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At a Glance
The files have been left in the order in which Herbert Hyman stored them during his lifetime.
The papers deal primarily with Hyman's professional research interests and projects, and include material on both published and unpublished projects. In general, Hyman grouped materials together by topic or project. The files also include some course, lecture and teaching materials; budgets, code books, correspondence, course materials, drafts, grant files, proposals, research, surveys, and typescripts.
The papers reflect Hyman's interest in education, socialization, and attitude change. They include files on research projects related to blind individuals, civil liberties, comparative survey research, desegregation in schools, public opinion, race and race relations, and widowhood. At the time of his death, Hyman was researching the history of survey research; there are several files related to the project.
Hyman often kept files on similar subjects or projects together in small groups. For example, the files on research projects include large sets of files on two topics. The first set of files relates to Hyman's research study on the blind, referred to in reports as "Communication, Perception and Social Behavior: Explorations in These Fundamental Processes through the Study of the Inter-group Relations and Attitudes of the Blind." This project was started in the early 1960s at Columbia University. The files include code books, correspondence, proposals, and reports. Although Hyman produced several articles from the research, the unrest at Columbia University in 1968 caused the disruption and abandonment of the project.
The second set of files relates to the Office of War Information (OWI). These files include code books, correspondence, memoranda, reports, and background material. Although Hyman did work for the Surveys Division of OWI during World War II, it is clear from his correspondence that he also conducted research on this topic in the early 1980s. It is not clear if these materials document Hyman's research activity, his work at OWI, or both.
There are two items which appear to date from Hyman's time as a student: a course paper (1942) and a resource list of materials relating to Social Psychology written with Gardner Murphy. Both are in Box 2. Otherwise, the collection contains no material from Hyman's pre-professional activities.
A few files that contain biographical information and reviews of Hyman's work are filed in Boxes 5, 7, and 10. There are a few publicity photographs of Hyman in the "Personal Data" file in Box 7; otherwise, there are no photographs in the collection. The collection does not contain any material related to Hyman's personal life or interests.
Using the Collection
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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.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Herbert H. Hyman papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.
No additions are expected
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was: Source of acquisition--Mrs. Helen Kandel Hyman in. Method of acquisition--donated by; Date of acquisition--1989.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library
This collection was processed by Catherine N. Carson.
Finding aid written by Catherine N. Carson in April 2008.
2008-11-07 File created.
2009/01/15 xml document instance created by Patrick Lawlor
2009-05-15 xml document instance edited by Catherine N. Carson
2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Biographical information for Hyman can be found in the Historical Biographical Files of the University Archives. The file includes both a curriculum vita and a list of his writings that date from 1985.
Herbert H. Hyman was born in New York City on March 3, 1918.
Hyman received all of his degrees from Columbia University. He completed a bachelor's degree in 1939, a master's in 1940, and a PhD. in Social Psychology in 1942. During World War II, Hyman worked for the United States Government. At first, he worked as a Social Science Analyst for the Division of Program Surveys in the Department of Agriculture. From 1942-1944, he worked as a Public Opinion Analyst in the Surveys Division of the Officer of War Information. From 1942-1946, he was involved in the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey of Germany and the Bombing Survey of Japan, and in 1947, he was a member of the Expert Mission on Public Opinion and Sociological Research, Army of Occupation, Japan.
In 1947, Hyman became a Senior Project Director at the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). He joined the faculty of Columbia University as an Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology in 1951, although he continued to work part-time at NORC until 1957. While at Columbia, Hyman chaired the Sociology Department (1965-1969) and served as the Associate Director for the University's Bureau of Applied Research (1957-1969). He also served as the Program Director for the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development in Geneva (1964-1965). From 1969 until his retirement, he was a professor of sociology at Wesleyan University. During his career, Hyman also held visiting professorships and lectureships at several institutions, including the Universities of California at Berkeley, Oslo, Ankara, Turin and Milan, Catania and Turin, Temple University, and MIT.
Hyman was the author of four books on public opinion polling, and is credited with helping to advance the science of polling. He is well-known as a survey researcher, and had strong interests in education, socialization, and attitude change. But as David Sills notes in his review of Surveying Social Research: Papers in Honor of Herbert H. Hyman, Hyman did not see survey work as a purely technical exercise. He felt that survey work was "both a method for obtaining information needed by policy makers and scholars and a form of ethnography - a way of enabling people to reveal their culture and their feelings to a researcher.".
Hyman married Helen Kandel, a freelance writer, in 1945. The couple had two sons, Alex and David, and a daughter, Lisa. Hyman died in China after suffering a heart attack in December 1985. He had traveled to the country to speak at a conference on "Uses of Sociology in Developing Countries" at Zhongshan University.