Lamont Library

Numeric Data Collections


The focus of the collection is on economic and financial data, public opinion and survey polls, health data, inter-governmental organizations' (IGO) data, U.S. and foreign census data, and statistical compendia from the U.S. and foreign governments. The government and IGO data collections are co-developed with the appropriate subject selectors in Government Documents/Microforms.

The collection also includes subscriptions to comprehensive databases and archives such as the Roper Center for Public Opinion, the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), and the Wharton Research Data Service (WRDS) collection of financial databases. (Access to the NCHS data is via the Harvard Dataverse.)

The Numeric Data Services Dataverse provides access to the Cross National Time Series (Banks data), the ITERATE database, and selected survey data. 

Several micro-level CD-ROM resources are available at the Lamont Library. This collection includes the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID), the International Social Survey Programme, and several criminal justice, violence research, and health data files. The General Social Survey (GSS) and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) is also available in CD-ROM format, as well as through the Harvard Dataverse. For more information or for assistance using these CD-ROMs, please contact the NDS reference staff.

The data librarians assist users in locating numeric data from the collections of Government Documents/Microforms, the Harvard Map Collection, Harvard-MIT Data Center, the Harvard Dataverse, Murray Research Archive, ICPSR, Roper Center, U.S. Census Bureau, other libraries at Harvard, and data publishers and archives beyond Harvard.

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Roper Center for Public Opinion

The Harvard College Library is a member of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research. The Roper Center provides access to summary-level (aggregate) and micro-level (raw) public opinion data. While the data collection focuses strongly on United States public opinion, it also includes growing collections of micro-level European, Latin American (Latin American Databank), and Japanese (JPOLL) polls. The data archive (micro-level data) is searchable by keyword, date, and survey organization. The iPOLL database (summary-level data) is searchable by keyword, subject or survey organization and survey sponsor; it provides question and response level data. The Roper Center data is available through the Harvard E-resources portal.

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Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research (ICPSR)

Harvard University is a member of the Inter-University Consortium of Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Based at the University of Michigan/Ann Arbor, ICPSR is the largest machine-readable social science data archive in the world. Harvard affiliates need to create an individual account and then can access all of the non-restricted ICPSR data. ICPSR data file topics include census, environment/geography, political behavior/attitudes, economic behavior/attitudes, health care, public opinion, and many more. ICPSR also maintains subject-specific Special Topic Archives, including the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging, the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Data Archive, the International Archive of Education Data, the Health and Medical Care Archive and the Child Care and Early Education Archive. Please contact NDS staff via e-mail for help locating or accessing ICPSR data files.

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Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS)

Wharton Research Data Services (WRDS) is a collection of financial, banking, public policy, economics, and accounting databases that is restricted to current Harvard affiliates. If you fall within one of the categories listed below, you may request an individual account from WRDS:

Faculty: Accounts are available to all standing faculty of member institutions.
Visitor: Accounts apply to visiting faculty (nonpermanent or part-time position). These accounts are subject to additional review and may not be used after the visiting appointment ends.
Ph.D.: Accounts are offered to currently registered doctoral students at member institutions.
Research Assistant: Accounts apply to students doing active research under faculty supervision. These accounts require a faculty sponsor.
Class: Accounts can only be requested by standing faculty and provide a means for undergraduates and MBAs to use WRDS as part of a registered class or course project.

If you are a Harvard undergraduate student and you are interested in a WRDS account, please contact the NDS staff via e-mail.

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Murray Research Archive Collection

The Henry A. Murray Research Archive collection of social and behavioral data files focuses on the study of lives. Although the studies include data files that focus on both men and women from all socio-economic, religious, and ethnic backgrounds, the data are especially illustrative of issues and concerns facing women. There are four archives within the Murray Archive: the General Archive, the Video Archive (not yet available), the Diversity Archive (not yet available) and the Mental Health Archive. All data files from these archives are available for use by the general public. In order to access the data you must complete an Application to Use Data, available on the Murray Research Archive Web site.

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National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)

Harvard University is represented by the HMDC in the Electronic Dissemination Program of the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The HMDC provides the CD-ROMs from this dissemination program to Numeric Data Service for cataloging and circulation (in hard copy format) to Harvard affiliates. NCHS is a federal agency that collects, tabulates, and disseminates vital and health statistics. Data includes natality and mortality rates, medical care, home health and hospice care, and hospital discharge survey information. Access to NCHS data is available through the NCHS Web site, the HMDC Virtual Data Center, and a CD-ROM collection. CD-ROM collection titles include Natality Detail Files, Natality Data Set, Fetal Death Data Files, Compressed Mortality File, and National Health Interview Survey Files. Please see the HOLLIS catalog for more titles in this collection, availability of the titles, and call number and location information.

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