Guide to the Arthur F. Burns Papers, 1911-2005 and undated, bulk 1940-1987
Austrian-born economist, policy maker, and diplomat; chair of U.S. Federal Reserve Board from 1970-1978 and economic advisor for six U.S. presidents.
The Arthur Frank Burns Papers cover the years 1911 through 2005. The bulk of the material was created between 1940 and 1987 and pertains to Burns's career as an economic advisor, particularly to Republican administrations, as the chair of the Federal Reserve, and as ambassador to Germany. The collection is arranged into seven series: Correspondence, Honors and Awards, Journals, Personal Papers, Photographs, Print Materials, and Research and Teaching. Topics of interest in this collection include but are not limited to: the United States economic system and fiscal policies; the Federal Reserve Board and related committees; recessions, unemployment, and inflation; the world economy and finance; the U.S. presidency during the time period; the Nixon presidency in particular, including the Watergate affair; presidential campaigns and elections; and diplomacy. There is a limited amount of research and teaching material, chiefly from the 1920s-1930s. The most significant component of the collection is the correspondence between Arthur Burns and Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Kennedy, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, as well as substantial exchanges with economists Milton Friedman and Wesley Clair Mitchell.
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
- Burns, Arthur F., 1904-1987.
- Arthur F. Burns Papers, 1911-2005 and undated, bulk 1940-1987
- Language of Material
- 18 Linear Feet, Approximately 2,353 Items
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Correspondence Series, 1911-1997 and undated
- Honors and Awards Series, 1965-2000 and undated
- Journals Series, 1969-1974
- Personal Papers Series, 1926-2003 and undated
- Photographs Series, 1958-1999 and undated
- Print Materials Series, 1929-2005 and undated
- Research and Teaching Series, 1927-1930 and undated
- Oversize Materials
The Arthur Frank Burns Papers cover the years 1911 through 2005. The bulk of the material was created from 1940 to 1987 and pertains to Burns's career as an economic advisor, particularly to Republican administrations, as the chair of the Federal Reserve, and as ambassador to Germany. The collection is arranged into seven series: Correspondence, Honors and Awards, Journals, Personal Papers, Photographs, Print Materials, and Research and Teaching. Topics of interest in this collection include but are not limited to: the United States economic system and fiscal policies; the Federal Reserve Board and related committees; recessions, unemployment, and inflation; the world economy and finance; the U.S. presidency during the time period; the Nixon presidency in particular, including the Watergate affair; presidential campaigns and elections; and diplomacy. There is a limited amount of research and teaching material, chiefly from the 1920s-1930s. The most significant component of the collection is the correspondence between Arthur Burns and Presidents Eisenhower, Nixon, Kennedy, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and George H. W. Bush, as well as substantial exchanges with economists Milton Friedman and Wesley Clair Mitchell.
The most substantial and notable papers are found in the Correspondence Series, which contains letters and memoranda written from 1911-1997 both to and from Burns and/or his wife, Helen. The series is organized into three subseries, Correspondence by Individual, Correspondence by Topic, and Correspondence to Mrs. Helen Burns. The majority of the exchanges in the first subseries are letters written to or by presidents or vice presidents (Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Spiro Agnew, Hubert Humphrey, and Nelson Rockefeller). Burns's correspondence with presidents Eisenhower and Nixon is particularly extensive and reveals the making of crucial policy decisions. Also included is Burns's correspondence with economists Wesley Clair Mitchell, Milton Friedman, and George Stigler. This subseries is organized alphabetically by correspondent and then chronologically.
High-value correspondence, including originals signed by presidents and some other notable correspondents, are separately stored and restricted to use except under direct staff supervision. Photocopies have been made for researcher use. Many of the letters have also been scanned and migrated to a library server; to request access to electronic copies, please contact a reference archivist in the Rubenstein Library before coming to use this collection.
The Correspondence by Topic subseries contains letters and attachments primarily related to Burns's work in academia, politics, and the private sector. Finally, the Correspondence to Mrs. Helen Burns subseries contains letters written by prominent figures such as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Mamie Eisenhower to Burns's wife, Helen, both during his life and after his death.
The Journals Series is comprised of photocopies of two handwritten notebooks (1969-1974) kept by Burns during the Nixon Administration. The journals provide invaluable insights into the economic concerns and policies of the Nixon administration as well as the personal and professional relations among the White House, Cabinet members, the president, and Burns.
The The Research and Teaching Series primarily pertains to the early portion of Burns's career as an economist, containing research materials from the late 1920s on certification standards and undated syllabi and exam questions. It is complimented by the Personal Papers Series, which contains materials memorializing Burns as well as personal correspondence, clippings, and other materials.
The Print Materials Series brings together lectures, statements, speeches, and articles from Burns's career as economist and ambassador; publicity items such as news clippings, interviews, commentaries, and articles about Mr. Burns; and program materials for the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship, an exchange program for German and U.S. media professionals established in 1988 with the purpose of increasing public knowledge and understanding in both countries.
