Rare Book & Manuscript Library
 

Herbert Gans papers, 1944-2004

Series I: Writings, 1947-2004

This series contains materials related to books, book-length studies, articles, planning documents, and other writings authored by Gans during close to six decades of work. Together, these files comprise more than half the collection. The basic organizational scheme of these materials was established by Gans, although many files were rearranged in alphabetical order during processing. Subject and correspondence files related to a given book or article were grouped with the relevant title.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only CU affiliates may view materials on-site. YOU MUST REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT BEFORE PLACING REQUESTS. Email rbml@library.columbia.edu to request an appointment. You may submit a request for materials once your appointment is confirmed. Affiliates will login with their uni and password, and need to register the first time they make a request.



Subseries I.1: Books, 1953-2003

Gans wrote nine books:The Urban Villagers: Group and Class in the Life of Italian-Americans(1962),The Levittowners: Ways of Life and Politics in a New Suburban Community(1967),People and Plans: Essays on Urban Problems and Solutions(1968),More Equality(1973),Popular Culture and High Culture: An Analysis and Evaluation of Taste(1974),Deciding What's News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek, and Time(1979),Middle American Individualism: The Future of Liberal Democracy(1988),The War Against the Poor: The Underclass and Antipoverty Policy(1995), andDemocracy and the News(2003). Correspondence, research notes, grant applications, drafts, manuscripts, and book reviews related to each book are contained within this subseries.

The files relating toThe Urban Villagers, The Levittowners,andDeciding What's Newsprovide a vivid portrait of how Gans planned and carried out his sociological fieldwork. The files also offer considerable insight into his writing process and efforts to gain funding and support for his research. Five boxes of materials related to his research in Boston forThe Urban Villagersinclude heavily annotated drafts and a diary he kept while living as a participant-observer in the West End neighborhood. Of particular note among the correspondence files are letters written to Gans by a West End family immediately before and after being forced from their home, as well as two letters from Jane Jacobs, dated 1959, on the subject of urban renewal. Files pertaining toThe Levittownersinclude two-dozen folders of questionnaires filled out by Levittown residents at Gans's request; a daily diary detailing Gans's observations and musings on Levittown life; three folders of grant applications; and an annotated version of the 1300-page manuscript that eventually led to the much shorter book. Files related toDeciding What's Newsinclude a series of 1963 interviews carried out in the wake of the JFK assassination with notable journalists and media executives including David Brinkley, Chet Huntley, and the president of NBC, Robert Kintner; field notes from time spent in the CBS, NBC,NewsweekandTimenewsrooms in the late 1960s and early 1970s; correspondence soliciting funds and support; and opinion pieces and editorials flowing from the project.

In addition, Gans preserved hundreds of reviews about his books, as well as letters he exchanged with particularly critical or laudatory reviewers. Drafts or typescripts of most of his books up toDemocracy and the Newsare also contained here.


The Urban Villagers: Group and Class in the Life of Italian-Americans, 1962


Correspondence



Box 1 Folder 1 Caruso, Joseph, 1958-1987


Box 1 Folder 2 General, with Clippings, 1955-1961


Box 1 Folder 3 Granovetter, Mark, 1974


Box 1 Folder 4 Jacobs, Jane, 1958


Box 1 Folder 5 Lopreato, Joseph, 1970-1971


Box 1 Folder 6 Post-Publication, 1962-1967


Box 1 Folder 7 Regarding Publication, 1960-1962


Box 1 Folder 8 Regarding West End, 1958-1959


Box 1 Folder 9 Research, 1958-1959


Box 1 Folder 10 Steiner, Richard, 1958


Box 1 Folder 11 Topalov, Christian, 1999-2003


Box 1 Folder 12 West Enders, 1958-1963


Box 1 Folder 13 Drafts, late, 1950s


Box 1 Folder 14 Draft Manuscript, 1959 (1 of 2 Folders), 1959



Box 2 Folder 1 Draft Manuscript, 1959 (2 of 2 Folders), 1959


Box 2 Folder 2 Outlines and Notes, 1958-1962


Box 2 Folder 3 to 4 Photographs of the West End--Taken by Gans, 1958-1962, (2 Folders)


