The purpose of this article is to present an overview of the history and development of transaction log analysis (TLA) in library and information science research. Organizing a literature review of the first twenty‐five years of TLA poses some challenges and requires some decisions. The primary organizing principle could be a strict chronology of the published research, the research questions addressed, the automated information retrieval (IR) systems that generated the data, the results gained, or even the researchers themselves. The group of active transaction log analyzers remains fairly small in number, and researchers who use transaction logs tend to use this method more than once, so tracing the development and refinement of individuals' uses of the methodology could provide insight into the progress of the method as a whole. For example, if we examine how researchers like W. David Penniman, John Tolle, Christine Borgman, Ray Larson, and Micheline Hancock‐Beaulieu have modified their own understandings and applications of the method over time, we may get an accurate sense of the development of all applications.
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