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Roy Heath Class of 1954 Advisee Project Interviews
The collection comprises materials related to a study that Heath, a clinical psychologist, conducted on 36 members of the Class of 1954 during their years at Princeton. Most of the documents are transcriptions of interviews Heath conducted with the students on a regular basis. The students are coded by number, but Heath provided a list to enable individuals to be identified once the collection is opened in 2035. Heath's work was published in The Reasonable Adventurer (1964), which spawned a follow-up volume comparing the study participants with other members of the class of 1954 as part of the class' 25th reunion activities. Series 1 contains advisee files on each participant, and Series 2 contains materials related to the project such as reports and summarized responses on specific topics, as well as one 25th reunion interview titled \Soundings.\Heath maintained eight folders on each student: three on their freshman year, one on their sophomore year, two on their junior year, and two on their senior year. Exceptions exist when folders are missing, or when students died during the course of the study (as did students number 156 and 181), or dropped out of Princeton (as did students number 103, 249, and 371). The first folder contains information on student grades and extracurricular activities.Although the bulk of the documents are transcriptions of interviews, there is a variety of other material on the students as well. Because Heath served as their faculty advisor all four years, he kept extensive records of their progress at the university academically, socially, and emotionally. He visited the students' homes and took notes on their family make-up and socio-economic background. A few files contain student personal memorabilia Heath considered of interest, such as drawings, newspaper clippings, and freshman English compositions.The interviews themselves primarily concern University issues, such as course selection and rooming arrangements. Many of the students discussed deeply personal matters with Heath as well. There are some standard questions Heath asked each student to address at different points, questions relating to their perceptions of ethnic and racial minorities, religion, sexual behavior, women, and the Princeton club system. During November of the academic year 1953-54 Heath gave each student a short test for which they had to produce a drawing and writing sample; he discussed it with them afterwards and the interviews were transcribed.All the interview sheets have code numbers printed on their upper-right hand corners which correspond to the code numbers of the discs on which the interviews were recorded.
Princeton University Archives