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Horace Mann Bond Papers

Series 5. Research Files, 1910-1971

15 boxes (7.5 linear feet)

MS 411


Series V contains correspondence, data, proposals and reports concerning many of Horace Mann Bond's research projects. The bulk of the material relates to work during the 1950s and 1960s. Materials are divided into four sections: general, black doctorates study, institutional studies, and testing. Much of the data within files is undated and appears in the form of charts that compare regions, years, institutions, individuals and other factors. These materials are placed at the end of a file with the most complete form of information appearing first.

The general section of the series contains a variety of research topics arranged alphabetically by title or subject. These topics deal with research pursued as early as 1926; data pertains to years as early as 1855.

Many of Bond's studies emphasized social, economic and geographic influences on educational achievement, especially by black students. The Atlanta school survey (5:2-4), the national merit scholarships file (5:12-15), and the school expenditures, Congressmen file (5:24) demonstrate that approach to educational research.

The Atlanta school survey (5:2-4) represents Bond's 1957-1962 study of and reactions to an Educational Testing Service analysis titled Learning and Teaching in Atlanta Public Schools for 1955-1956, and to Atlanta's school desegregation plan in the 1960s. Bond undertook a critical analysis of the report's standardized test score data to demonstrate the effects of demographic trends in the city on test-measured student "achievement." Included are Bond's notes and analyses of test scores, housing-population statistics, socio-economic residence patterns in the city, short articles and an open letter to Atlanta students, and miscellaneous related materials.

The national merit scholarships file (5:12-15) contains correspondence, research data, and other papers regarding Bond's investigations into the occupational and geographic distribution of national merit scholarship certificate winners and his responses to the United States Senate proposal for the federal funding of such scholarships. The scholarships were to be distributed according to state population figures, and granted on the basis of standardized achievement test scores. Bond proposed that the distribution system excluded students from poor educational and economic backgrounds from the competition. Important writings relating to this work are The Search for Talent (6:45) and "Talent -- And Toilets" (5:172-175).

The school expenditures, congressmen file (5:24) consists primarily of charts and graphs which show the per capita income, tax figures and school expenditures by county during the periods of public school education of southern white and black congressmen. Correspondence discusses the educational advantages future white congressmen enjoyed as children while black children were receiving much smaller proportions of monies for school expenditures.

The Mississippi higher education survey (5:11) and the Oklahoma studies file (5:16) include survey-type research. In December of 1944 the newly instituted Board of Trustees of the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning sought general information about the status of institutions in the state towards improving their standards and financial support. Bond was involved as one of two consultants to survey black institutions. The file contains correspondence, notes and reports relevant to Bond's work with the project. A letter written by Bond in 1964 explains the political point of view he took as the only black involved in the project.

The Oklahoma studies file (5:16) contains materials relating to two research studies of black education. The first project was a "Survey of Educational Facilities for Negroes in Oklahoma" carried out by Bond in 1926-1927 under the direction of W. E. B. Du Bois. Materials for this study include numerous photos of black schools in Oklahoma and a partial final report. The second project included in this file involved the standardized testing of children in Langston, Oklahoma in the summer of 1927. This resulted in a November 1927 Crisis article, "Some Exceptional Negro Children." The file also contains 1961-1962 correspondence regarding Bond's attempt to identify the current status of the children whose pictures appeared in that article.

The insanity in Chicago file (5:7) is one of several files in the general section of Series V which handles non-school topics. The file includes two 1934 essays, "An Introduction to the Study of Insanity among Negroes in Chicago," and "Ecological Study of Insanity in the Negro Community." Other materials in the file include charts of types of psychiatric diagnoses with geographical, sex and other comparisons.

The proposals file (5:19) includes Bond's notes for potential research projects as well as actual proposals. The file covers a broad range of topics including black patients in the Tennessee State Hospital for the Insane (1934), adult education in selected European countries (1936), and vocational education. Another wide--ranging topic represented in the general section of Series V is the football study file (5:6). This file consists of charts, lists and other papers regarding the National Football League draft selections in 1962 and 1963. The general miscellaneous file (5:8-10) includes note cards and miscellaneous genealogical, demographic and test information.

The black doctorates study section of Series V consists of materials relating to Bond's formal research of sociological and geographical factors, which contribute to the development of black scholars and professionals. The study became focused in 1958 through funding by the U.S. Office of Education for "A Study of Factors Involved in the Identification and Encouragement of Unusual Academic Talent Among Underprivileged Populations." Elements of the study's conceptualization had appeared periodically in Bond's writings and converged in research leading to his 1957 Harvard University Inglis lecture, "The Search for Talent." The study included a survey that gathered data about the educational, familial and geographic backgrounds of over 500 black academic and medical doctorates. The report was published through the Office of Education in 1967 and, minimally revised, through a commercial publisher as Black American Scholars in 1972.

Data relating to the identification of black doctorates (5:33), their educational backgrounds (5:34-35), occupational backgrounds (5:36), and birthplaces (5:37-38) appear after the final report. These data consist mainly of undated tables. Where Bond has divided the background data by generation, information about the black doctor him or herself appears before that about parents and grandparents. Of special interest are materials about black doctorates with limited parental educational background (5:35).

Historical data (5:39) contains chronologically arranged correspondence, followed by undated tables recording 19th-century information including free/slave status, class status, and proportions of literate to illiterate blacks.

