About the Collection
In the early 1920s, a group of scholars set out to make an investigation of economic, religious, educational, civic, biological, and social conditions among Chinese, Japanese, and other non-European residents of the Pacific Coast of the United States and Canada. Extension of the study into northern Mexico and Hawaii was contemplated as well. In the words of Eliot G. Mears, Executive Secretary, "The Survey seeks to impose no program, advocates no specific policy, and champions no special interest. It aims to find the facts, and all the facts, and plans to make them accessible to the public." The findings were to be published in a series of volumes edited by the director, Dr. Robert E. Park.
The Survey had its administrative and research headquarters at Stanford University under the chairmanship of President Ray Lyman Wilbur and was under the research directorship, first, of Stanford professor, Eliot G. Mears, and, subsequently, of the Chicago sociologist, Robert E. Park. The Survey received important financial support and collaboration from the Institute of Social and Religious Research.
Completed life-history questionnaires comprise the greatest bulk and are the "raw data" of the archive. In addition, there are numerous open-ended personal reflections, financial records, conference reports, meeting notes, bibliographies, printed materials and miscellaneous other findings of the Survey.