ISR Mourns the Passing of Former ICPSR Director Jerome Clubb

January 14, 2022

ANN ARBOR – The ISR community mourns the passing of former ICPSR Director Jerome Martin Clubb, who died on Dec. 15, 2021, in Vancouver, Washington, at the age of 93.

A child of the great depression, Clubb remained a champion of the poor throughout his life. As a youth, he worked in the fruit orchards of the Yakima Valley and as a stock boy. After completing high school, he earned an Arts Associate Diploma from Yakima Valley Junior College. In September 1950, he enlisted in the United States Army and served in Germany from 1951-1953, rising to the rank of Sergeant First Class. With the support of the GI Bill of Rights, he attended the University of Washington, where he received a PhD in history in 1963.

Jerome Martin Clubb

Jerome Martin Clubb

Clubb started his professional career as a member of the Department of History at Bowling Green State University in Ohio (1961-1965). In 1966, he moved to the University of Michigan, where he worked for 26 years until 1992. He retired from U-M as a research scientist in the Institute for Social Research and a professor in the Department of History. The U-M Board of Regents named Clubb professor emeritus of history and research scientist emeritus. While at U-M, he served for 16 years as executive director of the Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR). Clubb was honored in 1992 at U-M by selection as the Henry Russell Program’s Senior Research Scientist Distinguished Lecturer; the title of his lecture was “Social Science History: The Present in Perspective.” Clubb received ICPSR’s Warren Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences in 2003.

A lasting impact

Clubb’s formal training at the University of Washington was in History, in a then-new field called “quantitative history.” His approach to “history from the bottom up” led him to Ann Arbor, where he first directed ICPR’s Historical Data Archive from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s. He became the third (and longest-serving) Executive Director of ICPR in 1975, continuing in that post until 1991. During his tenure as Director, he aggressively pursued the disciplinary diversification of ICPSR (the “S” for Social being added to the organization’s name in his first year as Director). Clubb not only sought to bring his home discipline of History under the Consortium umbrella, but he was also instrumental in welcoming and designing ICPSR programs for Sociology and two of its more specialized subfields, aging, and crime and criminal justice. He helped establish the Consortium’s two oldest topical archives — the National Archive of Data on Aging and the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data.

Clubb helped create and promote other institutions and causes in the social sciences. He was a co-founder and first Executive Director of the Social Science History Association and was elected as its eighth President in 1983. He served in the 1970s and 1980s as a section chairperson of the IREX-sponsored Council for International Exchange of Scholars, responsible for facilitating two-way visits of librarians, archivists, historians, and social scientists between the U.S. and the USSR. In that capacity, he led delegations to the Soviet Union and hosted dozens of Soviet scholars in Ann Arbor, thus helping keep open lines of scholarly communication between those two countries during the last two decades of the Cold War.

In 1968, Clubb established ICPSR’s Summer Training Program Seminar in Quantitative Historical Analysis, the longest continuous training venue for historical analysis in the social sciences, which has trained hundreds of graduate students and faculty members. His dozens of articles and several scholarly books range widely over topics such as electoral realignments in the US in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, archiving of quantitative materials, and family living conditions near the turn of the twentieth century. There is a scholarship in Clubb’s name that was initiated by ICPSR and the Social Science History Association.

Clubb was preceded in death by his wife, Vera, and is survived by his daughter, Leslie Ann Krager, and his son, Robert Thompson Clubb, as well as four grandchildren. No services will be held. In lieu of flowers or other remembrances, donations should be made to your local food bank.

Remembering Jerome Martin Clubb

Dory Knight-Ingram, [email protected]

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