Bond made extensive inquiries into the history of several specific families included in the black doctorates study. Related correspondence and genealogical data appears in files for each family (5:40-46). Dated correspondence within each file is arranged chronologically; materials such as genealogy charts, lists of names, and reproductions of 19th-century documents are arranged with the most complete genealogies appearing before less complete or supplementary information. The Dibble-Cleveland file (5:46) contains newspapers from 1830, 1839, and 1850.

Bond proposed several follow-up studies to the black doctorates project. A black Americans biographical index (5:47) was intended to create a permanent index at Atlanta University of prominent blacks for use as a resource for future researchers, especially those involved with the five predominantly black colleges of Atlanta. The file for another follow-up study, black family institute (5:48), contains correspondence, tentative budgets and proposals relating to the development of a library-depository, a teaching institute, and research activities related to the black family.

The institutional studies section of Series V contains correspondence, proposals, reports, data charts and other papers documenting Bond's research into various aspects of particular educational institutions. Individual files in this section are arranged alphabetically by title or subject of each study. Most represent work done in the early 1960s.

The African students survey (5:50-61) is an extensive historical study of African students in predominantly black colleges in the United States. Bond proposed and directed the project, which was sponsored by the United Negro College Fund and the Phelps-Stoke Fund. Research conducted by individual institutions yielded information including names of African students, their nations of origin, and their years of enrollment in the institutions attended. Purposes of the study included analyzing functional attitudes related to Africans in United States black institutions, especially in the south; determining ways to increase recruitment and to facilitate adequate financing for African attendance; and evaluating the usefulness of United States programs for African students.

Material in the general file for this survey (5:50-52) includes correspondence, proposals, outlines, notes and tables indicating changing enrollment figures. Institutional reports in this file (5:53-57) consist of answers to form inquiries, correspondence, notes and charts arranged alphabetically by institution name. Writings (5:58-59) emanating from the study include drafts for Bond's sixty--one page typescript, "The African Student in the Negro College." Index cards listing names and years of enrollment for individual students conclude the file.

In 1962, Bond undertook a brief survey for the Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools to determine the number of black college faculty members holding terminal academic degrees. The file for this black college faculty study (5:62-63) consists of chronologically arranged form letters to institutions used to gather data, notes and a final report, followed by completed questionnaires returned to Bond.

The black colleges study file (5:64-65) consists mainly of proposal drafts and notes prepared in 1967 for a possible study of educational experience in predominantly black colleges. Other material includes correspondence and a summary of the exploratory study.

As a part of his Lincoln University administrative involvement with the retention of students from the time of entering college to graduation, and his interest in the cyclical description of cultures, Bond investigated the relationship between student persistence rates and business, economic and historical events. Persistence rates were determined by figuring the percentage of students graduating as compared to the number of entering freshmen four years previous for each year that Lincoln University, Gettysburg College and Bowdoin College had graduating classes. The college persistence rate study (5:66-67) graphs the cycles of male attendance at the three institutions from the time of the 19th-century founding of each until 1957. The study relates these persistence rates to national economic cycles over the same periods of time.

Bond investigated persistence rates in 1949 and again in the mid-1950s. The file contains correspondence, tables, the superimposition of the percentage of students retained over Ayre's "Economic Cycles" graph, notes, and a copy of Bond's paper "Historical and Socio--Economic Factors in College Persistence Rates," presented to the American Research Association in 1962.

The institutional studies miscellaneous file (5:68) includes a 1927 paper, "The Enrollment of Negro Students in the High Schools and Colleges of Some Northern States," figures for male enrollment at Howard University in 1952 and 1954, annotated bibliographic cards of various publications between 1948 and 1961 dealing mainly with academic achievement and economic factors of college attendance, and undated charts giving enrollment figures at twenty-two southern colleges.

The test score comparisons file (5:70-71) consists primarily of tables and statistical charts which compare median standardized test scores by educational institution by race, and by political and geographic regions in the United States.

The testing section of Series V contains correspondence, data summaries, and other material relating to Bond's investigations involving standardized tests and testing. Most of the files are copies of various forms of standardized tests and of printed materials published by test manufacturers. Files are arranged alphabetically by name of test or research project.

Study of the implications of Army classification tests for education and educational institutions affected a number of Bond's research projects, especially the black doctorates study. Correspondence, a report and data make up the Army tests study file (5:72).

The California tests file (5:73-76) contains 1957, 1959, and 1962 standardized test forms, miscellaneous manuals, scoring keys and other printed material of the California Test Bureau.

The Graduate Record Examination files (5:77-79) consist of miscellaneous tabulated scores for Lincoln and Atlanta Universities, comparison tables or scores in major subject fields, and correspondence and notes relating to characteristics of the examinations and Bond's observations about them; also included are printed materials such as G.R.E. Bulletins, handbooks, and leaflets. The bulk of the file consists of Educational Testing Service printed material (5:78-79).

Operation Close-Gap (5:81-90) was a study to determine the effect of filmstrip instruction on the reading achievement levels of elementary school students. The project was coordinated by a Georgia state educational research committee, of which Bond was a member. In addition to the recording of reading test scores for 10,000 Georgia children, information regarding parental education and occupation, and the education levels of teachers was noted. As a member of the research committee, Bond was involved in a proposal to the Southeastern Education Corporation to tabulate and establish relationships between reading achievement and this additional data.

Operation Close-Gap general file (5:81-82) consists primarily of reports and proposals. The data files (5:83-90) contain tabulations of test scores, educational and occupational data arranged by grade level and school, and summaries of the information tabulated by grade level only. The information sheets on which data for individual students was recorded are located in Series X, Restricted Files.