The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research was founded in 1947 to preserve data from surveys of public opinion. Elmo Roper and others in the emerging field of survey research recognized that the information they were gathering should be preserved for future generations of scholars, students, and journalists. Since that time, the Roper Center has continued to acquire and archive public opinion data. Its collection now includes 17,000 datasets and continues to grow by hundreds of datasets per year. In total, it includes responses from millions of individuals on a vast range of topics. Since its beginning, the Roper Center has focused on surveys conducted by the news media and commercial polling firms. However, it also holds many academic surveys, including important historical collections from the National Opinion Research Corporation and Princeton University's Office of Public Opinion Research.
Most of the surveys in the Roper Center are national samples, but there are also some state and local surveys, as well as a number of surveys of special populations of interest. Nearly all of the surveys are based on representative samples drawn according to the best practices of the time. The Roper Center now focuses on data from the United States, but continues to acquire some surveys from other parts of the world, particularly Latin America.
May 16, 2012