7.0150 NYC Religion Surveys (1/45)

Thu, 2 Sep 1993 14:33:18 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 7, No. 0150. Thursday, 2 Sep 1993.

Date: Thu, 02 Sep 93 13:54:27 EDT
From: Jon Butler <JBUTLER@YALEVM>
Subject: NYC religion surveys 1896-1910

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who might be able to furnish
information on surveys done in New York City between about 1896 and 1910
by the Federation of Churches and Christian Workers, directed by Walter
Laidlaw, a minister and Ph.D. These surveys are briefly discussed both
in Hopkins _Rise of the Social Gospel_ (276-278) and Abell, _Urban Impact
on American Protestantism_ (189-191), though without any regard for
their results or methodology. The surveys were unusual for their scope
(more than 50,000 homes visited), method (elaborate questionaires whose
answers were punched onto Hollerith cards and processed with Hollerith
machines donated to the Federation by Mr. Hollerith), and detailed printed
results (some of the printed results take the information down to the
block level and appear in the journal _Federation_ at irregular intervals).

I am especially interested in learning more about Laidlaw (who published
several books on NYC census materials in the 1920s and 30s) and especially
in recovering the original surveys, either in their original written
form or in the form of the Hollerith cards. I am in the midst now of
inquiring about these surveys among the numerous NYC historical deposi-
tories and archives, and any information would be most appreciated.

I also am interested in other surveys incorporating questions about
religion taken BEFORE 1920. For example, there is some indication in the
journal _Federation_ that religious surveys were taken by other church
federations in Toledo, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio and in Utica, NY,
in 1901 and 1902, though a search of the LC catalog and other sources
has not yet turned up any printed results.

Should anyone be able to respond to this request, it would be helpful to
respond both to my personal e-mail address, given below, as well as to
the list, since I do not belong to all of the lists to which this notice
may be sent.

Thank you for your assistance.

Jon Butler
American Studies, History, and Religious Studies
Yale University

mailing address:
American Studies Program
Yale University
P. O. Box 1504A Yale Station
New Haven CT 06520-7425