The Photographs Series consists of over 1000 black and white and color photographs, including snapshots, close-ups, and publicity shots. The majority of the images were taken between 1962 and 1999 and depict Arthur and Helen Burns at various social and political occasions such as Arthur Burns's designation and termination of service ceremonies, lectures, speeches as ambassador, meetings with U.S. and foreign political figures, and trips to various international sites.
Finally, the Honors and Awards Series houses honorary degrees granted to Burns by various universities and awards presented to Burns by various organizations and countries.
The great majority of the Burns papers are in English, but there are a few items in French and German.
Collection is open for research. However, originals of high-value correspondence are restricted except for use under direct staff supervision. Patrons should use either CD-ROM surrogates or photocopies of originals.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48 hours to retrieve these materials for research use.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Organized into three subseries. The Correspondence by Individual Subseries contains correspondence and memoranda between Burns and presidents, vice-presidents, politicians, and prominent economists. The Correspondence by Topic subseries contains letters and attachments primarily related to Burns' work in academia, politics, and the private sector. Finally, the Correspondence to Mrs. Helen Burns subseries contains letters written by figures such as Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Mamie Eisenhower to Burns's wife, Helen, both during his life and after his death. High-value correspondence is also represented by digital surrogates that are available for use.
Although high-value correspondence can be accessed in several formats, the papers housed in boxes 1 and 2 are the only complete record of exchanges. These boxes contain copies of high-value correspondence along with their original attachments, originals of other correpondence, and onion-skin copies of Burns's out-going correspondence. Originals of high-value correspondence, without the corresponding attachments, are housed separately in box 3 and closed to use. Most of the letters from notable correspondents including presidents have also been scanned and migrated to a library server, but not all of the correspondence and attachments are represented. To request access to electronic copies, please contact a reference archivist in the Rubenstein Library before coming to use this collection.
Organized alphabetically by correspondent and then chronologically, the bulk of this subseries documents Burns's work with several presidential administrations. Correspondents include Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Spiro Agnew, Nelson Rockefeller, and Hubert Humphrey. The subseries also includes correspondence with his mentor, Wesley Clair Mitchell, and with his students, economists Milton Friedman and George Stigler. Burns's correspondence with presidents Eisenhower and Nixon constitute the most significant part of the subseries. These exchanges cover domestic economic matters such as recession, monetary and fiscal policies to regulate inflation and unemployment; international political and economic matters; and domestic political issues such as elections and party politics.
Abramovitz's correspondence to Burns discusses the editing of Abramovitz's monograph, his impressions of Washington, and the work of the War Planning Board.
Agnew's correspondence to Burns consists of routine notes expressing thanks for Burns's support and for having sent materials.
Bush's correspondence to Burns consists of routine notes expressing thanks for Burns's support and for having sent materials. Barbara Bush's handwritten well wishes are affixed to one note.
Burns continued to be the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board during the first year of the Carter administration. This correspondence documents Dr. Burns's work with the new administration especially on the matter of tax reform, along with budgetary issues and policies regarding OPEC. Burns presented his resignation to Jimmy Carter in January 1978. Included in the collection is a January 13, 1978 letter in which Carter accepts Burns's and expresses his appreciation of Burns's leadership of the Federal Reserve over the past eight years. The letters after January 1978 address non-economic issues such as Burns's receipt of the America's Democratic Legacy Award of the Anti-Defamation League and Carter's appreciation of Burns's support for his efforts in human rights. Two letters from Rosalynn Carter are also included.
From Rosalynn Carter to Burns.
From Rosalynn Carter to Burns.
Re: Burns's resignation as Chairman.
Executive order appointing Burns Acting Chairman.
News clipping from The New York Times re: Role of Federal Reserve in Carter-Ford debate.
Memo re: Carter.
Attached: Statement to House Banking Committee.
Memo re: conversation with Carter and Mondale regarding disagreement about state of the economy and press coverage of Burns's comments during Congressional hearings.
Attached: Memo on proposal to reduce inflation.
Memo re: Carter attaching clipping.
President's statement on inflation.
Attached: Memo on conversation with Vladimir Alkhimov, 1977 June 9.
Stephen S. Gardner to Burns. Attached: 3 items. Carter memo re: Civil Rights Act, 1977 July 20. Carter memo re: Handicapped people, 1977 July 21. Memo from Gardner, 1977 July 26.
Re: Burns's resignation as Chairman.
President's remarks at swearing in of G. William Miller as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
Burns acted as the Chairman of the Council of Advisors to the President (1953-1956), Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Small Business (1956), and a member of U.S. Advisory Council on Social Security Financing (1957-1958) during the Eisenhower Administration. He played an especially crucial role in steering the implementation of anti-recession policies. Even after he resigned from the Council of Economic Advisors, he continued to counsel the president on economic matters. Topics in the correspondence include economic issues such as how to combat recession/depression and inflation, unemployment, budget planning, taxes, government expenditure, monetary policy, value of the dollar, and gold reserves. The letters also address U.S. domestic politics and international relations, such as the situation in Vietnam and Cuba and the Mutual Security Program. Burns's correspondence with Eisenhower continued after his term as the President ended in 1961; the topic of the correspondence shifts to personal notes and exchanges on general economic models and policies, evaluation of the Eisenhower period economic policies and assessment, and expresses criticism of economic, political and foreign policies of the administrations of the time.
