Biography of Frank W. Notestein
Frank W. (Wallace) Notestein contributed significantly to the science of demography and to a better understanding of population problems in world affairs, notably through his work on family planning and population control. Born in Alma,Michigan in 1902, Notestein received his undergraduate degree from the College of Wooster in 1923. He earned his PhDin Economics from Cornell University in 1927 and was an Economics instructor there from 1926-1927. From 1927through 1928, Notestein worked abroad as a fellow of the Social Sciences Research Council. He began work for theMilbank Memorial Fund, an endowed national foundation that supports nonpartisan analysis, study, and research onsignificant issues in health policy, as a research assistant and then became a member of its technical staff from 1929through 1936, working on differential fertility, the total genetic contribution to the next generation.In 1936, Notestein began as a Lecturer at Princeton University. At the same time, he developed and directed the Officeof Population Research (OPR) at Princeton
s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs with funding fromthe Milbank Memorial Fund. The OPR focused on the study of the interrelation of population growth and change inunderdeveloped areas and on the social and psychological factors affecting fertility in the American family. By 1941,Notestein had attained full professorship as the Director of the OPR and as a professor of Demography, holding bothtitles until his resignation in 1959. Notestein remained as
of the OPR for the fall 1959 term while hissuccessor, Ansley J. Coale, took a sabbatical. After Notestein
s resignation, he remained involved at Princeton as a
Visiting Senior Demographer
through 1963. In addition, he was a
Visiting Lecturer in Public and International Affairs,
at Princeton beginning in 1968. He maintained both positions until June 1982.Notestein
s resignation from full professorship and director of the OPR at Princeton allowed him to become the presidentof the Population Council (PC) until 1968. The PC was founded in 1952 by John D. Rockefeller III to study and promoteunderstanding of the scientific aspects of population change throughout the world by fostering scientific theory andresearch in social, economic and medical fields. Notestein had been a trustee of the PC since its establishment.Along with Notestein
s positions at Princeton and the PC, he was the organizer and first director of the PopulationDivision of the United Nations, 1946-1948. In 1955 he advised India
s Minister of Health on population policies andbeginning a population center for training and research on demography in India. He chaired the Technical AdvisoryCommittee on Population for the 1950 United States Census and was a member of the 1960 United States CensusCommittee.Notestein was a co-editor of the
, a bibliography of population literature that was the officialpublication of the Population Association of American and the OPR from 1936-1957. He co-authored
in 1940 and
The Future Population of Europe and the Soviet Union
in 1944, as well as authoring numerous journalpublications. Notestein was a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for theAdvancement of Science, the American Sociological Association, and the American Statistical Association. He was amember of the American Eugenics Society, the American Philosophical Society, the Council on Foreign Relations, theInternational Statistical Institute, the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population, the PopulationAssociation of America, and the Century Association.Notestein married Daphne Limbach in 1927; they had no children. He passed away in 1983.
The Frank W. Notestein Papers document his position as a leader in the field of population and fertility research throughhis involvement at Princeton University as the Director of the Office of Population Research and as a faculty member(although the papers do not include substantial information on his classes or students), as well as through his workwith the Population Council and the Population Association of America. It also documents his significant advisory role toboth the United Nations and the United States Government. The Frank W. Notestein Papers include mostly typewrittenletters and notes to and from Notestein, as well as some handwritten information, including demographic research, andtypewritten and printed copies of papers and speeches. Dr. Ansely J. Coale, Notestein
s successor at the OPR, alsocontributed significantly to this group of papers through his own correspondence and reports.Please see series descriptions in contents list for additional information about individual series.
Organized into the following series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1930-1977
Subseries 1A: Alphabetical Correspondence, 1930-1977
Subseries 1B: Chronological Correspondence, 1966-1973
Series 2: Lectures, Publications, and Reports, 1937-1977
Series 3: Personal, 1952-1971
Series 4: Demographic Research, 1942-1972
Access and UseAccess
The collection is open for research use.
Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish materials from the collection must berequested from the Curator of the Public Policy Papers. Any copyright vested in Frank W. Notestein has passed toPrinceton University; researchers are responsible for determining any other copyright questions.
Acquisition and AppraisalProvenance and Acquisition
Gift of Mrs. Daphne Notestein in June 1993.
Appraisal has been conducted in accordance with Mudd Library guidelines.
Related MaterialsRelated Archival Material
Other material at the Mudd Manuscript Library relating to Frank W. Notestein includes his faculty file, part of theUniversity Archives Collection. Additionally, Mudd holds the archives of the Council on Foreign Relations, of whichNotestein was a member. Mudd Library has a strong collection in economics and demography including the papers of Alfred J. Lotka, Ansley J. Coale, and the Hugh Moore Fund, which may also be of interest to researchers.