ASA Records Viewable Online
Laura Sullivan, Assistant Archivist
A selection of records from the American Statistical Association Records—held by the Special Collections Department in the Iowa State University Library—is now available online.
The records document the history of the ASA and include the constitution and bylaws, meeting minutes, correspondence, letters of acceptance of early members, resolutions, a report on the American Statistical Association Conference on Transfer of Methodology Between Academic and Government Statistics, and a report on the first 40 years (1967–2007) of the archival activities done by the ASA. Many of the digitized records document the formation and early history of the ASA. Included are the minutes from the first meeting on November 27, 1839, which was held “for the purpose of considering the expediency of forming a statistical society.”
As part of the digitization process, the early records were sent to the Conservation Laboratory to be stabilized and prepared for digitization. The old bindings were beginning to fail, dirt was adhered to pages, pressure-sensitive tape had been applied to pages in an effort to hold them together, and a number of pages were torn or folded. Iowa State’s conservator cleaned pages, unbound the fragile volumes, removed brittle tape and adhesive, and mended tears and creases. After the documents were digitized, they were rebound or rehoused as necessary. In addition to now being available online for anyone with an Internet connection to read, the records documenting the early years of the ASA are now back in the Special Collections Department in better shape than they were when they departed.
The early records in the digitized collection include administrative records, correspondence, proceedings, board of directors materials, and founding documents. The administrative records (1838–1860) document the earliest activities of the American Statistical Association. Included are letters of acceptance from early ASA members such as Edward Jarvis, Francis Lieber, J. M. Peck, and William Prescott; handwritten minutes of the first two organizational meetings; and the original constitution.
The Organization and Proceedings of the American Statistical Association (1839–1872) contains records documenting the creation of the association; the constitution and bylaws; meeting minutes and proceedings; names of Fellows; names of honorary, corresponding, and foreign members; and account information.
The Board of Directors records (1839–1872) include handwritten minutes for meetings, including attendance, officer and committee lists, presentations, proposals for membership, and resolutions.