Burns's appointment letter as Economic Advisor to the President.
Order appointing Burns.
Attached: Letter from Burns to Eisenhower, 1953 Aug. 27.
Charges Union Leaders Plot to Run Nation with handwritten note signed D addressing it to Burns.
Memorandum for Dr. Burns. D. D. Eisenhower submits a copy of the report regarding the overall foreign economic policy of the country and expresses his concerns about the pace of Executive Departments and Agencies in proceeding with the plan in the report.
Attached: 3 items. Memorandum signed by Eisenhower for Burns marked SECRET, 1954 Feb. 1, regarding the measures that the government decided to employ to fight recession and prevent serious deflation and the role Burns is expected to play. Letter from Burns to Eisenhower, 1954 Feb. 8. Letter from True D. Morse to Burns, 1954 Feb. 1, regarding agricultural sector related public projects to be implemented.
Attached: Letter from Burns to Eisenhower, 1954 Apr. 16.
Attached: 2 items. Letter from Eisenhower to Ruth Caroll, 1954 Dec. 17. Letter from Ruth Caroll to Eisenhower, undated.
From Eisenhower's assistant to Burns.
From Secretary of the Treasury George M. Humphrey re: automobile industry.
Attached: Letter from Edgar Newton Eisenhower to Dwight Eisenhower, 1956 May 29, regarding the issues of budget and tax reform. Contains 2 copies of attached letter.
Re: The steel strike.
Re: Burns's meeting with Bill Martins and success in getting unanimous support for the Small Business Report.
Re: Economic tables created by Burns.
Re: Burns's resignation from public service.
Re: Burns's note on the chairmanship of the Cabinet Committee on Small Business and Dr. Saulnier's appointment as the chairman.
Re: Tax deductions.
Re: Burns's statement on lowering government expenditures.
From Bernard M. Shanley.
Re: Political support for the budget.
Re: A misunderstanding between Eisenhower and Burns.
Re: Fighting inflation.
Re: Burns's note on stock market activities.
Re: Difficulties encountered by the members of the American Economic Association in inviting two Russians to present papers at the association's convention.
Re: Political support for the budget.
From Sherman Adams.
From Robert Cutler. Attached: Memo regarding Mar. 3 meeting.
Re: Request that Burns write a letter to Time Magazine against the opposition's critiques regarding the recession.
Re: Opinions and expectations regarding the recession.
Re: Tax deduction.
Re: Burns's suggestions on a plan required for stimulating economic recovery.
Re: Tax reduction.
From Sherman Adams.
Re: Political support for tax reform.
From Assistant to the President.
Re: Gratitude for Burns's support for the Department of Defense Reorganization Plan. .
Re: Economic matters in the election campaign and governmental expenditures. Attached: Letter from Ezra Benson to Eisenhower, 1958 Sept. 26, regarding inflationary tendencies and budget deficit. Contains 2 copies of attached letter.
From Eisenhower's assistant to Burns regarding disagreement between Burns and Eisenhower on economic matters.
Eisenhower's comments on non-cooperation of unions.
From Gabriel Hague.
Re: Burns' suggestions on the budget and encouraging individual initiatives.
Re: National Unemployment Insurance and state relations with the federal government.
Re: Burns' conversation with a Russian economist about the United States' transition to a lower level of defense spending.
From Robert E. Merriam.
Re: 1960 election.
From Eisenhower's Deputy Assistant Bryce N. Harlow to Burns. Attached: Message dictated by Eisenhower to his Deputy Assistant and sent without signature to Burns because of urgency, 1960 May 14. Eisenhower states concerns about how a possible hindrance regarding the budget allowed to the "Mutual Security Program" would threaten defense alliance structures such as NATO and SEASO.
Re: Gold reserve policy and the Cuban fiasco.
Re: Mrs. Luce's public letter about the Cuban failure.
From Eisenhower's secretary, Ann Whitman, to Burns. Attached: 2 items. Letter from Eisenhower to Felix Edgar Wormser, 1961 Aug. 10. Letter from Wormser to Eisenhower, 1961 Aug. 8, regarding the gold crisis.
From Eisenhower's secretary, Ann Whitman, to Burns.
Re: Burns' letter to Mr. Nehru.
Re: Republican Party's financial troubles.
Re: Organizing shadow cabinet in every state controlled by Democrats.
Attached: 4 items. Cover note from Eisenhower's secretary, Ann Whitman, to Burns. Letter from Eisenhower to Burns, undated. Letter from Eisenhower to Andrew Baldwin. Letter from Baldwin to Eisenhower, 1962 Dec. 30, regarding plan to stabilize American industry.
Re: The first volume of Eisenhower's memoirs.
Re: Eisenhower's donation of his personal papers to the Eisenhower Library at Abilene and his request to Burns to donate his related personal papers to the same institution.
