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Technology and Society Collection

Call Number: RU 472

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, research data, interviews, statistics, reports, and printed material compiled to document studies made in twelve American companies by the Yale Technology Project and related material. Included are profiles of communities in economic crisis, analyses of technology and industrial organizations, and statistical data on worker attitudes and industrial relations problems. There are approximately 2000 interviews with workers, covering the subjects' lives, history, work experiences, values, and emotions. The research led to the publication of well-known works such as "Man on the Assembly Line," and "Toward the Automatic Factory". Many of the studies were never formally published.

The twelve studies varied widely in duration, size, research topics and methodology. Many of the studies were consulting programs (conducted by Charles R. Walker Associates) as well as research projects (conducted by the Yale Technology Project). In the consulting programs, such as the one at Avco, the consultants became involved with the management process, sometimes even acting as managers, but there is no substantial difference in the kinds of material contained in the files of these different kinds of studies. All of the studies were directed by Charles R. Walker, the Director of the Yale Technology Project. Frederick Richardson was the co-researcher for the IBM and Ford studies. Robert H. Guest, Arthur Turner and Frank J. Jasinski joined Walker later and formed a research and consulting team.

All of the studies have been arranged in a similar manner. An introduction and an outline for each study are included in the Guide to the Collection. File 1 of each study contains copies of the introduction and outline and tables of contents for the files of particular importance or complexity. The tables of contents briefly describe all the items in the files covered. Copies of the tables are also placed in the appropriate files. Every item in every file has been labeled with its file number,

The material has been filed in the following general order:

  1. Background (guide, correspondence, methodology, preliminary notes)
  2. Data (interviews, observations, statistics and diagrams)
  3. Reports (notes, drafts and final reports)
  4. Duplicate Material

Each file has two labels indicating its general category and specific contents.

The Guide to the Collection provides an overview of all the studies, indicating the nature of each study and the general contents of the files. After a particular study has been selected, the introductory materials and the tables of contents in file 1 should be reviewed. Often the best introduction to the purposes, data and conclusions of a study is found in a comprehensive final report. Organizational charts are usually important and should be studied. Unless this preparatory material is understood, the raw data - interviews, observations, statistics or diagrams - is likely to be baffling and might well be misinterpreted.

In all of the published books and articles derived from the studies, the names or other identifying characteristics (such as exact location) of the companies were never revealed. Confidentiality was usually promised at the beginning of research, and that promise is presumably still in effect.

The library accompanying the files contains books on economic and social affairs donated by Mr. Walker and many books specifically purchased for the Collection. Of special importance are the books derived from the Yale Technology Project studies. These books have been placed in a separate group.


  • Circa 1946-1962

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


The records are arranged as follows: I. General Guide. II. Yale Technology and Society Project Pamphlets. III. General Motors Study. IV. Raytheon Study. V. Ford Study. VI. Kodak Study. VII. Dresser Study. VIII. U.S. Steel Study. IX. IBM Study. X. General Electric Study. XI. Merck Study. XII. Jones and Laughlin Steel Study. XIII. New York Trust Study. XIV. AVCO Study. XV. Research Files. XVI. Research Pamphlets. XVII. Research Periodicals and Government Publications.


49.25 Linear Feet (108 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The collection consists of correspondence, research data, interviews, statistics, reports, and printed material compiled to document studies made in twelve American companies by the Yale Technology Project and related material.

General note

Forms part of Yale Record Group 33-D (YRG 33-D), Records of the Yale Technology and Society Collection.

Appendix: Annotated List of the Studies

  1. Ford. Rouge Plant, Michigan, 1946. A brief study of corporate policy and the assembly line. Major data: management interviews, observations, statistics on labor problems. (18 files)
  2. IBM . Endicott, New York, 1946-1947. Study of improved morale through simplifying the organization and job enlargement, despite rapid growth. Major data: Management interviews, diagrams of organization and work-flow. (79 files)
  3. US Steel. Ellwood City, Pennsylvania and Lorain, Ohio. 1946-1956. Ellwood City: study of the planned departure of the steel mill and its effect on the community. Lorain: study of automation. Major data: interviews with management, workers, union officials, community members. (222 files)
  4. Dresser. Bradford, Pennsylvania and Connersville, Indiana. 1949-50. Consulting project on morale within the plants and their their relations with the corporation. Major data: management, worker and union interviews, and observations. (23 files)
  5. Kodak. Rochester, New York, 1949-1951. Consulting report on program of management-worker meetings. Major data : management and worker interviews. (9 files)
  6. GM. Framingham, Massachusetts, Linden, New Jersey, Meriden, Connecticut, 1949-1957. Framingham: study of workers and foremen on the assembly line. Linden: study of workers and of improvements in management. Meriden: study of technical change at a New Departure plant. Major data: management, worker and union interviews; observation of foremen. (419 files)
  7. Jones and Laughlin. Pittsburgh and Aliquippa, Pennsylvania; Cleveland, Ohio. Pittsburgh Works: labor relations and training. Monongahela Railroad, Pittsburgh: labor relations and human relations. Alquippa: labor relations. Otis Works, Cleveland: labor relations and management. Major data: management interviews and observations. (51 files) 1950-1953.
  8. Merck. Rahway New Jersey, 1951-1952. Consulting study of supervisory and worker morale. Major data : management and worker interviews. (54 files)
  9. New York Trust. New York City, 1953-1954. Consulting study of management training and morale. Major data: management interviews. (44 files)
  10. Avco. Stratford, Connecticut, 1953-1957. Consulting study on management morale. Major data : management interviews, notes on meetings, foreman observation. (72 files)
  11. GE. Schenectady and Syracuse, New York, 1957-1959. Study of management organization and product development operation. Major data: management and worker interviews. (83 files)
  12. Raytheon. Massachusetts and Maine, 1958-1962. Research on work and morale, plus consulting on management problems. Major data: management and worker interviews, job enlargement experiment. (173 files)

Processing Information

Yale University records are arranged and described at the accession level by the creating office. The University Archives creates collection level descriptive records, but typically does no further arrangement and description at the accession level.

Guide to the Technology and Society Collection
Under Revision
compiled by Daniel Hartwig
May 2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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