American Society of Questioned Document Examiners

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American Society of Questioned Document Examiners
Society logo
Formation September 2, 1942; 74 years ago (1942-09-02)
Purpose Professional non-profit society for forensic document examiners
Headquarters Long Beach, CA, United States
Region served
Official language
John Paul Osborn
Main organ
Executive Committee

The American Society of Questioned Document Examiners is the world's oldest [1] society dedicated to the forensic science of questioned document examination with 144 members worldwide.[2] The current president is John Paul Osborn. The society publishes the Journal of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners[3] twice a year.


Membership in the society is open to any practising questioned document examiner who meets the criteria for membership according to the by-laws.[4]

There are eight classes of membership in the society:[4] Regular Members, Provisional Members, Associate Members, Affiliate Members, Corresponding Members, Life Members, Life Corresponding Members, and Honorary Members. Examiners from the United States or Canada are eligible to become Regular members while examiners from other countries are considered to be Corresponding members.


In 1913, Albert S. Osborn of New York City invited Elbridge Stein of Pittsburgh to discuss questioned document examination issues beginning the earliest days of the society.[5] J. Fordyce Wood of Chicago, J. Frank Shearman of Wichita, Kansas, and John J. Lomax of Montreal, were invited in the years immediately following. John F. Tyrrell of Milwaukee, WI, began attending early meetings and Albert D. Osborn, the son of Albert S. Osborn, attended in 1919 upon returning from service overseas during World War I. Herbert J. Walter of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, was later invited in 1926 and within the next two years, Edwin H. Fearon of Pittsburgh, PA, Harry E. Cassidy of Richmond, MI, and Scott E. Leslie of Cleveland, OH, joined the group.

James Clark Sellers of Los Angeles, CA was invited and attended the 1930 meeting. At that meeting, Rafael Fernandez Ruenes of Havana, Cuba, also attended. In 1931, John L. Harris of Los Angeles, CA was asked to join. In the meantime, George Walter (son of Herbert J. Walter) became a member. Elwin C. Leslie (son of Scott E. Leslie) attended and participated in the 1939 meeting. George J. Lacy, Houston, TX, was invited and first attended in 1942 as did, Warren T. Johnson. Other names have been relegated to obscurity because of a lack of interest or inability to participate in the rigorous contributory program.

Membership was entirely by invitation and the organization remained informal up until this time. Its meetings were completely educational in scope and annual attendance, as well as full participation in the program, were a requirement for subsequent invitation.

On September 2, 1942, it was decided to formalize the organization and it became known as The American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, its current name.


The following persons have been presidents of the society:


  1. ^ "About the ASQDE". Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  2. ^ ASQDE, Inc. (December 2011). "ASQDE Bylaws (page 24 of 25)" (PDF). Retrieved 2012.Feb.13.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. ^ "ASQDE Journal information". Retrieved 2010-12-30. 
  4. ^ a b ASQDE, Inc. (December 2011). "ASQDE Bylaws, Article II. Membership Requirements" (PDF). Retrieved 2012.Feb.13.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. ^ Conway, James V.P. (June 1998), "A Brief History of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners", Journal of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, 1 (1): 2–3 

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