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Survey Associates, Inc.

Survey Associates, Inc.


Survey Associates, Inc., was a cooperative publishing society which sought to “…advance the cause of constructive philanthropy by the publication and circulation of books, pamphlets, and periodicals, and by conducting any investigations useful or necessary for the preparation thereof.” The certificate of incorporation, signed on October 31, 1912, by Robert W. de Forest, Edward T. Devine, John M. Glenn, Alfred T. White, and Paul U. Kellogg, named twelve original directors: Jane Addams, Robert S. Brewster, Robert W. de Forest, Edward T. Devine, John M. Glenn, V. Everit Macy, Julian W. Mack, Charles D. Norton, Simon N. Patten, Frank Tucker, Paul M. Warburg, and Alfred T. White.

Survey Associates was a non-partisan, non-profit organization whose primary work was the publication of the Survey magazines. It was incorporated without capital endowment; contributions from members made up deficits which ordinary publishing receipts could not cover. The organization was managed by a board of directors and advised by the National Council of Survey Associates. Officers of the organization were a president, a chairman of the board of directors, vice-presidents, a secretary, a treasurer, and an editor. Presidents of Survey Associates were Robert W. de Forest, 1912-1931; Lucius Eastman, 1931-1938; and Richard B. Scandrett, 1938-1948. Chairmen of the board of directors were Julian W. Mack, 1938-1943; and Joseph P. Chamberlain, 1943-1952. Officers were elected at the annual meetings of Survey Associates, held by constitutional provision on the last Monday of October and open to all members. (One became a member by contributing not less than ten dollars to Survey Associates.)

The Survey had roots in several other magazines which were concerned with philanthropy. It developed from the Charities Review , a monthly organ of the New York Charity Organization Society (COS, now the Community Service Society of New York City). First issued in 1891 as a monthly journal of sociology, the Charities Review was financed by Robert W. de Forest and edited by Paul Leicester Ford and Frederick Howard Wines. In March, 1897, the Charities Review merged with Lend-A-Hand , founded and edited by Edward Everett Hale. In December, 1897, the COS began publishing a second house organ, the Charities (published with various subtitles), edited by Edward T. Devine. It was intended to be a weekly review of philanthropy that would serve COS members. In 1905, at the time that the Charities Publication Committee of the COS assumed responsibility for publishing the Charities, it was merged with the Commons, a magazine edited first by John Palmer Gavit and later by Graham Taylor, founder of the Chicago Commons settlement. As Charities and the Commons , it absorbed in 1906 Jewish Charity , edited by Lee K. Frankel. In April, 1909, the magazine took the name Survey because, as the editors stated, “letters and messages continually received have strengthened the conviction that not by the name of charity do most men call the movements we have stood for.” The source of the name was the Pittsburgh Survey, an investigation of the “life and labor” of the Pittsburgh steel district made under the direction of Paul Kellogg, 1907-1909. In 1912, for financial reasons and for purposes of editorial independence, the magazine broke its ties with the COS and formed an independent publishing organization, Survey Associates, Inc.

From 1912 the Survey was published weekly, but because weekly publication was prohibitively expensive and because of a constant clash between readers seeking technical material and readers seeking an overall view of philanthropic fields, the Survey split into two publications, the Survey Midmonthly and the Survey Graphic . The Midmonthly was formally founded in June, 1922, as a “modern service periodical” which was a digest of social work and experience. It was directed at social workers and board members, and it dealt with all fields of social work, health, recreation, and human welfare. The Survey Graphic, formally founded in October, 1921, dated from a series of reconstruction numbers published during and after World War I. It was a magazine of “social interpretation” directed at intelligent laymen who were concerned with social and economic problems which underlay headlines. It focused on areas of industrial relations, health, education, international relations, housing, race relations, consumer education, and related fields. Financial problems caused the two magazines to merge in 1949. Publication of the Survey was suspended in 1952 and Survey Associates was dissolved as a corporate entity.

Paul Underwood Kellogg (1879-1958), editor of the Survey from 1912 to 1952, is the crucial figure in this collection. Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, he served as an editor of the Kalamazoo Daily Telegraph before coming to New York to study at Columbia University. He joined the staff of the Charities and, after directing the Pittsburgh Survey and editing the six-volume report of that investigation, became editor of the Survey in 1912. Kellogg was one of the founders of the Foreign Policy Association, a member of the Committee on Research in Medical Economics, and vice-chairman of the Advisory Committee to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Committee on Economic Security. His brother, Arthur P. Kellogg (1878-1934), served as treasurer of Survey Associates and managing editor of the Survey and Survey Graphic until his death in 1934.

Paul Kellogg conceived of the Survey as a broadly educational enterprise operating “along the borders of research, journalism, and the general welfare.” It was to be an open forum, limited only by the facts. The emphasis of the Survey was on first-hand inquiry and investigation, and regular procedure involved submitting controversial articles in draft form to concerned parties, considering suggested revisions, rechecking disputed sections, and offering opportunity for rebuttal. The Survey featured articles by staff members and by paid and volunteer contributors. In the January, 1949, issue Paul Kellogg named the factors that had characterized the Survey ‘s working scheme since 1912: swift research, visualization, human interest, things of the spirit, public concern, and free discussion.

Note: For a full account of the history of the Survey and the life of Paul Kellogg, see Clarke A. Chambers, Paul U. Kellogg and the Survey: Voices for Social Welfare and Social Justice (University of Minnesota Press, 1971).

For further reading: 

Many issues of The Survey can be read through the Internet Archive.

Source: Survey Associates Records. University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Social Welfare History Archives. Minneapolis, MN: