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American Society of Civil Engineers, Michigan Section, records

Identifier: 00153

Scope and Content

The collection contains administrative records of the organization including membership records, treasurers' reports and budgets, meeting minutes, committee files, annual reports, general correspondence, and publications. Some biographical data on membership is included. Registration examinations, results and related correspondence are also included, but are restricted.


  • Creation: 1937 - 1979
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1949 - 1977


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Box 8, folders 2-56 are restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Historical Note

The oldest National Engineering Society in the United States was formed in 1852 as "The American Society of Civil Engineers and Architects." Sixteen years later, when the American Institute of Architects was founded, the name was changed to "The American Society of Civil Engineers" (ASCE).

Membership in the ASCE is available only to civil engineers or other individuals similarly qualified in another branch of engineering. Each year approximately 8% of the persons applying for society membership do not qualify, and each year several hundred members are dropped from the rolls for failing to advance to a higher grade of Society membership. Today there are over 51,000 members of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

"Advancement of the Science and Profession of Engineering," as the objective of the Society, leads its members into many activities that are in the public interest. Such activities include development of professional consciousness among students of civil engineering, advice to universities on civil engineering curricula, stimulation and advancement of new engineering techniques and discoveries, furtherance of technical research, promotion and protection of standards relating to legal registration of civil engineers, conducting training programs and technical conferences, provision of information through technical library, and the development and maintenance of ethical standards for the civil engineering profession.

To conduct and support these activities, numerous national committee as well as 80 local sections (chapters) and over 145 student chapters are organized. Fourteen technical divisions of the Society develop and communicate new technical information: Aero-Space Transport, City Planning, Construction Engineering Mechanics, Highways, Hydraulics, Irrigation and Drainage, Pipelines, Power, Sanitary Engineering, Soil Mechanics, Structural Engineering, Surveying and Mapping, and Waterways and Harbors.

The Board of Direction is the governing body of the Society. The Board is elected by the membership, with regional representation. Appointed by the Board of Direction are the Executive Secretary and the Assistant Secretary of the Society. The professional staff of 82 persons, managed by the Secretary, has its headquarters in the new United Engineering Center Building, which is next to the United Nations Building in New York City.

The Michigan Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers, founded in 1916, represents a strong segment of the national organization. The section is comprised of several local branches (Southeastern Branch, Lansing-Jackson Branch, Northeastern, Western, Upper Peninsula), which serve the membership in a somewhat decentralized manner. The Michigan Section interacts primarily with other state sections that make up District 7, but cooperation and contact with outside districts is common.


8 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The collection is divided into 17 series: Membership, Administrative Affairs, Financial Records, Meetings, Committee Files, Reports, General Correspondence, Branch Affairs, Constitutional Affairs, Biographical Data, Publications, Speeches, Student Chapters, Awards, Miscellaneous Material, Registration Examinations (restricted) and Photographs. The series spans from 1936 to 1979, but the bulk of the material spans from 1949 to 1977. Most of the series are filed chronologically by date, but Biographical Data, Registration Examination, Submitted Questions, and Committee files are arranged alphabetically.

Custodial History

Gift of Jack E. Pierson

Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

American Society of Civil Engineers, Michigan Section, Records
4 Published And Cataloged
J. Cassady
March 1984
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US