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Colin G. Drury papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 18-4F-1376

Scope and Contents

The Colin G. Drury papers, 1963-2012 contain faculty papers, research reports and data, photographs, audiovisual material, and digital files. Included are copies and reprints of articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries written by Drury and his colleagues, drafts, presentations, publishing contracts, ergonomics reports, manuals, conference and meeting programs and itineraries, a small amount of scattered professional correspondence, notes, questionnaires, forms, plans, report drafts, experiment data, annotated articles, personal and research-related photographs, negatives, slides, and memorabilia. Digital files include files transferred to the University Archives on an internal computer hard drive. These files represent a sample of Colin Drury's professional work, research, and teaching from the early 1990s through 2012. The majority of the files are dated 1995-2010. The digital photo archive of the Fluorescent Penetrant Inspection Study Phase 2, October 2004-December 2005 is the largest group of files located in Sub-series B. Research and Data Sets.


  • 1963-2012


Language of Materials

Majority in English, some in Chinese.


Pursuant to University Archives Restricted Records Policy regarding private information, access to portions of this collection is RESTRICTED until 2046 (folder 12.13), 2053 (folder 8.31), and 2070 (folder 8.32). Access to portions of Series IV. Digital records is RESTRICTED as follows: Federal Aviation Administration (RESTRICTED until January 2083); Projects - Applied Ergonomics Group (RESTRICTED until January 2083); Projects - Chemical Demilitarization (RESTRICTED until January 2082); Projects – National Academies of Science (RESTRICTED until 2082); Projects - Reville (RESTRICTED until January 2101); Projects - Security Testimony 2008 (RESTRICTED until January 2084); Projects - Valerie Gowron Medical Error Research (RESTRICTED until January 2107); Research Institute for Safety and Security in Transportation (RESTRICTED until January 2084); Traveling Backups (RESTRICTED until January 2110); UB Classes - Departmental files (RESTRICTED until January 2077); IE 538: Human Factors Practicum - Discomfort and Exertion Rating Program (RESTRICTED until January 2081).

Portions of this collection have been minimally processed. Privacy protected information (including but not limited to certain educational, medical, financial, criminal, attorney-client, and/or personnel records) may be revealed during use of archival collections, particularly in collections that are unprocessed or have been minimally processed. Researchers agree to make no notes or other recordation of privacy protected information if found within the archival collections, and further agree not to publish, publicize, or disclose such information to any other party for any purpose if found within the archival collections.

Special Viewing Instructions

Access to digital material provided via the University Archives’ Digital Archives online repository.


Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and University Archives before requesting photocopies and/or publishing quotations from materials in the collection. Once permission is obtained, most papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures unless otherwise specified.

Biographical Note

Colin G. Drury is a SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University at Buffalo. He was born on June 4, 1941 in Skegness, England, and remained in England throughout his childhood, education, and early career. Drury earned a Bachelor of Science with honors in 1962 from the University of Sheffield, where he studied physics, mathematics, and geology. In 1964 he started at the University of Birmingham, where he received a Master of Science degree in Work Design and Ergonomics in 1965, a requirement for the Ph.D. in Engineering Production specializing in Ergonomics he would eventually earn at the same institution in 1968.

After obtaining his Ph.D., Drury became a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts before moving back to England to gain experience as a lecturer and manager of ergonomics. In 1972 he became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University at Buffalo, where he was promoted to Associate Professor in 1976 and to full Professor in 1979. Drury also served as a Research and Evaluation Director at Lakes Area Emergency Medical Services, Director of Human Factors at BOSTI Inc., and chair of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the University at Buffalo. In 1985, Drury became the founding executive director of the Center for Industrial Effectiveness.

Throughout his career, Drury became a prolific researcher and writer in the field of Ergonomics, publishing hundreds of articles and presenting at many conferences on the topic of human factors in manufacturing and maintenance, specifically aviation maintenance and safety, industrial process control, and quality control. His research in Human Factors Engineering (HFE) uses data on the performance of humans in complex systems to design better systems that make the best use of the unique capabilities of both humans and automated devices to reduce error and improve throughput. He also worked with a variety of businesses to evaluate and improve their safety protocols.
Drury became a UB Distinguished Professor in 2002, and was named SUNY Distinguished Professor in 2007. The same year, he stepped down from his position at the University at Buffalo, but continues to perform research at the university.


10.4 Linear Feet (9 record cartons, 4 manuscript boxes)

142.494 Gigabytes (Approximately 184,000 files)


Professional papers of Colin G. Drury, SUNY Distinguished Professor Emeritus of industrial engineering at the University at Buffalo. Mainly consists of copies and reprints of Drury's writing, research materials, and photographs. A significant portion of the collection, including teaching materials, documentation of participation in professional conferences and projects, and records of the Research Institute for Safety and Security in Transportation are in digital format.


The Colin G. Drury papers, 1963-2012 are arranged into five series: I. Writings and conferences; II. Research files; III. Photographs and memorabilia; IV. Digital records; V. Audiovisual records. Some folder titles were altered and file arrangement reorganized to assist researchers in locating and identifying digital content.

Technical Requirements

Please note that the University Archives may be unable to provide complete access to all the digital files described in this collection due to lack of required software. Please contact the University Archives for more information.

Acquisition Information

The Colin G. Drury papers, 1963-2012 were gifted to University Archives by Colin G. Drury in April 2016 as accession 2016-007.


No further accruals are expected to this collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Grace Trimper and Sarah Cogley, 2019-2020. Finding aid encoded by Grace Trimper and Sarah Cogley, July 2019.

Processing Information

Digital files created by Colin G. Drury were transferred to the University Archives on various storage media including an internal hard drive, compact discs and floppy disks. Where possible, digital content saved on storage media was migrated from the storage media, normalized for access, and transferred to a stable preservation environment following the University Libraries' Digital Preservation guidelines.

Files created in Minitab, a statistical analysis software package, were migrated. Session windows were migrated to text files, graphs were migrated to JPEG files, and worksheets were migrated to Excel files. The original Minitab files were retained as preservation copies.

Executable ".exe" program files used in operating systems like Windows and MS-DOS were preserved in their original format and transferred to a preservation environment. Many program files are only accessible using a DOS-emulator. Executable program files may be accompanied by files with the extension “.DO” and “.DAT” Files ending in “.DO” are automatically created by the program when a user saves the search fields created in the program. Files ending in “.DAT” are also created by the program and store data generated by running the program. Please speak with Archives staff for assistance with these files.

Some folder titles were altered and file arrangement reorganized to assist researchers in locating and identifying digital content. Some files were redacted to protect personal identifiable information or Protected Health Information (PHI) in accordance with federal regulations and UB Libraries policies.


Finding Aid for the Colin G. Drury papers
Finding aid prepared by Grace Trimper and Sarah Cogley.
July 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

420 Capen Hall
Buffalo New York 14260-1674 US
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