James N. Morgan papers: 1939-2010 (bulk 1947-1999)
Summary Information
Title: James N. Morgan papers
Creator: Morgan, James N.
Inclusive dates: 1939-2010
Bulk dates: 1947-1999
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
James N. Morgan was a professor of economics and researcher in the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan from 1949 to 1987. The collection ranges from 1939 to 2010 with the bulk being from 1947-1999. It includes biographical information, research, and writings that Morgan produced before, during, and after his time at the university.
Call number: 2014108 Aa 2
Language: The material is in English
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid created by Hannah Jenkins, 2013

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was donated by James Morgan (Donor No. 10921) in April 2013.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open to research without restriction.

Access Restrictions for University of Michigan Records

University records are public records and once fully processed are generally open to research use. Records that contain personally identifiable information will be restricted in order to protect individual privacy. Certain administrative records are restricted in accordance with university policy as outlined below. The restriction of university records is subject to compliance with applicable laws, including the Freedom of Information Act.

Categories of Restricted Records:

  • Personnel related files , including search, review, promotion, and tenure files, are restricted for thirty years from date of creation.
  • Student educational records are restricted for seventy-five years from date of creation.
  • Patient/client records are restricted for one-hundred years from date of creation.
  • Executive Officers, Deans and Directors files . By university records policy in effect as of January 1, 2001, University records generated by the university's Executive Officers, Deans, Directors and their support offices are restricted for a period of twenty years from their date of accession by the Bentley Historical Library. The restriction is subject to applicable law, most notably the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
    • Files restricted for 10 years -- records added to a record group in this category prior to January 1, 2001 are restricted for a period of ten years from the date of creation
    • Files restricted for 20 years -- records added to a record group in this category after January 1, 2001 are restricted for a period of 20 years from the date they were added to the record group.

Restricted files are indicated in the contents list with a restriction note indicating the restriction type and the date of expiration.

  • CR (Client/Patient records, 100 years from date of creation)
  • PR (Personnel related records, 30 years from date of creation)
  • SR (Student educational records, 75 years from date of creation)
  • ER (Executive Officers, Deans and Directors records, 20 years from the date the material added to the record group)

For further information on the restriction policy and placing FOIA requests for restricted material, consult the reference archivist at the Bentley Historical Library or the University of Michigan Freedom of Information Office website at: http://www.umich.edu/~urel/foia.html

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.


Copyright is held by the Regents of the University of Michigan but the collection may contain third-party materials for which copyright is not held. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

[item], folder, box, James N. Morgan papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


James N. Morgan was born March 1, 1918, in Corydon, Indiana on his grandfather's farm. He had one brother, Burton. He also lived in Iowa City, Seattle, and Evanston with his mother. He earned his B.A. from Northwestern University in 1939, and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1941 and 1947, respectively. He was appointed to an assistant professorship at Brown University in 1947, immediately after receiving his doctorate. Morgan began working at the University of Michigan in 1949 as a postdoctoral fellow in economics and he was appointed to assistant program director at the University's Survey Research Center in 1951. He was promoted to program director in 1956 and became a full professor of economics in 1958. He was awarded the Distinguished Faculty Award and was the first professor at the University of Michigan to receive the W.S. Woytinsky Lectureship Award in 1977. Upon retiring from the university in 1987, he was awarded the titles of Research Scientist Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Economics. Over the course of almost 40 years at the University of Michigan, Morgan produced 30 books, 37 book chapters, and 25 journal articles. His research focused on consumer behavior, the distribution of income and wealth, economic survey methods, housing status, and more.

Morgan married Gladys Hassler in 1945 and had four children: Ken, Tim, John, and Janet. His wife passed away in 1996.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The James N. Morgan collection includes biographical information, research, and writings that Morgan produced before, during, and after his time at the university, spanning the years 1939 to 2010 with the bulk being from 1947-1999. The collection is organized in three series: Biographical Material, Correspondence, and Research.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Consumer behavior -- Study and teaching -- Michigan.
  • Photographs.
  • Morgan, James N., 1918-
  • University of Michigan -- Faculty.
  • University of Michigan. Institute for Social Research.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
Biographical Material [series]

The series Biography Material contains information about Morgan and photographs of himself, family, friends, and co-workers. Also included are various writings that Morgan produced, including those published in scholarly journals, newspaper articles, and personal musings and journals. These are all contained within one folder.

Box   1  
Biographical Material
Box   1  
Photographs 1939-2000
Box   1  
"Can We Measure the Marginal Utility of Money?" 1945
Box   1  
"The Burden of Important Duties: Comment," 1947
Box   1  
"Milk Monopoly?" circa 1947
Box   1  
"Individual Savings in 1947 and 1948" 1948 1947-1948
Box   1  
"Land Use in Central Boston," 1948
Box   1  
"The Measurement of Gains and Losses," 1948
Box   1  
"The New British Town and Country Planning Act," 1948
Box   1  
"Providence Rhode Island," 1948
Box   1  
"Bilateral Monopoly and the Competitive Output," 1949
Box   1  
"A Note on the Justification for Price Discrimination," 1949
Box   1  
"Survey Would Be Costly," 1965
Box   1  
"An Open Letter to the Church on its Mission in the World Today," 1969
Box   1  
"Letter to the Editor of Research News," 1988
Box   1  
"A Meditation on Passing the Peace," 1988
Box   1  
"Poor Would Feel Crunch of Higher State Sales Tax," 1988
Box   1  
"Children Should Be Society's First Priority," 1989
Box   1  
"Some Suggestions on Helping People with Alzheimer's," 1991
Box   1  
"Recollections of Northwestern in the Late Thirties," 1992
Box   1  
"Fiftieth Anniversary: A Half-Century Retrospective Account," 1995
Box   1  
"An Account of Gladys' Travels," 1996
Box   1  
"Some Reflections on the Life of Gladys Morgan," 1996
Box   1  
"The Proper Economic Role of Government in a Free Society," 1998
Box   1  
"Some Windmills at Which I Have Been Tilting," 1999
Box   1  
"Article Perpetuates Notion that Social Security Can Fund Itself," 2008
Correspondence [series]

The Correspondence series is separated into two files. The first is a general file containing correspondence between Morgan and others within the department, as well as personal letters unrelated to academia. The second section is correspondence specifically regarding Study 721 and Study 745 which Morgan worked on at the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan.

Box   1  
General 1955-1988 (scattered dates)
Box   1  
Regarding Study 721 and 745 1965-1967, 1969
Manuals [series]

The Manuals series contains two files. The first is the instruction manual for OSIRIS IV, a data analysis system used by the Institute for Social Research. The second file contains the first and second editions of the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) guide which replaced the OSIRIS system.

Box   1  
Box   1  
Statistical Analysis System (SAS) Guide for the OSIRIS User 1994-1995
Research [series]

The Research series contains files on three specific studies that Morgan worked on. The first is Study 678 which looks at the income of various families across the country. The second, Study 721, is an examination of economic behavior. The final study, 745, is an analysis of working status as well as consumer finances. Study 745 is a combination of research from Study 721 and Study 741 (not included in this collection). The series also contains Morgan's data from the OSIRIS system, and a report on the limitations of survey data.

Box   1  
OSIRIS IV Data 1978-1989
Box   1  
Study 678: Low Income Study, Income and Welfare in the United States 1960, 1967
Box   1  
Study 721: Economic Behavior of Individuals 1964-1965
Box   1  
Study 745: Study of Working and Planning and Survey of Consumer Finances (a combination of Study 721 and Study 741) 1964-1965
Box   1  
Values and Limitations of Survey Saving Data 1954