The Rockefeller Archive Center
“If we assist the highest forms of education – in whatever field – we secure the widest influence in enlarging the boundaries of human knowledge.”
—John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

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Size: 442.8 cu. ft.

Arrangement: The Social Science Research Council archives are arranged into two record groups distinguished by the date of their donation to the Archive Center. Accession 1 (Record Group 1) consists of the documents received by the Archive Center in 1990; Accession 2 (Record Group 2) contains the second and larger bulk of material that was transferred to the Archive Center in 1994. Some materials are closed for thirty years from the date of their creation.

ACCESSION 1 is arranged into nine series comprising 146.8 cu. ft.
    Series 1. Committee Projects, 1924-1990, 122.4 cu. ft. This series is divided into thirty-five subseries and consists of files concerning the Committee's research planning activities in regional studies and social sciences. Each subseries represents a different committee and contains conference papers and annual minutes of that committee.

    Series 2. Committee on Problems and Policy, 1925-1985, 7.2 cu. ft. The Committee on Problems and Policy, formed in 1925, is the Council's central planning body. The committee is a group of elected scholars who review the programs of the working committees that carry out SSRC programs. Members of the Committee on Problems and Policy are drawn primarily from college and university faculties. This series consists of the minutes of the committee.

    Series 3. Executive Committee Minutes, 1924-1984, 1.2 cu. ft. This series includes the original by-laws and articles of incorporation from 1924 and the minutes of this committee, which is responsible for the financial and operational aspects of the Council.

    Series 4. Financial Reports (Investment Committee), 1937-1972, 0.8 cu. ft. This series contains the files of the Council's financial reports and expenditures from conferences and fellowships.

    Series 5. Hanover Conference, 1926-1930. The Hanover Conference, held in Hanover, New Hampshire, from 1926-1930, was the first national conference on the social sciences. This series contains the proceedings from these meetings, at which the concept of social security was discussed.

    Series 6. Housekeeping Reports (Fellowship Files), 1960-1980, 2.0 cu. ft. The Housekeeping reports are fellowship diaries that were written by SSRC fellows during their research overseas from 1960 to 1980. Many of these reports contain information on research facilities, food, clothing needed, housing, and language requirements. This series is closed for research until January 1, 2025.

    Series 7. Personnel Committee (Fellowships), 1927-1981, 2.0 cu. ft. This series includes the minutes of the Personnel Committee, which reviews applications for research training fellowships and was originally called the Committee on Fellowships.

    Series 8. Projects Not from Committees, 1923-1982, 2.4 cu. ft. These records consist of excerpts from minutes relating to proposed projects that were not formally undertaken. They are arranged in alphabetical order and deal with topics such as child welfare, labor migration, and the family.

    Series 9. (SSRC) Council Minutes, 1923-1984, 6.8 cu. ft. This series contains the minutes of the Council's Board of Directors, which elects the Council's presidents and reviews and approves its programs and budgets.

ACCESSION 2 (Record Group 2) is arranged into five series and consists of 296 cu. ft. of material, the bulk of which are fellowship files and correspondence relating to the committees.
    Series 1. Committee Projects, 1924-1990, 264.4 cu. ft. This series is divided into 106 subseries, each representing a different SSRC committee, and includes files concerning the Committee's research planning activities in regional studies and social sciences. This series consists mostly of conference papers and the correspondence of each committee.

    Series 2. Committee on Problems and Policy, 1971-1981, 1.2 cu. ft. The Committee on Problems and Policy, formed in 1925, is the Council's central planning body. This series contains the minutes from 1977 to 1980 and general correspondence and miscellaneous files from 1971 to 1981.

    Series 3. Committee on Personnel, 1958-1986, 14 cu. ft. This series contains correspondence, drafts, manuscripts, and chronological files from the records of past SSRC committee members Nikiforos Diamondoros, William H. Kruskal, Kenneth Prewitt, Richard Rockwell, Eleanor Sheldon and David Sills.

    Series 4. (SSRC) Council, General Files, 1923-1985, 6 cu. ft. This series contains the bulk of the Council's general files (1923-1985); Items (1950-1985); miscellaneous publications (1929- 1982); subcommittee members' correspondence (1967-1982); and meeting correspondence (1958-1980).

    Series 5. Washington, D.C. Office, 1973-1983, 5.2 cu. ft. This series consists of material on the Committee on Social Indicators, a committee established in 1972 to promote social reporting, the development of data bases, and the fostering communication. This office was closed in 1983.
Photograph Collection: Yes, limited

Organizational History: The Social Science Research Council (SSRC) is a private, not-for-profit organization established in 1923 to advance research in the social sciences. The SSRC came into being through the initiatives of Wesley C. Mitchell and Charles E. Merriam, members of the American Political Science Association. Representatives of the American Economic Association, the American Sociological Society, the American Statistical Association, the American Historical Association and the American Psychological Association assisted Merriam and his associates in forming the SSRC. They invited the participation of other national associations in anthropology, history, and psychology, many of which designated representatives to the SSRC in the year following its incorporation on December 27, 1924.

To support its work, the SSRC turned not to the U.S. government, whose support seemed more appropriate for the natural sciences, but to private foundations. For the first fifty years, well over three-quarters of the SSRC's funding was provided by the Russell Sage Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and two Rockefeller philanthropies, the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial and the Rockefeller Foundation. By the 1970s, however, funds for some special projects were obtained from federal agencies.

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A Guide to the Social Science Research Council Archives at the Rockefeller Archive Center

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