Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Bureau of Applied Social Research records, 1938-1977

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0166
Bib ID 5012632 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Columbia University. Bureau of Applied Social Research
Title Bureau of Applied Social Research records, 1938-1977
Physical Description 168 Linear Feet (168 record cartons)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged into 12 series.



Project materials, including reports, monographs, books, articles, Masters essays, Doctoral dissertations, foreign publications, administrative records, correspondence, minutes and audio-visual materials.

  • Series I: Project Index

    Boxes 1-103.& This Index is intended to show the entire output of each Bureau project. The projects were assigned numbers that were generally chronological, beginning with the year the project began, but became chronologically disordered from B-1000 to B-1038 due to a transition in the numbering system introduced in 1964. For these projects, the year of initiation is given after the project title.

    Within projects, publications are listed by type: Reports, Monographs, Books, Articles, Masters Essays, Doctoral Dissertations, Foreign Publications and, in a few cases, Audio-Visual Materials. Within each category, publications are ordered by year and then alphabetically by author. If an author produced more than one publication of a given type in a particular year, a number in parentheses indicates its order in that author's publications for that year.

    Projects that were funded through the Bureau and approved by its Board as "Bureau Projects" have numbers preceded by "B." Faculty projects, for which the Bureau provided space or services but that it did not initiate as an organization, are indicated by an "F." Similar student projects are indicated by "S" or "D." The names of the original project directors are given in parentheses after the project title.

  • Series II: Project Proposals

    Eight boxes of material [Boxes 104-111]

  • Series III: Reports

    Boxes 112-134

    The BASR Reports were generally delivered to the research sponsor in mimeographed form. In some cases, as noted, the reports were later published as articles or books. Asterisks indicate titles which are not included in the microfiche collection.

  • Series IV: Masters Essays

    All Masters Essays were submitted to the Department of Sociology of Columbia University. For interlibrary loan, contact Interlibrary Loan Service, Columbia University Libraries. For purchase of microfilm or Xerox copies, contact the Photographic Service Department, Columbia University Libraries.

  • Series V: Doctoral Dissertations

    Boxes 135-136. Doctoral Dissertations were submitted to the Sociology Department of Columbia University. All Columbia dissertations are available on interlibrary loan; address requests to Interlibrary Loan Service, Columbia University Libraries. Those available on microfilm are so designated and may be purchased directly from University Microfilms, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

  • Series VI: Articles

    Boxes 137-141. The articles are listed chronologically and, within each year, alphabetically by author. Most of them report on research carried out at the Bureau of Applied Social Research or its predecessor, the Office of Radio Research. Those from 1935-1936 and some of the 1937 articles were produced by Paul Lazarsfeld before the creation of the Office of Radio Research, but were always listed by him as the Office's first publications in accordance with his effort to build up the organization. He also encouraged staff members and fellow faculty members to list their publications as "Bureau publications" for the same reason. Wherever possible we have indicated specific project numbers for articles which could be directly attributed to a Bureau research project.

  • Series VII: Personnel Published and Unpublished Materials

    Not Included In BASR Project Files. 4 boxes- Boxes 142-145

  • Series VIII: Additional Project Files and Miscellaneous Materials

    Boxes 146-151

  • Series IX: BASR Library Materials and Publications

    Boxes 152-156

  • Series X: Center for the Social Sciences

    Boxes 157-163

  • Series XI: Card Catalog of BASR Library

  • Series XII: Administrative Records, 1951-1977

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Bureau of Applied Social Research records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

RBML also holds the "Bureau of Applied Social Research-War Documentation Project Records, 1950-1956" as part of the Bakhmeteff Archive (BA#0064).

A data set related to the Academic Mind is available via Research Data Services: http://www.columbia.edu/acis/eds/holdings/1079/

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Revision Description

2010-01-22 Legacy finding aid created from Pro Cite.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

2019-08-05 Added Series XII. Administrative Records, 1938-1977, formerly University Archives BASR records (BIBID 6228370).

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Berelson, Bernard, 1912-1979 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Glock, Charles Y. Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lazarsfeld, Paul F., 1901-1976 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Merton, Robert King, 1910-2003 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Social sciences -- Research Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

The Bureau of Applied Social Research, headed by sociologist Paul Lazarsfeld, was established in 1944 and helped make Columbia a pioneering institution in the social sciences. Through empirical research, ideas regarding the functioning of individuals and groups were developed and tested. Many ground-breaking studies were conducted by Lazarsfeld and his colleagues, among the most important of which was the impact of radio and television on the American public. Through such work, the Bureau become the "birthplace" of mass communication research. Many survey techniques were developed at the Bureau, such as the focused interview and panel interviewing methods. The Bureau was eventually succeeded by the Center for the Social Sciences in 1976.