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Register of the Oscar and Rose Kaplan Public Opinion Surveys MSS 178
MSS 178  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Biography
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Note
  • Restrictions
  • OFF-SITE STORAGE

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Oscar and Rose Kaplan Public Opinion Surveys
    Identifier/Call Number: MSS 178
    Contributing Institution: Mandeville Special Collections Library
    9500 Gilman Drive
    La Jolla, California, 92093-0175
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 18.6 Linear feet (46 archives boxes, 1 half box)
    Date (inclusive): 1934 - 1994
    Abstract: Surveys, dating from 1951-1992, conducted by Oscar and Rose Kaplan, public opinion pollsters and analysts for businesses, politicians, attorneys and newspapers in the San Diego area. A small number of surveys were conducted in the Los Angeles area and nationwide. The files include questionnaires, reports, development materials, and newspaper clippings. The accession processed in 2009, dating from 1934-1994, contains public opinion surveys conducted by Oscar and Rose Kaplan. Also included are writings by Oscar Kaplan, general correspondence, and biographical materials from the Kaplan family.
    Creator: Kaplan, Oscar J.
    Creator: Kaplan, Rose

    Scope and Content of Collection

    ACCESSION PROCESSED IN 1995
    The Oscar and Rose Kaplan surveys document the Kaplans' career as surveyors and analysts for businesses and politicians in the Southern California area. The papers are mainly a chronological collection of questionnaires and reports dating from 1951 to 1992. The majority of surveys and reports in the collection pertain to the San Diego area, but work conducted in Los Angeles and nationwide is also included. The collection is divided into two series: 1) SURVEYS AND REPORTS, and 2) DOCUMENTS.
    SERIES 1: SURVEYS AND REPORTS
    This first series comprises the bulk of the collection and is divided into two subseries: Dated and Undated.
    The Dated subseries is arranged chronologically. Each folder typically contains a sample of the questionnaire and a report of the survey's results. In some cases, one or the other of these elements is missing. Headings refer to report titles, or to questionnaire titles where reports are unavailable.
    The surveys cover a broad range of topics. Some were conducted for state and local politicians such as Lionel Van Deerlin, Jim Bates, Ronald Reagan, and Pete Wilson. Businesses such as Jack-in-the-Box and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club commissioned marketing surveys by the Kaplans. The San Diego Zoological Society commissioned annual reports on recreational habits of tourists and residents, as did the San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Kaplans were also involved in land and community development surveys which covered such topics as traffic light positioning, extension of shopping centers, and the practicality of new bank branches throughout the county. Yet other surveys were conducted in connection with legal proceedings such as the Sagon Penn and Joselito Cinco criminal trials. Finally, the Kaplans conducted a series of public opinion polls in the late 1950s for the San Diego Independent which paint a colorful portrait of local tastes and values.
    Researchers may note that report or questionnaire titles do not always match folder headings. This is because in the original arrangement reports were occasionally found in folders whose titles reflected the intent and purpose of the survey, e.g., a poll titled "Civic Affairs Survey" may have been intended to find the extent of damage to a politician's public image in the wake of a scandal. In cases where this information was available, it was transcribed onto the new folder heading. Some questionnaires used to poll a single group of people were used to compile reports for a number of different politicians. In these cases separate folders were created for each politician, although reports often differ only in their "verbatim comments" sections.
    The Undated subseries is arranged alphabetically. It includes surveys and reports whose dates are unclear, as well as fragments of unidentified reports.
    SERIES 2: DOCUMENTS
    The second series consists of materials which appear to have assisted the Kaplans in development of their own surveys and reports. These materials include applications to bank boards, academic papers discussing local and national politics, instructions for interviewers, and ideas for future polls.
    ACCESSION PROCESSED IN 2009
    The accession processed in 2009 contains public assessment material, including surveys, questionnaires, reports, and research material. The collection also includes general correspondence from Oscar Kaplan's other professional ventures, including committees, publications and coursework. The material in the 2009 accession dates from 1934 through 1994, with the majority of the collection spanning from 1957 through 1982.
    The accession processed in 2009 is arranged in five series: 1) SURVEYS AND REPORTS, 2) BUSINESS DOCUMENTS AND RESEARCH, 3) WRITINGS BY OSCAR KAPLAN, 4) GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, and 5) BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIALS.
    SERIES 1: SURVEYS AND REPORTS
    The first series, SURVEYS AND REPORTS, makes up the bulk of the collection and is arranged in chronological order. This series contains numerous public opinion surveys conducted by the Kaplans from 1941 through 1994. The materials include surveys from numerous businesses and organizations throughout San Diego, including the San Diego Zoological Society, the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Convention and Tourist Bureau, Sea World, and the American Cancer Society. This series also contains correspondence regarding the implementation and findings of many of these surveys. These surveys also contain additional research materials, including surveys and polls from other survey companies, that the Kaplans used for their research and survey models.
    SERIES 2: BUSINESS DOCUMENTS AND RESEARCH
    Series 2, BUSINESS DOCUMENTS AND RESEARCH, includes material which the Kaplans used to create their own public surveys and reports, and contain survey studies and ideas for future research studies and public polls.
    SERIES 3: WRITINGS BY OSCAR KAPLAN
    The third series, WRITINGS BY OSCAR KAPLAN, contains reprints and typescript drafts of articles written by Oscar Kaplan. These articles include Oscar Kaplan's research on gerontology, mental health, and public surveys and opinions. These materials are arranged in chronological order.
    SERIES 4: GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE
    Series 4, GENERAL CORRESPONDENCE, contains letters regarding Oscar Kaplan's professional career, including his research with gerontology and his work on numerous national committees and organizations.
    SERIES 5: BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL
    The BIOGRAPHICAL MATERIAL series contains biographical material about the Kaplan family, including resume and curriculum vitae for Oscar and Rose Kaplan, and biographical summaries for Oscar Kaplan. This series also contains photographic portraits of Oscar Kaplan, as well as photographs from various events in which Oscar Kaplan attended.