Re: Burns' decision to donate some of his personal papers to the Eisenhower Library at Abilene.
Attached: 2 items. Excerpt from Jacques Rueff's book The Age of Inflation. "Bulletin #503, Dollar Erosion" by M. Polyi. Contains copies of both items.
Attached: 2 items. Letter from Eisenhower to Walter Spahr, 1965 Feb. 12. Letter from Rusty Brown to Burns, 1965 Feb. 12.
Re: Eisenhower's view that historians would have a more favorable view on the economy policies of the 1950s than the 1960s.
Attached: Paper presentation by unidentified author, undated, regarding the problems of development in developing countries.
Attached: Article by W. L. White, "Why We Must Stop Inflation," undated.
Attached: 4 items. News clippings, "De Gaulle's Red Face," Philadelphia Inquirer, 1966 Dec. 5; "Amisted Dam-a Reminder," Philadelphia Inquirer, 1966 Dec. 5; "Unbridled Insurrection at Berkeley," Philadelphia Inquirer, 1966 Dec. 5.
Attached: Article by R. C. McCormic, "Pill Drill," undated.
Re: The Vietnam War and population growth.
Re: Eisenhower's comments on Burns' attached speech draft. Attached: Draft of Burns' speech, "The Defense Sector: An Evaluation of its Economic and Social Impact," with handwritten notes and comments by Eisenhower, 1967 Nov. 17.
From Brigadier General Robert L. Schulz, Executive Assistant to Eisenhower, to Burns.
Attached: 3 items. Letter from Eisenhower to Maurice Feldman, 1968 Feb. 8. Letter from Feldman to Eisenhower, 1968 Jan. 29. News clipping: "Eisenhower's Views on Travel Curbs," 1968 Jan. 28
Re: Unemployment figures.
To Sherman Adams.
Re: 1955 budget.
To Sherman Adams. Re: Kuykendall letter, private investment in power.
Re: Increase in minimum wage.
Re: Report of Cabinet Commission on Energy Supplies and Resource Policy.
To Sherman Adams. Re: Aircraft industry decline.
Re: August budget message. Attached: Historical table of political control.
To Major General Howard McSnyder.
Mamie Eisenhower's correspondence with Burns consists of notes of greeting, thanks, and condolence.
Re: Eisenhower's death.
Contains correspondence with renowned economist Milton Friedman that addresses theoretical debates, reactions to other economists' publications, academic posts and publishing, politics, personal matters, and critique and evaluation of each other's work.
From Frank Knight to Friedman with Friedman's handwritten note to Burns.
From Murray N. Rothbard to Burns with Friedman's handwritten note to Burns. Attached: Professor Nagel's reply to institutionalist criticism of economic theory.
Attached: 1959 Feb. 19 Friedman letter to Al.
From Friedman to William McChesney Martin with Friedman's handwritten note to Burns.
Burns continued to be the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board during the Ford Administration. Ford's correspondence to Burns primarily consists of routine notes of appreciation for Burns's work, for having sent materials, for his comments on economic matters, and for his donation to the Ford Library. Also included are invitations, congratulations, and notes of regret. Burns's side of the correspondence expresses ideas regarding economic matters such as the ongoing recession, Federal Reserve policies, and the Financial Reform Act.
Memo to agencies.
Attached: Letter from Ford to Charles Percy in support of nomination of Burns as ambassador to Germany, 1981 May 22.
To Herbert Stein. Attached: Memo for President re: Economic agenda.
Memo re: Expanded public service program.
Address of President to Joint Session of Congress.
Attached: CV of Philip C. Jackson Jr.
Attached: Letter from Ford to Burns, 1976 Sept. 23.
Attached: News clipping.
Humphrey's letters to Burns are notes of thanks for condolences after electoral defeat and for attending a reception.
In the letters, the President expresses his gratitude for Burns' advice regarding economic issues and for backing the administration's policies in Vietnam. Mr. Burns' activities as a Member of the President's Advisory Committee on Labor-Management Policy and his resignation from the committee in April 1966 are also addressed in the correspondence.
Re: Burns' resignation from the President's Advisory Committee on Labor Management Policy.
Kennedy's correspondence to Burns consists of routine notes of thanks for sending information on economic problems and for serving on the Labor-Management Committee.
Kuznet's correspondence to Burns discusses the work of Frank Knight and Albert Wohlstetter on the War Production Board. Topics covered include the analysis of World War I output, the analysis of business cycles, and work on national income problems.
Contains correspondence with Mitchell and his wife, Lucy Sprague Mitchell. Also included are articles by Mitchell, his obituary, eulogies, and correspondence regarding the dedication of a collection in his honor. Other letters authored by Mitchell can be found in the academic career and National Bureau of Economic Research folders - both in the Correspondence by Topic Subseries.