Research Materials


Box 2 Folder 5 General, Undated


Box 2 Folder 6 Government Planning Documents, 1953-1955


Box 2 Folder 7 Interview Study, 1957


Box 2 Folder 8 Mental Health, 1950s



Box 3 Folder 1 Notes and Outlines, circa, 1958-1960


Box 3 Folder 2 Reviews, 1962-1964


Second Edition


Box 3 Folder 3 Correspondence, Notes, and Publicity Materials, circa, 1980-1986


Box 3 Folder 4 to 5 Galleys and Pageproofs, 1982, (2 Folders)


Box 3 Folder 6 Typescript with Notes, 1982


Box 3 Folder 7 to 8 Typescript with Edits, 1982, (2 Folders)



Box 4 Folder 1 "The Taking," by Marc Lipsitz--Play About Gans and West End, With Notes,, undated


Box 4 Folder 2 Thirtieth Anniversary, 1992-1993


Box 4 Folder 3 to 4 Typescript with Notes, 1962, (2 Folders)



Box 5 Folder 1 West End Participation-Observation Study--Diary, 1957-1958 (1 bound volume), 1957-1958


The Levittowners: Ways of Life and Politics in a New Suburban Community, 1967


Box 5 Folder 2 to 4 Applying for Grants, 1950-1962, (3 Folders)


Correspondence



Box 6 Folder 1 General, 1956-1969


Box 6 Folder 2 Reactions, 1967


Box 6 Folder 3 Riesman, David, 1959


Box 6 Folder 4 Diary--Handwritten, 1958-1959


Drafts


Box 6 Folder 5 to 9 Manuscript, 1965 (5 of 7 Folders), 1965



Box 7 Folder 1 to 2 Manuscript, 1965 (2 of 7 Folders), 1965


Box 7 Folder 3 to 5 Partial Typescript, undated, (3 Folders)


Box 7 Folder 6 to 7 Typescript, undated (2 of 7 Folders), undated



Box 8 Folder 1 to 5 Typescript, undated (5 of 7 Folders), undated


Box 8 Folder 6 Getting Published, 1962-1967



Box 64 Folder 1 to 2 Lawsuit, 1966-1970, (2 Folders)



Box 8 Folder 7 Photographs of Levittown, circa, 1958


Research



Box 9 Folder 1 to 7 City Interviews, 1958-1962 (7 of 13 Folders), 1958-1962



Box 10 Folder 1 to 6 City Interviews, 1958-1962 (6 of 13 Folders), 1958-1962


Box 10 Folder 7 Diary, 1958-1959--Table of Contents



Box 11 Folder 1 to 2 Diary, 1958-1959 ( 2 bound volumes), 1958-1959



Box 12 Folder 1 Interview Drafts 1-5, 1958


Box 12 Folder 2 to 4 Panel I Interviews, 1959, (3 Folders)


Box 12 Folder 5 to 6 Panel Interviews and Re-Interviews, 1959-1961 (2 of 8 Folders), 1959-1961



Box 13 Folder 1 to 5 Panel Interviews and Re-Interviews, 1959-1961 (5 of 8 Folders), 1959-1961



Box 14 Folder 1 Panel Interviews and Re-Interviews, 1959-1961 (1 of 8 Folders), 1959-1961


Box 14 Folder 2 Questionnaire Drafts, 1957-1958


Box 14 Folder 3 Questionnaires Sent to Levittown Residents, undated


Box 14 Folder 4 Reviews, 1967



Box 64 Folder 3 Reviews--British, 1967-1969



Box 14 Folder 5 Revised Edition, 1982


Box 14 Folder 6 Revised Edition--Photographs, 1982


Box 14 Folder 7 Start of Levittown study, 1950-1960


Box 14 Folder 8 Aborted Plans for New Edition, 1982


Box 14 Folder 9 to 10 Correspondence, 1966-1970, (2 Folders)


