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Daniel D. McCracken papers

Identifier: CBI 43

Scope and Content Note

This collection is primarily files Daniel McCracken created during his professional involvement with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and a small quantity of personal papers. The ACM materials include: council and executive committee agendas, minutes, and attachments (1974-1982), correspondence (1969-1982), and personnel lists (1974-1983). Prominent correspondents in the collection include: Peter Denning, George Dodd, Herbert R.J. Grosch, and Jean E. Sammet.

The ACM correspondence documents several controversies including: Herbert Grosch's fireside chat,a 1977 article in which the ACM president attacked other members and the organization as a whole; the Turchin resolution which expressed support for a Soviet scientist, a stand considered politically dangerous by many; and the attempt to change the organization's name in 1976-1977.

His personal papers, dating from 1958-1980, entail correspondence and a class notebook that details exams, curricula, and grading sheets from a programming class taught by McCracken.


  • 1958-1983


Language of Materials


Access to materials:

Access to the collection is unrestricted.


CBI 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

Daniel D. McCracken was a writer, lecturer, and consultant in the computer industry. Born in 1930, he received a BA in mathematics in 1950 and a BA in chemistry a year later, both from Central Washington University. He worked for General Electric Company from 1951 to 1958, and was director of training in the computer department, 1956-1957. He then returned to school, attending New York University from 1958 to 1959. During this time he also worked in the AEC Computing Center there, and as a consultant in computer programming, writing and training. In 1970 he received a Masters of Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary.

McCracken published many books, including an early general textbook on programming, Digital Computer Programming(1957), and one of the first books on Fortran, A Guide to Fortran Programming(1961).

In 1954 McCracken joined the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). In 1974 he became an ACM council member, which he remained until 1982. He served as vice president of ACM from 1976 to 1978, and as president from 1978 to 1980. He was an active and vocal member, and was instrumental in increasing the involvement of ACM in issues of scientific freedom and computer education. He failed in his attempt to change the name of the association, but did make other structural changes to make the organization more democratic. His efforts shaped the much of the policies and priorities of ACM from 1974 through 1980.


6 boxes (4.75 cubic feet)


Collection consists of files Daniel McCracken created during his professional involvement with ACM, as well as his personal papers. The collection contains council and executive committee agendas, minutes, and attachments (1974-1982), correspondence (1969-1982), and personnel lists (1974-1983), personal correspondence, and material from a programming course taught by McCracken.

Arrangement of Collection

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

  1. ACM Council and Executive Committee
  2. ACM Correspondence, 1969-1982
  3. ACM Key Personnel Lists, 1974-1983
  4. Personal Papers, 1958-1980


The records were given to the Charles Babbage Institute by Daniel D. McCracken in 1988.

Daniel D. McCracken Papers, 1958-1983. Finding Aid.
Prepared by Pat Hennessy, February 1991.
March 2004
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