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 (mudd): 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


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 photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.

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 (mudd): Box 1-8