Box 14 Folder 11 Outlines and Drafts, circa, 1966-1967


Box 14 Folder 12 People, Plans, and Policies--Correspondence and reviews, 1974-1995



Box 64 Folder 4 Reviews, 1968-1970


More Equality, 1973



Box 15 Folder 1 Correspondence, 1972-1974, 1985, 1972-1974, 1985


Box 15 Folder 2 Reviews, 1973-1974


Box 15 Folder 3 to 5 Typescript, 1973, (3 Folders)


Popular Culture and High Culture: An Analysis and Evaluation of Taste, 1974



Box 64 Folder 5 Book Contract, 1970



Box 15 Folder 6 Correspondence, 1970-1976


Box 15 Folder 7 to 8 "Mass Culture as a Social Problem,", 1970, (2 Folders)


Box 15 Folder 9 Proposal for Second Edition, undated



Box 16 Folder 1 Reviews, 1975-1976


Box 16 Folder 2 to 3 Typescript, circa, 1974, (2 Folders)


Deciding What's News: A Study of CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, Newsweek, and Time, 1979


Box 16 Folder 4 Assassination of John Kennedy--Interviews, 1963


Box 16 Folder 5 Content Analysis, 1967


Box 16 Folder 6 Content Analysis, 1971


Box 16 Folder 7 Content Analysis, 1975


Box 16 Folder 8 Content Analysis, undated


Correspondence



Box 64 Folder 6 Bullitt, Stimson, 1962-1971



Box 16 Folder 9 General, 1961-1963


Box 16 Folder 10 General, 1976-1980 (1 of 2 Folders), 1976-1980



Box 17 Folder 1 General, 1976-1980 (1 of 2 Folders), 1976-1980


Drafts


Box 17 Folder 2 to 4 Manuscript--Early Version, 1971, (3 Folders)


Box 17 Folder 5 to 6 Typescript--Before Copy Editing, 1979 (2 of 5 Folders), 1979



Box 18 Folder 1 to 3 Typescript--Before Copy Editing, 1979 (3 of 5 Folders), 1979


Box 18 Folder 4 to 6 Typescript--With Copy Editing, 1979 (3 of 5 Folders), 1979



Box 19 Folder 1 to 2 Typescript--With Copy Editing, 1979 (2 of 5 Folders), 1979


Box 19 Folder 3 Early Notes and Outlines, 1960s


Box 19 Folder 4 Grant Application, 1974-1975


Box 19 Folder 5 NBC Letters, 1975-1976


Box 19 Folder 6 Opinion Pieces, 1979-1980


Box 19 Folder 7 Outline of Study, undated


Box 19 Folder 8 Project Descriptions, circa, 1964-1965


Box 19 Folder 9 Progress Reports, 1964-1968


Box 19 Folder 10 Research Proposals, 1964-1971 and undated, 1964-1971, undated



Box 20 Folder 1 Reviews, 1979-1980



Box 64 Folder 7 Reviews, 1979-1980



Box 20 Folder 2 Talks and Speeches, circa, 1979-1996


Box 20 Folder 3 Textbook Study, circa mid-1960s


Middle American Individualism: The Future of Liberal Democracy, 1988


Box 20 Folder 4 Correspondence, 1976-1988


Box 20 Folder 5 to 7 Notes and Memos, circa, 1980s, (3 Folders)


Box 20 Folder 8 Paperback Edition, 1988-1991


Box 20 Folder 9 "Popular Individualism: An Essay on American Values and Politics," 1986 (1 bound volume), 1986



Box 21 Folder 1 Reviews, 1988-1989


Box 21 Folder 2 to 4 Typescript, 1988, (3 Folders)


