University of Chicago Library

Guide to the National Opinion Research Center. Records 1941-1990

© 2023 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


National Opinion Research Center. Records




1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


The National Opinion Research Center is a research institution affiliated with the University of Chicago. Since 1941 NORC has conducted nationwide surveys, data analysis, and social science research across a broad range of fields with the end of more informed policy decisions. The collection primarily includes bibliographic information regarding publications, published reports, survey proposals, and survey questionnaires; it also contains meeting material, internal reports, and promotional material. Materials date from 1941 to 1990.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: National Opinion Research Center. Records, [Box #, Folder #], Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Historical Note

The National Opinion Research Center was established in 1941 as an organization devoted to research in the public interest through social science, social policy, and survey conducting. NORC’s work spanned healthcare, education, labor, housing, and more, with an interest in transforming accurate data regarding public opinion into informed decision making through government and foundation support.

Throughout the years, the Center developed into two main branches: The Research Group and the Survey Group. The Research Group housed the Cultural Pluralism Research Center, the Economics Research Center, and the Social Policy Research Center. The Research Group also provided a place for scholars to pursue independent social science research in an interdisciplinary environment. Meanwhile, the Survey Group conducted nationwide sample surveys as well as methodological research.

The Center now divides itself into five main research areas: Economics, Markets, and the Workforce; Education, Training, and Learning; Global Development; Health and Well-Being; and lastly, Society, Media, and Public Affairs, all while maintaining a focus on data analysis, policy analysis, and strategic planning.

National Opinion Research Center has been affiliated with the University of Chicago since 1947. Many of its researchers have been University of Chicago faculty and half the NORC board to this day is composed of University of Chicago Faculty and Administration. The Center is housed on campus, though NORC remains formally distinct from the University.

Scope Note

The collection is organized into two series:

Series I: NORC – General;

Series II: Research and Publications.

Series I includes material regarding the center’s work - internal reports, promotional pamphlets, meeting notes, employment applications, and fliers for education opportunities.

Series II includes bibliographies of NORC publications, survey proposals, questionnaires, and published reports.

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Subject Headings


Series I: NORC - General, 1963-1990

Box 1    Folder 1

Internal Reports, 1981-1990

Box 1    Folder 2

NORC Meeting Material, 1975

Box 1    Folder 3

Survey Lab - Pamphlets, undated

Box 1    Folder 4

Alfred P. Sloan Working Family Center - Pamphlet, undated

Box 1    Folder 5

Employment and Training Programs, 1980

Box 1    Folder 6

Miscellaneous, 1963-1972

Series II: Research and Publications, 1941-1990

Subseries 1: Bibliography of Publications

Box 1    Folder 7

Bibliography of Publications, 1941-1960

Box 1    Folder 8

Bibliography of Publications - Supplement, 1961-1969

Box 1    Folder 9

Bibliography of Publications- Supplement, 1961-1987

Subseries 2: Survey Proposals

Box 1    Folder 10

Survey Research and the Study of Change- Proposal, 1965

Box 2    Folder 1

Center for Research on Poverty - Proposal, 1981

Box 2    Folder 2

AGS Study for Research on Graduate Education - Proposal, 1984

Subseries 3: Questionnaires

Box 2    Folder 3

Fund for the Republic Study, 1955

Box 2    Folder 4

National Longitudinal Survey of Labor Market Experience- Youth Survey, 1990

Subseries 4: Published Reports

Box 2    Folder 5

Appendixes - Attitudes of Prominent Citizens toward Problems of Higher Education in the Chicago Area, 1954

Box 2    Folder 6

Students at the Midway - A Study of the Graduate Study Plans of the University of Chicago Class of June, 1961

Box 2    Folder 7

Career Preference for Law among America’s June 1961 College Graduates, 1962

Box 2    Folder 8

A Study of the Educational Pursuits of American Adults, 1963

Box 3    Folder 1

The Profile of American Youth, Data Quality Analysis of Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery - Technical Sampling Report, 1981

Box 3    Folder 2

Americans View the Military- Public Opinion in 1982

Box 3    Folder 3

Urban Family Life Survey, 1987

Subseries 5: Hispanic Policy Project, 1982

Box 3    Folder 4

Hispanic Policy Project, Final Report, 1982

Box 3    Folder 5

Hispanic Policy Project, Appendix 1- Appendices for Planning Phase Report, 1982

Box 3    Folder 6

Hispanic Policy Project, Appendix II - Commissioned Essays, 1982