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Acheson J. Duncan papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-0387
Acheson J. Duncan was born September 24, 1904 in Leonia, New Jersey and was an authority in the fields of industrial statistics and quality control. The collection consists largely of research papers that describe his concentration in the fields of bulk sampling, industrial statistics, and quality control. The collection spans the years 1936 to 1985.

Dates

  • 1936-1985

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

This collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

9.13 Cubic Feet (7 record center cartons, 1 letter size document box)

Biographical / Historical

Acheson J. Duncan was born September 24, 1904 in Leonia, New Jersey. Duncan was educated at Princeton University (B.S., 1923; M.A, 1927; Ph.D., 1936), and after service on the Princeton faculty and in the U.S. Army (1942-1945), he came to The Johns Hopkins University in 1946 as an associate professor of statistics. At Hopkins, he joined the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering's program in industrial engineering. Duncan retired in 1971 as professor emeritus of statistics. Acheson J. Duncan was an authority in the fields of industrial statistics and quality control. The application of new statistical methods to the problem of quality control had its origins in the 20th century.In a tribute to Acheson Duncan, Robert Roy, a former dean of engineering at Hopkins, credited Duncan's work in statistical quality control with aiding the post-war recovery of the Japanese economy.

Duncan's third book, Quality Control and Industrial Statistics, was published in 1952 and has had five editions with translations in Indian and Japanese. He was a contributor to prominent journals in the field including Industrial Quality Control, Journal of the American Statistical Association, and Journal of the Operations Research Society of America. Duncan was a fellow of the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC) and was awarded that society's Shewhart Medal in 1964. He was the first chair of the Baltimore section of the society. He was also a fellow of the American Statistical Society, the Institute for Mathematical Statistics, and a member of the Biometric Society. In 1979, he won the inaugural Harold F. Dodge Award from the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), of which he was a member. Duncan served too as a consultant to numerous industries and government agencies.

In 1986 an endowed fund, the Acheson J. Duncan Distinguished Visitor Fund at Hopkins, was established. The fund supports an annual visit and lecture by a scholar in mathematical sciences. Acheson J. Duncan died in Baltimore, January 7, 1994.

Scope and Contents

The papers of Johns Hopkins professor of statistics, Acheson J. Duncan, are largely research papers that describe his concentration in the fields of bulk sampling, industrial statistics, and quality control. The collection spans the years 1936 to 1985. Along with materials from his teaching and writing career are his investigations in sampling and statistics that were important to two technical organizations, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and the American Society for Quality Control (ASQC). In the files are printed materials, correspondence, computations, draft materials, and Duncan's statistical studies. A very small group of items forms the Personal Series. Among the items are student notes, his dissertation from Princeton (1936), biographical information and a bibliography of published works. Of interest in Series 2: Research are the files in Box 4 on bulk sampling, the specialized work for which Duncan was well known. In Series 3 and 4 are files that describe Duncan's committee work with the ASTM and the ASQC. Duncan's notes on design and revision of industrial and military standards are included. Printed committee correspondence of the ASQC (1974-1983) is included in Series 6. In Series 5: Writings are a large group of Duncan's annotated drafts for journal articles and some chapters for his texts. Final items are in Series 6: Department of Mathematical Sciences including some lecture notes, department bulletins, and committee reports.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The papers were received from the Department of Mathematical Sciences in 1994.

Accruals

The Accession Number is 94-95.29.

Related Materials

Three boxes of material that included course material (1974-1975) and published technical reports written by the faculty of the Department of Mathematical Sciences were transferred to the University Archives. (See Record Group 06.090).

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in July 1997. Subject headings assigned by Professor Duncan have been retained.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA