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Guide to the Records of the 1948 Election Voting Study in Elmira, New York
1939-1972 (bulk 1948-1954)
 MS 196

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Jiyang Chun

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on May 19, 2017
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Series II. Questionnaires, 1948-1950. 8.0 Linear feet

Arrangement Note

The series is arranged with the 1948 questionnaires followed by the 1950 questionnaires. The 1948 questionnaires are arranged in numerical order, based on the segment number written on each questionnaire. All four waves of the 1948 questionnaire are found together. Each of the two waves of the 1950 questionnaires are arranged separately, each wave also in segment number order.

Scope and Contents Note

The series contains the completed questionnaires used in the Elmira study (although it is not known if every single completed questionnaire remains in the collection). Four “waves” of questionnaires, following the so-called “panel method” of repeated interviews, are found in the series. Three of these waves date from before the 1948 election (June, August and October) and a fourth from just after the election in November. Two waves of questionnaires from 1950 (April and July) are also in the series, although the relation of these to the study is unclear as they are not mentioned in the published results.

The questionnaires, especially the three pre-election surveys, touched on an extensive array of matters, including the interviewee’s attitude toward the various candidates in the primary and general campaigns, their intentions to vote one way or the other, the influences on their choices, and their views on key issues (notably Russia, labor and management relations, the growth of corporations and government regulation of industry, the Israeli-Arab conflict, and the United Nations). The questionnaires also include demographic information, including organizations that the interviewee associated with and the resulting political influences. In addition to the checked-off answers and brief notations on the questionnaires, there are also some longer form answers to interview questions. (Reproductions of the questionnaire forms can be found in an appendix in Bernard Berelson, et al.’s Voting.)

In order to link the questionnaires to particular respondents and to each other, each questionnaire was given a unique code that was formed by reference to the wave, segment, and household interviewed. For example, the questionnaire numbered as 001-145-004 indicates that it was the first wave questionnaire, implemented in the 145th segment of Elmira, given to the fourth household/interviewee from that segment. Questionnaire 002-145-004 would be the second wave given to the same household. (A map showing the segment numbers and location can be found in Series I, in the folders “Maps of Elmira.”)

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 5 Folder : 37-38 Questionnaires (2 folders)

Scope and Contents Note

Includes questionnaires that appear to be outside the principal ones used in the survey. These are from Elmira and other locales, and might be test surveys.

1948
Box: 6 Folder : 1-10 Questionnaires. Segments 000-040 (10 folders)
1948
Box: 7 Folder : 1-14 Questionnaires. Segments 041-079 (14 folders)
1948
Box: 8 Folder : 1-13 Questionnaires. Segments 081-118 (13 folders)
1948
Box: 9 Folder : 1-14 Questionnaires. Segments 119-159 (14 folders)
1948
Box: 10 Folder : 1-10 Questionnaires. Segments 160-222 (14 folders)
1948
Box: 11 Folder : 1-12 Questionnaires. Segments 223-257 (12 folders)
1948
Box: 12 Folder : 1-7 Questionnaires. Segments 258-271 (7 folders)
1948
Box: 12 Folder : 8 Blank Questionnaires
1948 October
Box: 12 Folder : 9-12 1950 Opinion Survey. Segments 1-118 (4 folders)
1950 April
Box: 13 Folder : 1-4 1950 Opinion Survey. Segments 120-271 (4 folders)
1950 April
Box: 13 Folder : 5-9 1950 Final Questionnaire. Segments 1-271 (5 folders)
1950 July
Box: 13 Folder : 10 1950 Final Questionnaire. Late Returned Questionnaires, and Letters.
1950 August-December

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