Arthur Burns was the economic advisor to Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign and acted as Counselor to the President (1969) for a year after the election. He was appointed Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve in February 1970. The Nixon-Burns correspondence sheds light on the controversial years of Nixon's presidency and illustrates disagreements within the government regarding monetary policy, Burns' resistance to the politicization of the Federal Reserve, and his complaints about the White House staff. Burns' personal journals, also part of this collection, provide important and complimentary insights to the issues addressed in the Burns-Nixon correspondence.
Re: Anti-Recession plan. Attached: 2 items. Letters from J. T. Moll to Nixon, 1958 May 15 and 1958 Apr. 2, both with carbon copies.
Re: Burns' critique of the administration's economic policies
Re: Nixon's decision about whether or not to run for governor of California.
Re: Nixon's request for Burns to make recommendations about individuals to be recruited by the new administration.
From Burns to Nixon expressing concern about the "official family" (some members of Staff and the Cabinet) and how harmful their leaking of stories to the media is to the Nixon administration. First page has Nixon's handwritten response at top.
From Pat Nixon to Burns.
Telegram to Thomas M. Macioce. Re: Presentation of Alexander Hamilton Medal to Burns.
Attached: News clipping, The New York Times, 1970 Sept. 22.
From Nixon to Pepperdine College, honoring Burns.
[SECRET] Memorandum for Connally, Burns, Shultz, McCracken, Peterson, and Flanigan. Nixon underlines that he does not want anymore speculation and leaks to public regarding important economic matters from the White House Staff
[EYES ONLY] Nixon's concerns about the political implications of the tight monetary policy of the FED. Nixon calls on Burns to review this policy
[EYES ONLY] Nixon's admonishing message concerning Burns'/FED's promise about the money supply. The letter has a handwritten note by Burns.
Re: Burns' support concerning measures against North Vietnamese invasion of South Vietnam.
Re: Nixon's visit to Moscow and enduring peace between USA and USSR
Re: Burns' memorandum on price policy.
Re: Latin American affairs.
Re: Election victory.
Re: Phase III of the Economic Stabilization Program and the Nixon Administration's determination to enforce the program and relevant price and wage control measures
Re: Economic Stabilization Program.
Re: Burns' visit to USSR.
The correspondence from Arthur Frank Burns to Nixon covers the period during which Dr. Burns acted as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and is comprised of letters and memoranda sent to the president. Major issues addressed in the correspondence are economic measures to be taken in order to fight inflation and recession, the monetary policy that the Federal Reserve should pursue in accordance with the Economic Stabilization Act, the issue of wage and price controls, the gold crisis, the value of the dollar, and policies that the administration should implement concerning the international monetary situation. The letters provide important insights into the disagreements between the Nixon Administration and Chairman Burns with regards to the issues of money supply, the extent and strictness of wage and price controls, and international monetary policy. The letters also address political matters such as Burns' opinions about domestic politics, his complaints about some White House staff, and the Watergate Scandal. International economic and political matters such as the Vietnam War, the policy of détente with the Soviet Union, and US relations with Latin American countries are also mentioned in the correspondence. Burns' handwritten journals, 1969-1974, found in the Journals Series in this collection, compliment this set of correspondence.
Attached: "How the Federal Reserve System Affects the Money Supply" .
Attached: Report, "Import Shares in Nonfood Goods and the Cut-Back in Defense Expenditures," prepared by Clayton Gehman, 1970 July 22.
Re: Refusal to join Nixon for his visit to Heath in London
Re: The tragic impact of "irresponsible trade unions" on the construction industry in Kansas City.
Attached: News clipping about the Fed's anti-inflation measures and Burns' comments on Nixon's statement reassuring "adequate money supply" in the market.
Attached: Memorandum from Geoffrey H. Moore, Commissioner of Labor Statistics regarding estimated impact of labor compensation increase on unemployment, 1971 Jan. 15.
Re: Secretary of Treasury, John Connally.
Re: Rowen Bart's story about his testimony in The Washington Post. Burns also complains about "well-meaning" but "ill-advised" public talks by White House officials whose statements are presented as indications of a conflict around the monetary policy between Burns and Nixon.
Re: Suspension of the David-Bacon Act.
[STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL] Burns' comments on the ongoing international crisis, suggesting that if the US has to suspend gold sales and purchases, it make it appear as if the US government was forced to do so by other governments' actions; otherwise, he argues, the US would have a weaker bargaining position in post-suspension negotiations. He also advises the government to "pay out gold and other reserves in substantial amounts," before a suspension.
Re: Opinion that the fiscal and monetary policies of the government were not as effective as expected.
Re: China-US relations.
Re: Suggestion that the "differences between us on matters of economic policy are really minor." .
Burns' notes on meeting with the President and labor groups.
Memorandum for the President, in which Burns details his suggestions to Nixon regarding international economic matters. Attached: Letter from Alexander P. Butterfield to Burns, 1971 Sept. 23.
Outline of Phase II strategy of economic stabilization program, and 90-day freeze of wages and prices.
Burns' notes on inflation speech.
Attached: Biographical summary of Carl J. Thomsen.
[Personal and Confidential] Burns' report to the President concerning his impressions of the IMF meeting.
Burns' notes on meeting with the president.
