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Arch GA 41

Isaacs, Nathan, 1886-1941. Nathan Isaacs Papers, 1915-1941: A Finding Aid

Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University


Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Arch GA 41
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Creator: Nathan Isaacs, 1886-1941
Title: Nathan Isaacs papers
Date(s): 1915-1941
Quantity: 2.25 linear feet (5 boxes, 1 oversize folder, and 2 volumes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The collection documents the work of Professor Nathan Isaacs while teaching business law at the University of Cincinnati and Harvard Business School. The collection contains speeches, writings, correspondence, research notes and course materials.


Gift of Mrs. Nathan Isaacs, May 1970; additions gift of Paul Wotitzky, May 2008

Processing Information:

Processed: May 1994 by Carole Foster
Reboxed and re-foldered: September 2007 by Dominique Tremblay
Finding aid revised: June 2008 by Rachel Wise

Conditions Governing Access:

Access may be restricted. Details at the repository. Appointment necessary to consult collection.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Nathan Isaacs Papers. HBS Archives. Baker Library Historical Collections. Harvard Business School.

Biographical Note:

Professor Nathan Isaacs was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1886, one of eight sons of Abraham and Rachel Isaacs. He was a graduate of the University of Cincinnati (BA, 1907; MA, 1908; Ph.D., 1910) and Cincinnati Law School (1910). He became Professor of Law (1912-1918) at the University of Cincinnati and also served as Assistant Dean (1916-1918).
Professor Isaacs served as Captain of Military Intelligence during World War I. Soon after the war ended he joined Harvard University as an Ezra Ripley Thayer Teaching Fellow (1919-1920). He taught law at the University of Pittsburgh (1920-1923) and later joined Harvard Business School as Lecturer of Business Law (1923-1924) and Professor of Business Law (1924-1941). He was also a member of the faculty of the Harvard University Graduate School of Public Administration (1936-1941).
In addition to teaching, he was active in religious and civic organizations. He was appointed a director of Gimbel Bros., a department store in New York City (1933) and was elected member of the Advisory Council of the American Arbitration Association (1931). Professor Isaacs was married to Ella Davis and had one daughter. He died December 18, 1941.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

Scope and Content Note:

The papers of Nathan Isaacs (1886-1941) document his teaching career at the University of Cincinnati and Harvard Business School. The collection consists of course materials, articles, speeches, teaching notes, research notes, manuscripts and related ephemera.
Of particular note is a brief history of Business Law courses taught by Isaacs at HBS; records related to Business Law courses taught at the Yale-HBS degree program during the late 1930s; and typescripts, articles and speeches regarding contemporary legal and economic issues.

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