In 1884, Professor John Butler Johnson, a civil engineer at Washington University in St. Louis, required more efficient access to engineering information. To satisfy this need, he began to compile a body of indexed technical abstracts and publish them as "Index Notes" in the monthly Journal of the Association of Engineering Societies. It was the earliest service of this kind in the U.S., and it helped engineers share their own research results as well as learn from one another about new developments.
In 1934, continuing this initiative, Engineering Information (Ei) was established as a not-for-profit public foundation for the purpose of indexing and abstracting the world's engineering and technological literature. Continually evolving to meet the information needs of the engineering community, Ei pioneered the use of computer-readable media and the internet as tools for information dissemination.
In 1994, Ei was restructured as an independent private foundation, Engineering Information Foundation, chartered in the State of New York. The Foundation's sole purpose is now to make grants to qualified not-for-profit organizations. Elsevier Engineering Information Inc., a for-profit organization, maintains publishing activities in the field. These two organizations are entirely independent of each other.
Private Foundation 509 (a) by IRS letter July 25, 1996. Employer ID number 13-1679606