Archival Collections
Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Robert Staughton Lynd papers, 1933-1945 [Bulk Dates: 1933-1935]. 

Creator: 
Lynd, Robert Staughton, 1892-1970.
Phys. Desc: 
.42 linear ft. (1 Document box)
Call Number: 
MS#0812
Location: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Full CLIO record >>

Online information

Biographical Note

Robert Staughton Lynd was born on September 26, 1892 in New Albany, Indiana. He was a professor of sociology at Columbia University for thirty years (1931-1961.) He married Helen Merrell in September, 1922. They had two children, a son, Staughton, in 1929, and a daughter, Andrea, in 1934. Lynd is best known for the book, Middletown: A Study in Contemporary American Culture, that he and his wife wrote. The book was based on a landmark study of a typical American community in 1929 from a cultural anthropological standpoint. It was one of the first sociological analyses done in the country of a modern, urban community. The book proved to be a bestseller and was noted for its scientific perspective. Lynd and his wife followed up with a sequel titled, Middletown in Transition in 1937 by returning to the same community to observe the effects of the Great Depression on its people. Known as the Middletown studies, these analyses are still used and referred to by American sociologists. Lynd died on November 1, 1970 in Warren, CT, at the age of seventy-eight.

Scope and Contents

Lynd's papers primarily consist of letters, memos, proposals, meetings' minutes, studies, newspaper and magazine clippings, releases, and legal documents pertaining to the National Recovery Administration regulation and the Consumer Advisory Board during the early 1930s. In addition, the collection contains policies and reports on educational reform in Great Britain and of the National Maritime Union.