Himes, Norman Edwin, 1899-1949

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Himes (1899-1949) (Harvard, Ph.D. 1932) was a teacher-scholar in the field of sociology and economics. He taught at Colgate University (1932-1942) and at other colleges in the U.S. and abroad. His research and writing focused on population problems, history of contraception and the birth control movement, and marriage and family relations. During World War II he served with the Office of the Surgeon General in the U.S. Army.

From the description of Papers of Norman E. Himes, 1918-1956 (inclusive), 1925-1950 (bulk). (Harvard University). WorldCat record id: 281429867

The Norman E. Himes Archive is a collection of correspondence and related materials; manuscripts of books, articles, and speeches; and miscellaneous papers presented to the Countway Library in 1967 by Dr. Himes' second wife and widow, Mrs. Robert C. Weinberg of New York and Ridgefield, Connecticut.

Norman Himes was a teacher-scholar in the field of sociology and economics, whose avid interest in social reforms and cultural developments led to study in the areas of population problems; history of contraception and the birth control movement; marriage and family relations. He was an immensely productive and creative man of great energy and the archive is rich in materials relating to his research, writing, and teaching activities. Dated items are from 1918 to 1956, but the bulk of the collection falls between 1925 and 1950--a neat 25-year period during which time attitudes toward the subjects of Dr. Himes' work changed in the most dramatic manner.

For a man of modest financial means who rarely had the luxury of secretarial services, Dr. Himes (with the help of his first wife, Vera) carried on an amazingly extensive correspondence with a variety of people and organizations, and a number of subjects, and of both professional and personal natures. The flow of correspondence is with leaders in the academic world (sociologists, economists, historians, professional groups), the birth control and eugenics world (medical practitioners, lay figures, clinics, national and local organizations), the book world (dealers, collectors, libraries, publishers, editors of journals), and in many other areas (including religion, government, law). It reflects public and private sentiment and much “inside gossip” about subjects which were somewhat tainted, to say the least, but gradually became accepted and even respectable.

During World War II, Dr. Himes left the scholarly world for government service which he continued in Germany during the postwar period, specializing in adult education and youth programs. He was on the verge of retirement and (hopefully) return to work on several of his unfinished research projects--chief among which were books on a Social and Economic History of Contraception and Preparation for Marriage --when he had his fatal heart attack in June of 1949.

  • 1899: Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on August 4
  • 1923: 1924: Awarded BS and MA degrees at Harvard University
  • 1924: Married Vera C. Hokanson
  • 1923 - 25 : Robert Treat Payne Fellow at Harvard University
  • 1925 - 26 : Instructor in economics and sociology at Cornell College, Iowa
  • 1926 - 27 : Travelling Fellow, Social Science Research Council
  • 1928 - 30 : Instructor in economics, Simmons College and Simmons School of Social Work, Boston
  • 1930: Publication of Place on Pupulation
  • 1930 - 31 : Associate Professor of economics and sociology, Clark University, Worcester
  • 1931: Publication of The Truth about Birth Control Publication of Guide to Birth Control Literature
  • 1932: Awarded PhD degree at Harvard University
  • 1932 - 36 : Consultant to National Committee on Maternal Health
  • 1932 - 42 : Assistant Professor (1932-38) and Professor (1938-42) of Sociology at Colgate University, Hamilton, New York
  • 1934 - 37 : American editor of Marriage Hygiene
  • 1935: Publication of Economics, Sociology and the Modern World (Carver Festschrift)
  • 1936: Publication of Medical History of Contraception Visiting instructor of sociology at University of Colorado summer school
  • 1937: Publication of Knowlton's Fruits of Philosophy American delegate at International Population Conference in Paris
  • 1938: Publication of The Challenge of Birth Control Publication of Practical Birth Control Methods
  • 1940: Publication of Your Marriage [English edition titled Happy Marriage published in 1941]
  • 1940 - 43 : Editor of Longmans Sociology Series
  • 1941 - 42 : Fired by Pres. Cutten of Colgate in June, 1941, but official termination changed to 1942
  • 1943 - 44 : Major, Office of Surgeon General, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.
  • 1944 - 45 : War Manpower Commission, Washington, D.C.
  • 1945 - 46 : Professor of sociology at Biarritz American University
  • 1946 - 48 : Office of Special Education, Berlin OMG
  • 1946: Vera C. Himes killed in plane crash in October
  • 1947: Married Mrs. Marian King Bailey in January
  • 1948 - 49 : Information Services Division, Bremen OMG
  • 1949: Died of heart attack in Venice on June 6; buried at Arlington National Cemetery

From the guide to the Norman E. Himes papers, 1918-1956 (inclusive), 1925-1950 (bulk)., (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine.Center for the History of Medicine.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Himes, Norman Edwin, 1899-1949. Papers of Norman E. Himes, 1918-1956 (inclusive), 1925-1950 (bulk). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
referencedIn Mudd, Emily Hartshorne, 1898-. Papers: Series IV-VI, 1927-1990 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Norman E. Himes papers, 1918-1956 (inclusive), 1925-1950 (bulk). Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Papers: Series III, 1909-1942 (inclusive) [microform]. Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
creatorOf Himes, Norman Edwin, 1899-1949. Papers relating to Charles Knowlton, circa 1936. Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
referencedIn Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. Additional papers of Mary Ware Dennett, 1892-1945 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Himes, Norman Edwin, 1899-1949. Papers of Norman E. Himes, 1918-1956 (inclusive), 1925-1950 (bulk). Harvard University, Medical School, Countway Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Clark, Percy Lemon. person
associatedWith Colgate University corporateBody
associatedWith Cutner, Harry. person
associatedWith Dennett, Mary Ware, 1872-1947. person
associatedWith Hamilton, Earl J. (Earl Jefferson), 1899- person
associatedWith Hanau, Stella. person
associatedWith Hankins, Frank Hamilton, 1877- person
associatedWith Harvard University corporateBody
associatedWith Himes, Norman Edwin, 1899-1949. person
associatedWith Knowlton, Charles, 1800-1850. person
associatedWith Kopp, Marie E. person
associatedWith Mudd, Emily. person
associatedWith Mudd, Emily Hartshorne, 1898- person
associatedWith Sanger, Margaret, 1879-1966. person
associatedWith Spengler, Joseph John, 1902- person
associatedWith Tietze, Christopher. person
associatedWith Weinberg, Robert C. (Robert Charles), 1901-1974. person
associatedWith Zborowski, Joseph. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Birth control
Birth control
Marriage counseling
Population policy


Birth 1899

Death 1949


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