Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Crespi, Leo Paul, 1916-2008
Leo P. Crespi Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
1938-1999 (mostly 1940-1985)
19 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-19
English German


Leo Paul Crespi was a leading public opinion researcher best known for his studies of U.S. prestige abroad. The collection consists primarily of Crespi's public opinion research files and his early research files on gambling addiction.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection consists primarily of Crespi's public opinion research files and his early research files on gambling addiction. The papers document three periods in his career: Crespi's Princeton years, his public opinion research in Germany, and his career at the United States Information Agency as head of research. Document types include reports, correspondence, notes, and photographs.


Organized into the following series:

Collection Creator Biography:

Crespi, Leo Paul, 1916-2008

Leo Paul Crespi was a leading public opinion researcher best known for his studies of U.S. prestige abroad. During his early career, Crespie wrote his Ph.D thesis at Princeton on gambling and addiction, describing what is now known as the Crespi Effect. Crespi graduated from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1937 and received a doctorate in comparative psychology from Princeton University in 1942. He taught at Princeton for eight years following his graduation. From 1947-1953, Crespi conducted a U.S. government survey of public opinion in post-war Germany, and served as the President of the World Association for Public Opinion Research (WAPOR) from 1955-1956. He joined the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) in 1954, and for the following 32 years he directed USIA's program of opinion surveys, focusing especially on Western Europe. A classified report of Crespi's on French and British public opinion of the U.S. received wide attention in 1960 when it was leaked to the New York Times. The report supported statements made by John F. Kennedy about the United States' declining prestige abroad and was subsequently seen as a favorable influence on Kennedy's presidential bid.

Collection History


Gift of Jeffrey Crespi in 2008 [ML.2008.025]. Additional donation by Jeffrey Crespi made in 2014 [ML.2014.030].


No information about appraisal is available for this collection.


These papers were processed with the generous support of the John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Regine Heberlein on February 25, 2010. A MARC record and finding aid were created at this time. The finding aid was updated by Kate Dundon in June 2011, and by Rachel Van Unen in 2014 to reflect accession ML.2014.030.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Box 16 contains magnetic tapes and photographic slides.

Credit this material:

Leo P. Crespi Papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-19