The War Against the Poor: The Underclass and Antipoverty Policy, 1995


Box 21 Folder 5 Correspondence with Foundations, 1989-1991


Box 21 Folder 6 Op-eds, Unpublished, circa, 1990s


Box 21 Folder 7 Outlines and Study Proposals, circa, 1988-1994


Box 21 Folder 8 Reviews, 1995-1996


Box 21 Folder 9 Tables, circa, 1990s



Box 22 Folder 1 Talks, circa 1980s, 1990s, 1980s, 1990s


Box 22 Folder 2 to 4 Typescript, 1994, (3 Folders)


Making Sense of America, 1999


Box 22 Folder 5 to 7 Typescript, 1999, (3 Folders)


Democracy and the News, 2003


Box 22 Folder 8 Correspondence, 2001


Box 22 Folder 9 Outlines, 1996



Box 23 Folder 1 Outlines, 1997


Box 23 Folder 2 to 3 Typescript--with Edits, 2001, (2 Folders)


Box 23 Folder 4 Typescript--Index of Names, circa, 2002


Box 23 Folder 5 Typescript--Final Version, 2002 (1 bound volume), 2002


Subseries I.2: Book-Length Studies, 1949-1969

This subseries contains Gans's Masters and Doctoral theses and related materials, along with two studies carried out on the subject of television. Gans's M.A. thesis, "Political Participation and Apathy: A Study of Political Participation in Local Government and Some Recommendations to Increase Participation in the Government of Park Forest, Illinois" (1950), which he wrote at the University of Chicago, is accompanied here by drafts and preliminary studies, correspondence with academic advisers, and eight folders of interviews Gans carried out during his fieldwork in Park Forest. These files provide a valuable perspective on how Gans first grappled with the challenges of carrying out qualitative research based on in-depth fieldwork. Files related to Gans's PhD thesis, "Recreation Planning for Leisure Behavior: A Goal-Oriented Approach" (1957), include a 1960 revision of the dissertation, which Gans tried, in vain, to turn into a book.

The two television studies — "American Films and Television Programs on British Screens: A Study of the Functions of American Popular Culture Abroad" (1959) and "The Uses of Television and Their Educational Implications: Preliminary Findings From a Survey of Adult and Adolescent New York Television Viewers" (1969) — are accompanied by correspondence and research materials. Together, they testify to Gans's longstanding interest in popular culture, especially film, and media.


M.A. Thesis [Many materials in this category are acidic and/or disintegrating.]


Box 23 Folder 6 Correspondence, 1949-1951


Box 23 Folder 7 Drafts and Preliminary Studies, circa, 1949-1950


Box 23 Folder 8 Park Forest Interviews, late 1940s (1 of 8 Folders), 1940s



Box 24 Folder 1 to 7 Park Forest Interviews, late 1940s (7 of 8 Folders), 1940s



Box 25 Folder 1 "The Child-Oriented Jewish Community: A Study of a Suburban Jewish Sub-Community in Park Forest, Illinois,", 1955


Box 25 Folder 2 "The Jewish Community in Park Forest, Illinois: A Study in Jewish Community Formation,", 1950


Box 25 Folder 3 Thesis: "Political Participation and Apathy: A Study of Political Participation in Local Government and Some Recommendations to Increase Participation in the Government of Park Forest, Illinois", 1950


Doctoral Thesis


Box 25 Folder 4 Abstracts, 1956


Box 25 Folder 5 Correspondence, 1964


Box 25 Folder 6 Dissertation: "Recreation Planning for Leisure Behavior: A Goal-Oriented Approach," 1957 (1 of 2 bound volumes), 1957



Box 26 Folder 1 Dissertation: "Recreation Planning for Leisure Behavior: A Goal-Oriented Approach," 1957 (1 of 2 bound volumes), 1957


Box 26 Folder 2 to 4 "Recreation Planning for Leisure Behavior"--Unpublished Book Manuscript,, 1960, (3 Folders)