Re: Burns' meeting with leaders of the New York financial community concerning the weakness of the stock market.
Re: Nixon's inquiry about the money supply.
Attached: Resolution adopted at Executive Session of the Conference of Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen of the Federal Reserve Banks, 1971 Dec. 2.
Re: The figures on defense employment.
Burns' notes on meeting with the president.
Re: Nixon's concerns about the monetary policy. Burns assures him that the policy will promote economic expansion. Burns also states his doubts about estimated figures in the budget.
Re: Burns' support of the President's decision to bomb North Vietnam
Re: Burns' evaluation of the Democrats' success in the recent polls and his suggestion to Nixon about what needs to be done.
Attached: Memorandum on Price Policy, 1972 June 24.
Re: Burns' recent trip to Peru, Argentina, Brazil, and Venezuela. Burns addresses the economic and political situation in each country and comments on their economic and political relations with the US.
Re: Senate's failure to adopt the expenditure ceiling and its likely negative financial and monetary impacts.
Re: Achievements of the Committee on Interest and Dividends
Re: Concerns about the inflationary pressures in the next year
Re: Nixon's achievement of enduring peace in Vietnam. Also points to the rebellious mood of Congress about excessive executive powers. Burns suggests that Nixon meet with prominent Congressmen and Senators more frequently.
Re: Concerns regarding the Phase III of economic stabilization program. Attached: Report from the Division of Research and Statistic to Burns, "Prospects for Inflation Under Phase III; a Preliminary Analysis," 1973 Jan. 23.
Re: 45 day freeze of a broad range of prices.
Re: Support for Nixon regarding the Watergate incident.
Re: Discontent of the Vice President.
Re: Suggestions concerning fiscal, wage, and price policies
Re: Restrictive fiscal devices to fight inflation.
Re: Nixon's tone in his upcoming talk regarding Watergate and expression of doubt if his or any suggestions could work at the moment.
Re: Gratitude to Nixon for appointing Burns Alternate Governor of the Monetary Fund.
Re: Burns' visit to Russia.
Attached: 3 items. 2 copies of Burns' report to Nixon, "Assistance to the Housing Industry," 1974 Apr. 30. Burns' report to Nixon, "Public Service Employment Programs," 1974 May 1.
Statement by the President regarding combating inflation and price controls.
Re: Burns' visit to Russia.
Re: Short-term deposits.
Re: Nixon's address and farewell meeting.
Ronald Reagan's correspondence to Burns consists of five letters in which the president expresses his gratitude for Burns' appraisal of the administration's economic policies, his contributions to Reagan's office, and for acting as the Chairman of the International Monetary Policy Task Force.
Humphrey's letters to Burns are routine notes of thanks for friendship and sending materials.
Stigler's letters to Burns discuss academic posts, other economists, Milton Friedman, and personal matters.
Correspondents include Bob Dole, Warren Berger, and Helmut Schmidt.
From Dan Creamer.
From Eduardo Hornedo.
From Jacob K. Javits.
From Bob Dole regarding his nomination as the presidential candidate.
From Elizabeth MacDonald Manning. Attached memorandum: "Proposal for the Establishment of a Consultative Body in the Communications Area."
From Bert Lance.
From Warren Berger.
From Helmut Schmidt to Burns.
From Raymond Barre, President of France. Attached: English translation letter
To Reuven Shiloah in the Israeli Embassy.
To Elliot Nathan Stone.
To Jack Velcoff. Attached: Letter from Jack Velcoff to Burns, 1985 Mar 12
To Doug Coe. Attached: Letter from Coe to Burns, 1985 Dec. 9.
Mostly dating from Burns' early career as an economist, this subseries contains Burns' correspondence with other economists, university administrators, the Republican Party, and private sector businesses. Arranged alphabetically by topic and then chronologically within.
Contains correspondence related to Burns' early publications, application for a post at the University of Chicago, and the possibilities of posts at Harvard and Stanford Universities. Also included are letters of recommendation written for Burns by Wesley Clair Mitchell, Frank A. Ross, and Edwin Seligman. Correspondents include F.W. Taussig, J. van Walre de Burdes, Jacob Viner, Durand Spring, Norman Lombard, W.H. Spencer, Herbert Moore, E.S. Shaw, Frank Knight, and Theodore Schultz.
Contains correspondence and other documents related to Burns' post at Columbia University, including appointment letters, salary information, and leaves of absence.
Contains correspondence related to Burns' post in the Eisenhower administration. Topics include legislative proposals, economic reports, employment, taxation, and the National Highway Program. Correspondents include Sinclair Weeks, Henry O. Talle, Percival F. Brundage, Moses Abramovitz, Rowland Hughes, Bryce Harlow, Maxwell Rabbs, and Douglas R. Stringfellow.
Contains correspondence about the appointment and work of Burns and other economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Also included are letters of recommendation written for Burns. Correspondents include Edwin F. Gay, Wesley C. Mitchell, William J. Carsous, Maurice W. Lee, Solomon Fabricant, Moses Abramovitz, and Simon Kuznets.
