Series List and Summary Descriptions

Series 1 Saulwick Poll - correspondence, reference and working files

Files kept by Irving Saulwick, made up of loose documents stored in folders or bundles, with no evident control system. Some items are untitled, others have one or more titles, which may appear inscribed or typed on the folder cover or leading edge (or both).

The majority of content in this Series falls within the following broad categories:
a) newsclippings (most often reporting findings of the Saulwick Age Poll in its multiple incarnations) sourced from The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and, less frequently, other Australian or international newspapers
b) various items of correspondence to and from Irving Saulwick, generally relating to the development and administration of Saulwick Polls
c) poll questionnaires (usually blank or annotated forms, in very rare instances a completed survey);
d) popular and academic articles on polling, written by Irving Saulwick and others.

Date Range: 1968 - 2007
Provenance: Irving Saulwick


Series 2 Financial papers

Financial (primarily taxation) records relating to Irving Saulwick's business, personal, and farm accounts. The most common types of documents are invoices and receipts retained for tax purposes, although other records are also present, including: correspondence (with accountants, insurers and the like); tax assessment notices; insurance certificates; and documents relating to superannuation. The Series also includes material relevent to the finances of other Saulwick family members.

This series of records was returned to the Saulwick family prior to transfer of custody of the collection to University of Melbourne Archives.

Provenance: Irving Saulwick
Access: Closed


Series 3 Tabulated poll data

This Series consits of data reports relating to polls conducted by or for Irving Saulwick's business entities between 1971 and 2000. These include the Saulwick Age Poll in its various incarnations, as well as studies conducted to support market research for corporate and government clients. In some cases there is some overlap where questions for a private client have been appended to what is largely an Age Poll survey.

Fieldwork and data processing for the surveys was subcontracted to different companies over the years, among them: Beacon Research; AGB McNair / AGB Australia; and in-house at The Age newspaper. Prior to the move to telephone polling in the late 1980s, surveys were conducted by means of face-to-face doorstep polling.

Items in this Series take the form of hard copy, human readable tabulated data reports. Irving Saulwick also retained raw datasets for later surveys stored on floppy disks or the hard drive of his personal computer. These raw data sets are held in Series SAUS0008 and SAUS0009 respectively.

Complementary holdings: datasets for many of the polls are held by the Australian Data Archive.

Date Range: 1971 - 2000
Provenance: Irving Saulwick


Series 4 Age Poll reprint publications

Booklets printed by David Syme and Co. (publisher of The Age newspaper), primarily intended as an educational resource. Commencing with the first Age Polls in 1971, these publications were produced as retrospective compilations of the newspaper articles and associated graphical representations reporting the findings of political and social opinion polling conducted by Irving Saulwick on behalf of The Age newspaper.

Articles were originally published in the newspaper under the 'ASRB-Age Poll' banner and, from mid-1975, the 'Saulwick Age Poll' and 'Saulwick Poll' banners. Two later omnibus-style publications (1989 and 1990-1991) also feature reports published by The Age's sister newspaper, The Sydney Morning Herald, under the 'Herald Survey' banner.

For polls conducted between March 1971 and October 1981, booklets were issued consistently (although at irregular intervals). Thirty three such booklets were issued, under the title "Reprints of the [x] Series of Articles From Age Poll". The date range covered by individual booklets and the number of opinion polls represented therein varied over time, as did the frequency with which Age Polls were conducted (monthly, quarterly, snap polling).

No publications were issued for reprints of articles associated with polls conducted between November 1981 and August 1982. The Age Poll was then discontinued by the newspaper for almost two years; resuming in July 1984, with findings published in the newspaper the following month and a reprints booklet titled 'The Age - Age Poll - Collection 32' released in December the same year. Regular collations of the Age Poll articles were not produced after this date, although two omnibus editions appeared several years later: one containing reprints of articles published in 1989; the other containing reprints of articles published in 1991-1992.

The publishers of the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald newspapers also produced a number of historical and topical reprint collections that gathered together articles inclusive of (but not neccessarily limited to) reports based on Saulwick poll findings. A small number of such reprint publications are also held as part of this series.

Date Range: 1971 - 1991, with gaps
Provenance: Irving Saulwick


Series 5 Recordings of radio broadcasts

A collection of 15 audio cassettes, 14 of which contain professionally produced or home recorded copies of radio broadcasts, mostly relating to opinion polling. Material includes interviews between Ranald McDonald and Gary Morgan; Ranald McDonald and Irving Saulwick; Phillip Adams and Irving Saulwick. Also included are a set of broadcasts (five weekly episodes) of 1996 radio series "The Pollsters".

A small number of items relating to the Victorian Dairy Industry are also present, including a recording from the 1991 Fresh Directions Dairy Convention.

Date Range: c. 1986 - c. 1996, includes undated material
Provenance: Irving Saulwick


Series 6 Unpublished research reports and proposals

This series holds a wide variety of reports (and, in some cases, supporting volumes of data tables), prepared by business entities of which Irving Saulwick was a principal or employee.

The reports are based on qualitative research (focus groups), qualitative research (surveys), or on a combination of the two. A small number of reports prepared by other bodies and retained by Irving Saulwick for reference purposes are also present.

The topics covered by items in this series are diverse, including: aboriginal reconciliation; local community amenity and developments; employment and industrial relations; schools and education; mining; the demutualisation of building societies; privatisation of the Victorian State Electricity Commission; the sale of Telstra; election surveys; hospitals and health services; public housing; corruption; and the environment.

Date Range: 1966 - 2006
Provenance: Irving Saulwick


Series 7 Recordings of focus group interviews

Audio and video recordings of focus group sessions.

These recordings relate to studies that Irving Saulwick conducted for private sector and government clients, reports and statistical data for which are held elsewhere in the collection. Recordings are not held for all studies.

A small number of items contain name identified subjects or other sensitive information.

Date Range: 1986 - 2006
Provenance: Irving Saulwick
Access: Partially closed


Series 8 Floppy disks

This Series consists of 3.5 inch floppy disks (and one 5.25 inch floppy disk), mostly containing data sets for polls conducted by and for Irving Saulwick's business entities.

The titles of items in this Series are transcriptions of the disk labels. In many cases, this will include filenames relating to disk content. A number of file types are represented on the disks and multiple naming conventions are in evidence.

Date Range: c. 1987 - c. 1999, includes undated material
Provenance: Irving Saulwick