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Reference Information Paper 78

A Finding Aid to Records Relating to Personal Participation in World War II ("The American Soldier" Surveys)

Table of Contents

Part III: The Electronic Records

[For more information about the records described here, contact the Center for Electronic Records, National Archives at College Park, 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD 20740. Telephone: (301) 837-0470. Email: cer@nara.gov]

III.1 The raw data from the surveys initially were stored on the dominant medium for automation in the 1940's, computer punch cards. Although the case files associated with these cards were accessioned by the National Archives in 1962, the original punch cards were not retained. Fortunately, much of the microdata survived, however, in the form of a copy that was transferred to the National Archives in 1978 by the Army Research Institute (ARI).

III.2 The copy originated in the work of Samuel Stouffer, one of the civilian employees of ARB, who left the bureau in 1946 for a position at Harvard University. Upon leaving, he made a duplicate set of cards for the 84 unclassified studies (138 data sets) and took the set with him. Because Stouffer served as a member of the Special Committee of the Social Science Research Council, the data he copied and took with him formed the basis for Studies in Social Psychology in World War II. The studies he did not copy dealt with experimental research, in-house operations and special problems, psychoneurotic and medical problems, and attitudes toward allies and subgroups within the military forces and American society.

III.3 After Stouffer's death in 1960, Harvard University transferred the duplicate set of unclassified data to the Roper Center, then associated with Williams College. In 1978, the ARI contracted with the Roper Center to read the cards to computer tape and to produce machine-readable frequencies and documentation. At ARI's request, the Roper Center provided the National Archives with a copy of the data. The data, along with the related case files and other records, were allocated to Record Group 330 (Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense).

III.4 The electronic records accessioned into the National Archives consist of 138 files with responses (data) from Samuel Stouffer's selection of 84 studies, as well as electronic documentation files for all but one of the data files (i.e. 137 electronic documentation files). Thus there are 275 electronic records files in this series, and each is identified by survey number. The 84 studies, with their survey numbers, are listed in Appendix A.


Note: Compiled by Ben DeWhitt and Heidi Ziemer. Published by the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC, 1991 (Revised, 1997).

Web version prepared 1999. Additions and changes incorporated in the Web version are between brackets [] and in italics.

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