Contains correspondence regarding columns written by Burns on various economic topics. Also includes notes, drafts, and clippings of columns. One heavily-edited draft of a column on business forecasts has been removed to Oversize Box 14.
[1 item removed to Oversize Box 14]
Contains correspondence regarding Burns' work in the private sector with companies such as Standard Oil, Salomon Brothers, Smith Barney, Calvin Bullock, IBM, Federated Department Stores, and Morgan Guaranty Trust. Correspondents include A.L. Williams, Henry Kaufman, Frank G. Zarb, and Fred Lazarus Jr.
Contains correspondence between Burns and the Republican National Committee regarding contributions and strategy. Also included is correspondence and clippings about Jewish support for calendar reform. Correspondents include Charles P. Taft, Val J. Washington, and Chauncey Robbins.
Contains correspondence and other documents related to Burns' post at Rutgers University, including appointment letters, salary information, and leaves of absence.
Contains letters written to Burns' wife, Helen, both before and after his death. Letters of condolence and remembrance predominate. Correspondents include Mamie Eisenhower, Richard and Pat Nixon, Barbara Bush, Ronald Regan, and Gerald and Betty Ford.
Attached: Public statement by Reagan re: Burns' death, 1987 June 26.
Attached: News clipping.
This box contains originals of high-value correpondence without the corresponding attachments or Burns's side of exchanges. Use copies of the letters contained in this box along with their original attachments are located in boxes 1 and 2.
The series contains Burns' honorary doctoral degrees, awards, and memorials from various national and international organizations.
[Item removed to Oversize Box 14]
[Original removed to Box 3]
[Item removed to Oversize Box 14.]
Images from the award ceremony are in the Photographs Series.
[Item removed to Oversize Box 12.]
Contains photocopies of two notebooks handwritten by Arthur Burns between January 20, 1969 and July 25, 1974, when Burns was acting as the Chairman of the Federal Reserve during the Nixon Administration. The journals are comprised of 235 pages, are chronologically ordered in seven folders, and are accompanied by transcripts. They provide invaluable insights into the economic concerns and policies of the period as well as the personal and professional relations among Burns and the White House staff, Cabinet members, and the President. Burns describes at length his interactions with and personal opinions about prominent political figures of the time such as Richard M. Nixon, John Connally, H. Robert Haldeman, John D. Ehrlichman, John N. Mitchell, Spiro Agnew, Henry Kissinger, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and George Shultz, among many others. The journals record Burns' changing opinions about President Nixon, including disagreements between Burns and the White House concerning issues such as monetary policy and wage and price controls, the Federal Reserve, and relations with international economic partners. Burns' writings also provide important insights into his and others' opinions regarding Watergate and the White House's response to it. Other topics include employment and presidential appointments. There are also entries that discuss the all-volunteer army, busing, community action programs, congressional testimony, energy, food stamps, the Headstart Program, housing, Job Corps, mass transit, malnutrition, model cities program, oil imports, revenue sharing, urban policy, welfare reform, and the Soviet immigration of Jews. There are often long time lapses between consecutive entries; however, Burns addresses the major developments during the time he did not write.
The journals in this collection are photocopied from originals housed at the Ford Library. Since Burns' handwriting is difficult to read, Ford Library staff created transcripts which were then edited by Arthur F. Burns' former secretary, Gail Veenstra. Each photocopied page is accompanied by a transcript. Some words still remain illegible and are identified with brackets; any additional editing by Duke Library Staff is in pencil.
Contains materials related to Burns' memorial service as well as personal correspondence, clippings, and other materials from his life, such as various versions of his CV, checks written to his father in the 1930s, a 1940 deposition regarding his legal name, and a two-dollar bill signed by Secretary of the Treasury William E. Simon. Also included is an audio recording of his memorial service in 1987. In original order as received.
Comprised of 1092 black-and-white and color photographs, chiefly of Mr. and Mrs. Burns. The photographs come in various sizes and vary from snapshots to professional portraits; many are mounted in souvenir photograph albums. They show Mr. and Mrs. Burns at social and political occasions such as service ceremonies, lectures, meeting with the U.S. and foreign political figures, and other social gatherings. There are also images taken during trips to international locations.
[Some materials removed to Oversize Box 14]
Composed of three subseries for writings, publicity, and materials related to the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship. The Writings Subseries is organized chronologically and includes lectures, public statements and addresses, reprints of articles, and bound volumes containing speeches he made as ambassador to Germany. The Publicity Subseries contains news clippings and articles, interviews, commentaries, and pieces published after his death. The Arthur F. Burns Fellowship (AFB) is an exchange program for German and U.S. media professionals; folders in this subseries are organized by topic and then chronologically.
Contains news clippings and articles related to Burns' career. Included are interviews, commentaries, and memorial articles and obituaries following his death. There are a few articles in German. In original order as received
[Some materials removed to Oversize Box 14.]
Organized by year, these materials provide general information about the program goals along with specific details about where each fellow was accommodated the previous year, and their reports and articles published in the course of their fellowship terms. Three issues of the Arthur F. Burns International Program newsletters are also included.
