An overview of the literature on some nonparametric or distribution-free quality control procedures is presented for univariate data. A nonparametric control chart is defined along with some general motivations and formulations. Various advantages of these charts are highlighted while some disadvantages of the more traditional, distribution-based. control charts are pointed out. Specific observations are made in the course of the review of articles and constructive criticism is offered. so that opportunities for further research can be identified. Connections to some areas of active research are made. such as sequential analysis, that are of relevance to process control. It is hoped that this article would lead to a wider acceptance of distribution-free control charts among the practitioners and would serve as an impetus to future research and development in this area.