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Dorothy Swaine Thomas Papers


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center [Contact Us]3401 Market Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Dorothy Swaine Thomas was born on 24 October 1899 in Baltimore, Maryland, the daughter of John Knight and Sarah (Swaine) Thomas. She received her B. A. degree from Barnard College in 1922 and also earned a Ph. D. in 1924 from the University of London School of Economics where she was a recipient of the Hutchinson Research Medal. Between the years of 1924 and 1948, she held research and/or academic appointments at the University of California at Berkeley, Yale University, Columbia Teachers College, the Carnegie Corporation, the Social Science Research Council, the Social Science Institute at the University of Stockholm, and the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.

Dr. Thomas arrived on the faculty of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1948 as a research professor of sociology and incidentally was the first female professor in the Wharton School. While at the University, she was a co-director of the Study of Population Redistribution and Economic Growth from 1952 to 1959, research director of the Population Studies Center from 1959 to 1970, and co-director of Population Studies Center from 1964 to 1970. She also was instrumental in developing the doctoral training program in demography. When she retired in 1970, the University gave her an honorary doctorate for her influential work in the field of demography.

Even after her retirement, Dr. Thomas continued to teach for four years at Georgetown University. She also served as a United Nations technical consultant at various times with the U.S. Bureau of the Budget, U. S. Department of Agriculture, National Resources Committee, the U.S. Bureau of the Census and other national state agencies.

Dr. Thomas was Councilor of the American Philosophical Society and president of both the Population Association of America and the American Sociological Society. She was a former director of the Social Science Research Council and a fellow and vice-president of the American Statistical Association. She was also the Chairman of the Committee on Internal Migration of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population.

Dr. Thomas was a prolific writer, having authored or co-authored six books and 71 scholarly articles in the field of population statistics between 1922 and 1969. This includes the landmark three-volume study that she co-authored with Simon Kuznets, Population Redistribution and Economic Growth in the United States, 1870-1950.

Dr. Dorothy Thomas died on 1 May 1977 in Bethesda, Maryland. She was the widow of the late William I. Thomas.

The Dorothy Swaine Thomas Papers primarily document her professional career in the fields of sociology and demography.

The biographical series chronicles Dr. Thomas's many achievements and travels. Her renown as an expert in her field is portrayed through the newspaper clippings and the curriculum vitae. The correspondence series covers both professional and personal correspondence which provide insight into Dr. Thomas's multi-faceted career as professor, researcher, authority of sociology, and more.

The bulk of the collection is contained in the research series. This is divided into studies of Norway, Population Redistribution and Economic Growth, and Swedish Migration. The Population Redistribution and Economic Growth concerns the three-volume book written by Dr. Thomas and Simon Kuznets. Most of the papers relating to Swedish Migration are tables of different migratory patterns in selected areas of Sweden. Related material for both studies is found in the correspondence series and newspaper clippings.

The articles and reprints in the writings series contain the results of some of Dr. Thomas's studies of population as well as a report on the Population Studies Center and an auto-biographical essay.

The papers of Dorothy Swaine Thomas, a professor of sociology at the Wharton School, are organized in four series: biographical, correspondence, research, and writings. All series except correspondence are arranged alphabetically by subject. The correspondence series is arranged first chronologically and then alphabetically by subject.

Gift of Ann Miller, donated on 11 October 1995 (Accession Number 1995:65).

University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center
Finding Aid Author
Amy Miller
Finding Aid Date
September 2000
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Newspaper Clippings.
Box 1 Folder 1
Box 1 Folder 2
Box 1 Folder 3

Box 1 Folder 4
Box 1 Folder 5
Box 1 Folder 6
George W. Corner, 1961-1966.
Box 1 Folder 7
Demographic Training and Research Center, 1957-1967 (1).
Box 1 Folder 8
Demographic Training and Research Center, 1957-1967 (2).
Box 1 Folder 9
Hope Eldridge.
Box 1 Folder 10
Simon Kuznet, 1952-1953.
Box 1 Folder 11
National Science Foundation, Grant Proposals.
Box 1 Folder 12
National Science Foundation, 1957-1966.
Box 1 Folder 13
National Science Foundation, 1968-1969.
Box 1 Folder 14
Box 1 Folder 15
Daniel O. Price, 1951-1953.
Box 1 Folder 16
Retirement, 1969-1970.
Box 1 Folder 17
Edith Kermit Roosevelt, Interview.
Box 1 Folder 18
Sociology, 1942-1956.
Box 1 Folder 19
Herr Svensson, 1936.
Box 1 Folder 20
Thomas Papers.
Box 1 Folder 21
Dr. Joseph H. Willits, 1969.
Box 1 Folder 22
Dr. K. C. Zachariah, 1964-1971.
Box 1 Folder 23

Population Redistribution and Economic Growth.
Box 1 Folder 24
Carol Brainerd.
Box 1 Folder 25
Box 1 Folder 26
Charts, Publications, Memos.
Box 1 Folder 27
Correspondence, 1951-1953.
Box 1 Folder 28
Richard Easterlin.
Box 1 Folder 29
Everett Lees.
Box 1 Folder 30
Ann Miller.
Box 1 Folder 31
Box 1 Folder 32
Outlines of Committee, 1952-1955.
Box 1 Folder 33
Revision of Historical Statistics of the US.
Box 1 Folder 34
Box 1 Folder 35
Tables (1).
Box 1 Folder 36
Tables (2).
Box 1 Folder 37
Tables (3).
Box 1 Folder 38
Volumes II and III, Net Intercensal Migration, 1870-1940, Errata.
Box 1 Folder 39
Migration Differentials.
Box 1 Folder 40
Notes on Hypotheses.
Box 1 Folder 41
Return out-migrants to rural-industrial and mixed.
Box 1 Folder 42
Return, stages, quasi-reverse to towns and Stockholm.
Box 1 Folder 43
Box 1 Folder 44
Vasteras: Definition of Stages.
Box 1 Folder 45
Vasteras: Out-migrants in 10 or more years.
Box 1 Folder 46
Vasteras: Out-migrants to agriculture.
Box 1 Folder 47
Vasteras: Out-migrants to rural-industrial and mixed.
Box 1 Folder 48
Vasteras: Out-migrants to towns and Stockholm.
Box 1 Folder 49
Vasteras: Out-migrants who were previous in-migrants.
Box 1 Folder 50
Vasteras: Return migrants to agriculture.
Box 1 Folder 51
Vastermanslan: Memorandum on the 11 Communities by B. G.
Box 1 Folder 52

Articles and Reprints.
Box 1 Folder 53

Print, Suggest