Scope and arrangement
The papers of the Committee which are contained in 6 Hollinger boxes and which fall in the period mainly April - August of 1926 are divided into three main series: Correspondence of the Director, Papers of the Director, and Field Surveys. At the end of the collection is a single folder of Miscellaneous Printed Matter. The Correspondence which is arranged alphabetically is that of Prof. George E. G. Catlin, Director of Research of the Committee and that of his executive assistant Vera Mikol. The correspondence is mainly with college and university professors in the field of the social sciences, foundation and government officials, and relates to the hiring of field workers, regional directors, developing schedules used in the survey, determing the location of records to be surveyed, and other administrative matters. Records of disbursements for salaries and expenses may be found in the John L. Gillin file and in the Edmund E. Day file, the latter having served as treasurer of the Committee. The correspondence of other Regional Directors in addition to that of Prof Gillin who served as Regional Director of Area VI (Ohio, Mich., Wis., Ia., Minn., undated, S. D.) include: William E. Mosher (Area I, N. Y. Penna., N. J., Dela.), Hugh Carter (Area III, Md., Va., N. C., S. C., Ga., Fla.), A. F. Kuhlman (Area IV, III., Ind., Mo.), Walter C. Reckless (Area V, Ky, W. V., Tenn., Miss., Ala., Ark., La.), Nels Anderson (Area VII, Neb., Kan., Colo., N. M., Okla, Tex.), and Peter H. Odegard (Area VIII, Wash., Mont., Ore., Ida., Wyo., Calif., Nev., Utah., Ariz.). There is no correspondence present for Herman Feldman (Area II, N. E.). John C. Gebhart served as central investigator for federal records. With the exception of a few letters by Jane Addams no letters by prominent persons outside the academic field are present.
Very little correspondence is present of persons critical of the methodology or operations of the Comittee, exceptions being the file of correspondence with William H. Stayton (national chairman of the Association against the Prohibition Amendment) who accused the Committee of being biased in favor of prohibition, and the file of correspondence with Robert E. Park (Univ. of Chicago) who complained that no provision had been made to determine the sources that would reflect the effects of prohibition on organized crime.
Collateral to the correspondence is the series Papers of the Director, which include reports and memoranda of the Regional Directors, their budget, suggested itineraries, and instructions, monthly reports of the Director (for April & May), drafts of schedules which served as guidelines for the kinds of agencies within each field which were to be surveyed, and a file of analyses and tabulations of the raw data contained in the Field Surveys. The final report submitted to the Council by the Committee is not present. Catlin's own report to the Committee dated August 20, 1926 is present only in very incomplete form (carbon copies of "extra copies" with numerous pages missing). As noted in the Introduction the final report of the Council is available in the Library's General Research & Humanities Division.
The Field Surveys series contains the reports of the field workers who made on-site visits to public and private agencies and institutions and who conducted interviews with local officials. These reports which are both holograph and typewritten are entered on printed forms and record the name/title of the person interviewed, the name of the agency or institution, the type and nature of the record available, the place and date, and a brief evaluation of the sources. Persons interviewed include police chiefs, court referees, clerks of courts, truancy officers, public health officials, nurses, mission officials, prohibition administrators, employment managers, and officials of the Anti-Saloon League. Included are numerous specimens of the forms used by the agencies and institutions surveyed. The evaluations contain many interesting comments and opinions by local officials relating to local conditions, public temperance, and crime. Only major cities were covered by the surveys.
The Social Science Research Council committee records are arranged in four series: