Michael Traugott and Erik Austin

Recorded May 19, 2020 Archived May 18, 2020 42:12 minutes
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Id: ddv000001


Erik Austin (76) speaks with his friend and colleague Michael Traugott (75) about the early days of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR).

Subject Log / Time Code

MT and EA recall the formation of the ICPSR, and their memories of coming to the University of Michigan. EA recalls tending to rats in a lab for work before being hired.
They discuss the early days of trying to grow membership in the ICPSR and the archaic methods of "digitizing" data they used to work with, compared to the current internet age.
MT and EA remember the ICPSR Summer Program for those interested in quantitative history. EA recalls collecting oral histories of the ICPSR in the 1980s for its 50th anniversary and MT speaks about the founding principals of the ICPSR.
EA shares what he learned at ICPSR, and MT describes naming history of the scholarships awarded to the current cohort of graduates. EA and MT remember political agitation within ICPSR against the war in Vietnam, and the rejection of the CIA as a member agency.
EA recalls attending a conference in Moscow during a harsh winter. They discuss the "cosmopolitan" nature of the ICPSR and the community it attracts.
EA and MT speak about what they thought they'd be, growing up, and reflect on their lives.


  • Michael Traugott (b. 1944)
  • Erik Austin

Recording Location

Virtual Recording