Organization Background

Elmo Roper founded the Roper Center just after World War II. He and George Gallup played leading roles in its subsequent development. The survey organizations they established have continued to contribute their polls to the Center's library, and scores of other survey organizations in the United States, and many foreign countries, have followed their example. The roster of organizations now contributing data is a virtual "who's who" of contemporary opinion research. Several thousand polls taken in some 70 foreign countries are also housed in the Center's library. By constantly adding to the domestic and international collections of survey data, the Roper Center maintains what is by far the most complete collection of public opinion information in existence.

Many give theoretical acknowledgment to the idea that the public must be heard accurately; but the Roper Center alone is building a comprehensive research facility to ensure that the views of the public are recorded properly. The Center brings individual surveys together enabling any researcher to better grasp what public opinion is. Survey data housed in the Center's extensive archive are made accessible to academic and policy researchers, the press, business, and others who are interested in poll findings. The Center's graduate training program, moreover, works to give students a firm grounding in the essentials of survey research, preparing them to play a role in the professional world of survey research. With the largest public opinion library available anywhere in the world, one that is complemented by rigorous training and publications programs, the Roper Center provides for a "public audit" of polling data and reports of public opinion. As a non-profit, non-partisan public opinion data archive, the Center is in a unique position to help clarify the public's voice.


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