"American Films and Television Programs on British Screens: A Study of the Functions of American Popular Culture Abroad,", 1959


Box 26 Folder 5 Completed Study, 1959



Box 27 Folder 1 Correspondence, 1957-1962


Box 27 Folder 2 Research Materials, late, 1950s


Box 27 Folder 3 Research Proposals, 1956-1957


Box 27 Folder 4 to 5 "The Uses of Television and Their Educational Implications: Preliminary Findings From a Survey of Adult and Adolescent New York Television Viewers,", 1969, (2 Folders)


Subseries I.3: Articles, 1949-2004

This subseries contains published and unpublished journal articles, magazine essays, short-form newspaper editorials, book reviews, film reviews, and lectures, along with related materials. Much of the organizing logic was provided by Gans, who created a list of 177 articles he authored between 1951 and 2004. This chronological list can be found in Box 29, Folder 1. It includes articles written for scholarly publications such as theJournal of the American Institute of Planners, Social Policy,and theAmerican Journal of Sociology;for general-interest magazines such asThe Nation, Commentary,and theNew York Times Magazine;and as book chapters. Each article is numbered on the list and can be found under the corresponding number in subsequent folders; many articles also correspond to a numbered folder of related materials — correspondence, research files, clippings — either within this subseries or in Series II: Subject Files. Among the subject files, numbers within parentheses denote the article number to which the subject corresponds. For instance, the Series II folder labeled "1960s—City and Poverty (#48), 1965," corresponds to Article 48 on Gans's list, which is titled "The City and the Poor" and which can be found in Box 29, Folder 6.

Absent from Gans's list are the bulk of his many newspaper articles; these are contained within four folders labeled "Unlisted Short articles." Also unlisted are book reviews Gans wrote for a variety of academic and mainstream publications, mostly in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, as well as the 30 film reviews he wrote in the 1970s forSocial Policy.Finally, the subseries includes unpublished articles and talks, arranged in approximate chronological order (many are undated).


Box 27 Folder 6 Article list--Compiled and Numbered by Gans


Box 27 Folder 7 to 10 Articles 1-40, 1951-1964, (4 Folders)



Box 28 Folder 1 to 8 Articles 41-120, 1964-1981, (8 Folders)



Box 29 Folder 1 to 6 Articles 121-177, 1981-2004, (6 Folders)


Related Materials


Box 29 Folder 7 Article 4, 1951-1952


Box 29 Folder 8 to 10 Article 8, , 1949-1955, (3 Folders)



Box 30 Folder 1 Article 12, 1958


Box 30 Folder 2 Article 16, 1958-1959


Box 30 Folder 3 Articles 18, 21, 22, 1955-1961


Box 30 Folder 4 Articles 43-46, 1964-1965


Box 30 Folder 5 Article 66, 1968


Box 30 Folder 6 Article 67, 1965-1968


Box 30 Folder 7 Article 70, 1968


Box 30 Folder 8 Article 73, 1965-1968


Box 30 Folder 9 Article 75, 1969


Box 30 Folder 10 Article 81, 1969-1970


Box 30 Folder 11 Article 91, 1972


Box 30 Folder 12 Article 93, circa 1972-73


Box 30 Folder 13 Article 99, 1973


Box 30 Folder 14 Article 99, 1972-1974


Box 30 Folder 15 Article 102, 1973-1974


Box 30 Folder 16 Article 104, 1975


Box 30 Folder 17 Article 112, 1976


Box 30 Folder 18 Article 123, 1981


Box 30 Folder 19 Article 137, 1983-1989


Box 30 Folder 20 Article 141, 1989-1990


Box 30 Folder 21 Article 144, 1986-1992



Box 31 Folder 1 Article 145, 1990-1993


Box 31 Folder 2 Article 149, 1990-1992


Box 31 Folder 3 Article 155, 1993-1994


Box 31 Folder 4 Article 160, 1995


Box 31 Folder 5 Article 163, 1995-1996


Box 31 Folder 6 Article 15, 1997-1999


Box 31 Folder 7 Article 169, 1999


Box 31 Folder 8 "Preserving Everyone's Noo Yawk", 1975


Box 31 Folder 9 "Should We Subsidize Popular Art?", 1974-1975


Box 31 Folder 10 Various articles, 1974-1999


Box 31 Folder 11 to 13 Book Reviews, 1950s-1990s, (3 Folders)