Contains undated syllabi and exam questions from economics courses taught by Burns and materials related to Burns' research on certification and labelling standards in the late 1920s. These materials include notes, correspondence responding to Burns' requests for materials, Department of Commerce publications, news clippings, book reviews, and academic articles. In original order as received.
Use copies of the communications contained in this box are located in Box 1 for researcher use.
Arthur Frank Burns, renowned economist, policy maker and diplomat, was born into an Austro-Hungarian Jewish family in Stanislau, Galicia (now part of Ukraine) in 1904. His family immigrated to the United States in 1914 and settled in New Jersey. In 1925 Burns received A.B. and A.M. degrees in economics from Columbia University. He worked under renowned economist Wesley Clair Mitchell and received his Ph.D. in economics from Columbia in 1934. Between 1926 and 1944 he taught at Columbia and Rutgers. He was named full professor at Rutgers University in 1943. Burns's economic thought was inspired by Keynes, yet he believed that the Keynesian model was simplistic and totalistic as, according to Burns, each industry had its own cycle, hence government intervention should be taken selectively and upon detailed statistical analysis. Burns joined the National Bureau of Economics as Research Associate in 1930; in later years he served as the Director of Research (1945-1953), President (1957-1967), and Chairman (1967-1968) of this institution.
Burns's political involvement with the Republican Party began with his support for Eisenhower in the 1952 election. Burns acted as the Chairman of the Council of Advisors to the President (1953-1956), Chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Small Business (1956), and as member of U.S. Advisory Council on Social Security Financing (1957-1958).
Burns was also an economic advisor to Nixon's 1968 presidential campaign and acted as Counselor at the beginning of his presidency (1969-1970). He was appointed Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve in February 1970 and held the position until March 1978. Meanwhile, he also served as the Head of the Committee on Interest and Dividends (1971-1974), a committee founded as part of Nixon's Economic Stabilization Program; as the U.S. Alternate Governor to the International Monetary Fund (1973-1978); and as a member of Emergency Loan Guarantee Board (1971-1978). The Nixon administration took over an economy in crisis, and Burns proposed a recovery program, which in the early days seemed to be effective. This period and Burns's reactions to its crises are well-documented in the correspondence and personal journals found in this collection. Between 1977-1981 and 1985-1987, Burns served as a distinguished scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy, where he taught and wrote. In 1981, Ronald Reagan appointed him U.S. Ambassador to the Federal Republic of Germany, a position he held until May 16, 1985. Burns passed away on June 26, 1987 in Baltimore, Maryland. Burns's theories have inspired many economists, including his renowned student Milton Friedman.
|1934||Production Trends in the United States Since 1870. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research|
|1946||Measuring Business Cycles. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research, with Wesley Mitchell|
|1952||Wesley Clair Mitchell: the Economic Scientist. New York: National Bureau of Economic Research|
|1957||Prosperity without Inflation. Buffalo: Smith, Keynes & Marshall|
Frontiers of Economic Knowledge. Princeton: University of Princeton Press
|1967||Full Employment: Guideposts and Economic Stability. Washington D.C.: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, with Paul Samuelson|
|1969||Business Cycle in a Changing World. New York: Columbia University Press|
|1978||Reflections of an Economic Policy Maker: Speeches and Congressional Statements, 1969-1978. Washington D.C.: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research|
- Burns, Arthur F. (Arthur Frank), 1904-1987.
- Bush, George, 1924-
- Carter, Jimmy, 1924-
- Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969.
- Ford, Gerald, 1913-2006.
- Friedman, Milton, 1912-2006.
- Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973.
- Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963.
- Mitchell, Wesley C. (Wesley Clair), 1874-1948.
- Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994.
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)
- Ambassadors--United States.
- Economists--United States.
- Elections--United States--History.
- Fiscal policy--United States.
- Inflation (Finance)--United States.
- Monetary policy--United States.
- Presidents--United States--Correspondence.
- Recessions--United States.
- Unemployment--Effect of inflation on--United States.
- Watergate Affair, 1972-1974.
- United States--Economic conditions--1945-
- United States--Economic policy.
- United States--Foreign policy.
- United States--History--1945-
- United States--Politics and government--1945-1989.
- Digital images.
- Machine-readable records.
- Arthur F. Burns Papers (Gerald R. Ford Library)
- Economists' Papers Project (Collection of notable economists' papers includes many individuals who served U.S. presidential administrations in various capacities.) (David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University)
[Identification of item], Arthur F. Burns Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
The Arthur F. Burns Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift from 2006 to 2010.
Processed by Yektan Turkyilmaz, December 2009, and Elizabeth Shesko, December 2010
Encoded by Yektan Turkyilmaz and Paula Jeannet Mangiafico, December 2009, and Elizabeth Shesko, December 2010
Accessions 2006-0050, 2007-0027, 2007-0144, 2008-0013, 2008-0031, 2009-0004, 2009-0171, and 2010-0210 were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.
Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and local Style Guide.
This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.