Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Ryder, Norman B., 1923-...
Norman Ryder Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
1910-2005 (mostly 1950-1995)
8 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-8


Norman B. Ryder (1923-2010) was a demographer and sociologist who specialized in fertility studies and established the cohort approach to demographic study. The Ryder papers contain his working research notes, drafts, and publications, as well as correspondence and administrative papers from Ryder's teaching career.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The Norman Ryder Papers consists of notes, draft publications, correspondence, and administrative papers from Ryder's professional life.

This collection documents the breadth of Ryder's professional career, with a special focus on the cohort research process he developed, which led to the publication of his many articles and book chapters. Notes, drafts, and published works make up the bulk of the collection, but there are also files containing personal and professional correspondence, and a small number of teaching materials.

The collection strengths are its documentation of the fields of demography and human fertility.


The order in which these materials came to Princeton has been maintained.

Collection Creator Biography:

Ryder, Norman B., 1923-...

Norman B. Ryder (1923-2010) was a demographer and sociologist who specialized in fertility studies. Ryder obtained a Ph.D. in sociology at Princeton University in 1951. His dissertation originated the Cohort Approach to demographic study, which emphasizes collecting data about groups of people born in the same time period. Following a stint at the Canadian Dominion Bureau of Statistics during the early 1950s, Ryder was employed in the University of Wisconsin Department of Sociology, where he carried out research in demographic studies. Ryder accepted a position in the Sociology Department at Princeton in 1971. While at Princeton, Ryder taught sociology and continued demographic research in the Office of Population Research. During the 1970s, Ryder served as president of both the Population Association of America, and the Sociological Research Association.

Along with Charles Westoff, Ryder directed the American Fertility Study. These broad surveys collected data about Americans' shifting attitudes toward contraception, family planning, and sexuality. The methods employed by the study formed the basis for the World Fertility study which was carried out throughout the 1980s in over 40 countries.

Ryder continued to publish widely on fertility issues, and was a population policy advisor in the United States and Canada.

Collection History


This collection was donated by Anne Poulter, Norman Ryder's daughter, in July 2010. The accession number associated with this donation is ML.2010.023.


No materials were separated from this collection during processing in 2017. No prior information about appraisal is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Will Clements in 2017. Finding aid written by Will Clements in 2017.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

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.

Credit this material:

Norman Ryder 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 1-8