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National Opinion Research Center Records

 Collection
Identifier: M042

National Opinion Research Center (NORC), a nonprofit corporation that provides the public with a voice in matters of national concern, was founded in 1941 under the direction of Harry H. Field (1897-1946) and was affiliated with the University of Denver, Denver, Colorado. Field believed a public opinion research center should not attempt to make predictions or sell products but should give voice to the ordinary people. In 1947 Clyde W. Hart became director and moved the operation to the University of Chicago. Hart left an affiliated Opinion Research Center (ORC) at the University of Denver campus to continue studies from Denver. ORC discontinued operations in September 1949 due to financial problems.

Dates

  • 1941-1988
  • Majority of material found in 1942-1947

Creator

Extent

2 Linear Feet (2 record boxes)

Scope and Contents

The National Opinion Research Center records consist of miscellaneous reports that date from the years the National Opinion Research Center operated from the University of Denver (1942-1947) and also minutes from the Trustees meetings (1959-1970).

Biographical / Historical

National Opinion Research Center (NORC), a nonprofit corporation that provides the public with a voice in matters of national concern, was founded in 1941 under the direction of Harry H. Field (1897-1946). During the 1930s, Harry H. Field was a businessman with strong public relation skills. He envisioned a public opinion research center that would not attempt to make predictions or sell products, as most market research organizations did, but would give a voice to ordinary people. With his experience working for George Gallup and support from the Field Foundation and the University of Denver, Field was able to make his dream a reality. In October, 1941 the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) was incorporated as a nonprofit institution. Harry Field insisted that each interviewer who collected opinions be hired in person (rather than by written application) so that only those best suited to working with a variety of people would be hired. He also required that they receive adequate training before being sent into the field to gather information. In 1947, Clyde W. Hart became the director of NORC. Under his supervision, the organization moved to the University of Chicago. He left behind a wing, called Opinion Research Center (ORC), to gather data and work on studies from the Denver campus. This Center thrived for a few years, but was discontinued in 1949 due to financial problems. Today, NORC continues to conduct research in the public interest from its office at the University of Chicago.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in four series:; 1. Business Papers, 1942-1988.; 2. NORC Reports on Research, 1941-1947.; 3. ORC Reports on Research, 1947.; 4. Minutes-NORC in Chicago, 1959-1970.;

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transfer from the National Opinion Research Center, 1977.

Accruals

No further accruals expected.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Repository

Contact:
2150 East Evans Avenue
Denver CO 80208
(303) 871-3428