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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.

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.

Circa 1946-1962
49.25 Linear Feet (108 boxes)
Language of Materials