Box 31 Folder 14 Film Reviews, 1971-1978


Box 31 Folder 15 to 16 Unlisted Short Articles, 1960s-1990s (2 of 4 Folders), 1960s-1990s



Box 32 Folder 1 to 2 Unlisted Short Articles, 1960s-1990s (2 of 4 Folders), 1960s-1990s


Box 32 Folder 3 to 8 Unpublished Talks and Articles, 1950s-1990s, Undated (6 of 17 Folders), 1950s-1990s, Undated



Box 33 Folder 1 to 7 Unpublished Talks and Articles, 1950s-1990s, Undated (7 of 17 Folders), 1950s-1990s, Undated



Box 34 Folder 1 to 4 Unpublished Talks and Articles, 1950s-1990s, Undated (4 of 17 Folders), 1950s-1990s, Undated


Subseries I.4: Planning Documents, 1951-1988

Gans's work in urban planning is documented here through writings, correspondence, and research materials. Much of this work dates from Gans's brief career as a professional planner during the 1950s; Gans also participated in the Forty-Second Street Development Project, which aimed to transform Manhattan's Times Square, and materials from that project are included here.


Box 34 Folder 5 "A Comprehensive Planning Study of the Public Library,", 1955


Box 34 Folder 6 Anacostia-Bolling Urban Renewal Project, 1967


Box 34 Folder 7 to 8 Babbit, Minnesota, 1951, (2 Folders)



Box 35 Folder 1 Babbit and Beaver Bay, Minnesota, 1951


Box 35 Folder 2 Cleveland, 1970s



Box 64 Folder 8 Columbia, Maryland, 1964-1973



Box 35 Folder 3 Forty-Second Street Development Project, 1984-1988


Box 35 Folder 4 White Pine, Michigan, 1952


Subseries I.5: Other Writings, 1947-2003

This subseries contains a miscellaneous assemblage of Gans's writings. Gans was an enthusiastic but rarely published satirist from his undergraduate years until the early 1970s, at which point he seems to have given up on the genre; collected here are published and unpublished satirical pieces, along with a number of rejection letters from such publications asThe New YorkerandThe Nation.Gans also fired off a steady stream of letters to the editor, many of which were published and are collected here. A frequent lecturer outside of his salaried teaching engagements, he amassed forty years worth of speaking notes that can be found in this subseries. The subseries also contains, among other writings, a 1965 essay titled "The Role of Housing in the War on Poverty," several unpublished children's stories from the 1970s, and two unpublished book-length compilations of Gans's essays.


Box 35 Folder 5 Center for Urban Education--Memoranda and Studies, 1960s


Box 35 Folder 6 Children's Stories--Unpublished, 1970s


Box 35 Folder 7 to 8 "Entertainment and News"--Unpublished Gans Anthology, undated, (2 Folders)


Box 35 Folder 9 Foreword to Easter Hill Village, 1969-1974


Box 35 Folder 10 to 11 Letters to the Editor, 1960-2003, (2 Folders)



Box 36 Folder 1 Satires, 1947-1971


Speaking Notes


Box 36 Folder 2 to 8 General, 1960-1999, Undated, 1960-1999, Undated, (7 Folders)


Box 36 Folder 9 News and Media, early, 1970s



Box 37 Folder 1 "The Future of the American City", 1970s-1980s


Box 37 Folder 2 "The Role of Housing in the War on Poverty, 1965


Box 37 Folder 3 Untitled Essay Collection, 1960s