCC). AFIPS took over major sponsorship of the semi-annual conferences beginning in 1962, and renamed them the Spring and Fall Joint Computer Conferences (SJCC, FJCC). The conferences were merged into one annual conference and renamed the National Computer Conference (NCC) in 1973. A conference board set the overall direction and policies of the conferences, coordinated the actions of the Conference Steering Committee and the National Computer Conference Committee, and referred problems to appropriate committees such as the finance and executive committees of AFIPS. The conferences featured technical sessions and exhibits relating to the field of information processing. The National Computer Conference was discontinued after 1987.
AFIPS also supported smaller conferences and workshops such as the Office Automation Conference (OAC), produced publications including the Annals of the History of Computing,and presented the annual Harry Goode Memorial Award to individuals of outstanding achievement in information processing.
AFIPS was dissolved in 1990. The IEEE Computer Society (IEEE-CS) continued the Goode Award, and took over publication of Annals(renamed the IEEE Annals of the History of Computing). The IEEE-CS also joined the ACM to form the Federation on Computing in the United States (FOCUS) in 1991, to take the place of AFIPS as the United States’ representative in IFIP. In 1999, IFIP accepted separate membership for both IEEE-CS and ACM, and FOCUS was dissolved.
- Annals of the History of Computing. 8: 3 (July 1986). Special Issue: AFIPS, 1961-1986, 25th Anniversary.
- Ralston, Anthony, ed., Encyclopedia of Computer Science and Engineering, New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1983, pp. 60-61.