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Survey of Race Relations

In the early 1920s, a group of scholars set out to investigate economic, religious, educational, civic, biological, and social conditions among Chinese, Japanese, and other non-European residents of the Pacific coasts of the US 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 under the chairmanship of President Ray Lyman Wilbur.  It was under the research directorship first of Stanford professor Eliot G. Mears, then subsequently, of 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, the archive contains numerous open-ended personal reflections, financial records, conference reports, meeting notes, bibliographies, printed materials, and miscellaneous other survey findings.