    Biography

    Oscar Kaplan (1915-1994) was a pioneering pollster, best known locally for surveys he and his wife, Rose, conducted about all aspects of San Diego life. He is also an internationally recognized authority on aging, educated at UCLA (B.S.) and UC Berkeley (Ph.D), and was often referred to as the "father of geriatic psychology."
    As a gerontologist, Oscar Kaplan authored Mental Disorders in Late Life(1945), the first book on geriatric psychology; was appointed as a special consultant in gerontology to the U.S. Public Heath Service in 1946; helped to initiate the White House Conference on Aging in 1950; founded the American Society of Aging in 1955, and was founding editor of The Gerontologist.
    As a pollster, Kaplan founded the Center for Survey Research at San Diego State University in 1948, which he continued to serve until his death, and developed in the same year the first university course in the nation devoted to methods of measuring public opinion.
    Rose Kaplan died on November 22, 2000.

    Publication Rights

    Publication rights are held by the creator of the collection.

    Preferred Citation

    Oscar and Rose Kaplan Public Opinion Surveys, MSS 0178. Mandeville Special Collections Library, UCSD.

    Acquisition Note

    Not Available

    Restrictions

    Medical records from the accession processed in 2009, located in Series 1 and Series 5, are restricted in accordance with state and federal law until 2095.

    OFF-SITE STORAGE

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: ALLOW ONE WEEK FOR RETRIEVAL OF MATERIALS

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Cinco, Joselito -- Public opinion
    Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
    General Dynamics Corporation
    Kaplan, Oscar J. -- Archives
    Kaplan, Rose -- Archives
    Lucas, David -- Public opinion
    Penn, Sagon -- Public opinion
    Peyer, Craig -- Public opinion
    San Diego (Calif.). City Council.
    San Diego Convention and Visitors Bureau
    San Diego Independent (Firm).
    Sea World
    Union-Tribune Publishing Company
    Zoological Society of San Diego
    Banks and banking--California--San Diego
    City planning--California--San Diego--Public opinion
    Civic leaders--California--San Diego--Attitudes
    Crime and criminals--California--San Diego--Public opinion
    Criminals--California--San Diego--Public opinion
    Elections--California--San Diego
    Local elections--California--San Diego
    Public opinion polls--California, Southern
    Public opinion polls--California--San Diego
    Public opinion--California, Southern
    Public opinion--California--San Diego
    Recreational surveys--California--San Diego
    San Diego (Calif.)--History
    Tourism--California--San Diego--Public opinion
    Transportation--California--San Diego--Public opinion
    Trials--California--San Diego