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Burroughs Corporation records. Duncan L. MacDonald papers

Identifier: CBI 90, Series 55

Scope and Content Note

This collection Duncan MacDonald’s work with peripherals development at Electrodata, including many specific projects highlighting the progress of work on the development of certain potential products. Included in this documentation is materials on Project 733 - work carried out under contract between Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the ElectroData Division of Burroughs Corporation, to determine feasibility of an experimental arm controlled by data processing techniques/responsive to data supplied in digital form. An engineering model was constructed and discussed. Long range objective was provision of flexible, readily programmed, automated assembly system. Westinghouse apparently did not fund ElectroData past the exploratory stages of the program.

In addition, the collection includes two papers that MacDonald presented in 1957.

Scope and Contents

This is one series of the Burroughs Corporation Records (CBI 90). Please see the other series finding aids for further information regarding the Burroughs Corporation.


  • 1955-1964


Language of Materials


Access to materials:

Access to the collection is unrestricted.


The Charles Babbage Institute holds the copyright to all materials in the collection, except for items covered by a prior copyright (such as published materials). Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provisions of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code).

Biographical Note

Duncan L. MacDonald earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1944. He was in the U.S. Navy from 1944 to 1964 and was responsible for maintenance repair operation of radar systems and electronic equipment. He attended the radar school at M.I.T. during this time. From 1946 to 1951 he was project engineer at Automatic Electric Company in Chicago. He joined Consolidated Electrodynamics Corporation in 1951 where he worked as a project engineer on the administration and design of digital data processing systems, analog-to-digital conversion techniques and wind tunnel data reduction systems. He remained there until 1954. As part of ElectroData (which split off from CEC), MacDonald worked on various computer and magnetic tape systems, including the tape transports associated with the B205 and initial development of the datafile, a large magnetic tape file.


3 boxes (3 cubic feet)


Collection contains the papers of Duncan L. MacDonald, engineer at Burroughs' ElectroData Division.

Arrangement of Collection

The materials in this collection are arranged into the following groups:

  1. Project Files
  2. Product Proposals
  3. Specific Projects
  4. Presented Papers


The records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute by Unisys Corporation in 1991, accession 991-35.

Related Material

Other engineering reports can be found in the following Burroughs series:

  1. L.P. Robinson Papers
  2. Lawrence Bewley Papers
  3. Glen Nielson Papers

This is one series of the Burroughs Corporation Records (CBI 90). Please see the other series finding aids for further information regarding the Burroughs Corporation.

Burroughs Corporation Records. Duncan L. MacDonald Papers, 1955-1964. Finding Aid.
Prepared by Susan A. Stepka, August 1995.
July 2005
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Charles Babbage Institute Archives Collecting Area

Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 - 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55455