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Leo Srole papers, 1933-1993

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: SC-54

Scope and Contents

The Leo Srole Papers contain notes, lectures, drafts, and correspondence related to all aspects of LS's career with the exception of his Judaica studies which are housed at YIVA in New York City. These papers were presented to Hobart and William Smith Colleges' Archives in three sets. The first includes notes and correspondence regarding the Ameriton, Ligonier, Geel Project, Midtown Manhattan, and Anomia studies, as well as journal publications and books, from 1933 to 1993. The actual interview data of the Midtown Manhattan study comprise a large portion of the collection. For 1942 progress reports on the Ameriton project please see the Archives catalog, G fac file/Srole.

The third set contains the Geel Project papers, which include correspondence, papers, studies and photographs.

Throughout the collection newspaper clippings and journal articles bear notes and annotations of LS. The container list is divided into two sections: the main file and the Geel files. The Geel files are divided into two sections. These are the Geel Princeton files and the Geel Files.


  • 1933-1993


Language of Materials

Some materials are in Dutch and French.

Conditions Governing Access

The following files are closed to researchers in accordance with library policy. They contain original mental health questionnaires of respondents in the Midtown Manhattan study.

Files closed to researchers:

  1. Box 2 Folder 37-80
  2. Box 6 Folder 1 - Box 34 Folder 27
  3. Box 74 Folder 1 - Box 75 Folder 111

Biographical Note

Leo Srole (LS), 1908-1993, distinguished sociologist, graduated from Harvard in 1933 and received his Ph.D from the University of Chicago in 1940. His appointments during a long and distinguished career as sociologist include the following:

Professor of Sociology, Chairman of Department of Sociology and Economics, Director of Community Research Program at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 1941-1942

Military Psychologist, Psychological Research Unit, Air Surgeon's Office, United Stated army Air Forces, 1943-1945

UNRRA Welfare Director, D.P. Camp Operation, Germany 1945-1946

Professor of Sociology in Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical College, 1952-1959

Professor of Social Sciences, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, 1965-1988

Head of Geel Project in Geel, Belgium, 1967-1975

Chief of Psychiatric Research (Social Sciences), New York State Psychiatric Institute, 1966-1988

Special Consultant, World Health Organization.

Internationally recognized for his research in mental health, immigration, and social patterns, LS instituted some of this research at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. A front page article in the college newspaper, The Herald, 15 October 1942, reports on LS's embarking on a project using undergraduates in research to "study what is characteristic of American culture and society" (LS). This study, thought to have been among the first to utilize undergraduates, became known as Ameriton and acquired national recognition. Another project, the Midtown Manhattan study, also attracted national attention. The Geel Project attracted international attention and researchers continue to consult the study.

LS's publications include: "Mental Health in the Metropolis", "The Social Systems of American Ethnic Groups" and countless articles in scientific journals. He wrote on subjects as wide-ranging as: obesity, education, Hogarty, Locke and Gardner, smoking, foster care, and many Jewish social issues.

During World War II, LS's work laid the foundation for his continued research and study with UNRRA and the World Health Organization.


75 Linear Feet (77 boxes)


Box 1-77: Archives Storage, Range 24


The correspondence, surveys and papers of Leo Srole were presented to the Archives of Warren Hunting Smith Library, Hobart and William Smith Colleges by Esther Srole, widow of Leo Srole, in 1995. Hobart and William Smith Professor James Spates brought the papers to the archives from the Srole residence in New York City. The original order has been preserved with a few exceptions: the separatation of items that were added after Dr. Srole's death and the Judaica and NRRA materials.

The previous summer Dr. Srole's library was given to the Warren Hunting Smith Library. For correspondence regarding these gifts please see the Archives catalog G mss file/92 S7352 and for photographs please see G phot fileh/115p/2 and G phot fileh/155p3. Dr. Srole's UNRRA and Judaica materials have been presented to YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO), 555 W 57th Street, 11th Floor, New York City, 10019, (212) 246-6080.

Leo Srole papers, 1933-1993: A Finding Aid
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges Archives and Special Collections Repository

Warren Hunting Smith Library
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva New York 14456 U.S.A. US (United States)