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Arch GA 77

Roorbach, George B. (George Byron), 1878-1934. George B. Roorbach Papers, 1909-1934: A Finding Aid

Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University


Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Arch GA 77
Repository: Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Creator: George Byron Roorbach, 1878-1934
Title: George B. Roorbach papers
Date(s): 1909-1934
Quantity: 2 linear feet (2 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The papers of George B. Roorbach consist of teaching materials, writings, general files, and research notes.

Processing Information:

Processed: February 1998
By: Jeff Mifflin

Conditions Governing Access:

Appointment necessary to consult collection.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: George B. Roorbach Papers. HBS Archives. Baker Library Historical Collections. Harvard Business School.

Biographical Note:

George Byron Roorbach was born in Herkimer County, New York, in 1878 and died in Washington, D.C., in 1934. He received a Bachelor's degree from Colgate College in 1903 and a Master's degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1912.
Roorbach was a high school principal and a science teacher before accepting a post as Instructor in Geography at the University of Pennsylvania in 1909. From 1914-1919 he was Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1909 he came to Harvard Business School, where he served as Professor of Foreign Trade, a position he retained until his death 15 years later.
Roorbach served in many capacities as a consultant for the U.S. Government. In 1918 and 1919 he was a member of the special commission assigned to work out Shipping Board problems. In 1921 he was an advisor to the Tariff Commission. In 1922 he served as Chief of the Research Division of the U.S. Department of Commerce. At the time of his death he was embracing new responsibilities as a special advisor on foreign trade for the U.S. Department of State.
In addition to his teaching and consulting positions, Roorbach carried out an investigation of foreign trade in the Far East for Harvard's Bureau of International Research from 1926-1927. In 1915 he investigated financial conditions in Venezuela for the Carnegie Endowment.
Roorbach's special expertise was in Importing and Foreign Trade. He was the author of Import Purchasing Principles and Problems (1927), The International Trade Situation (1921), and Problems in Foreign Trade (1933).

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

Scope and Content Note:

Researchers interested in Roorbach's perspectives on the relationship between geographic factors and commerce will find pertinent information in Series I, III, and IV. His interest in and ideas concerning foreign trade are reflected in correspondence in Series I as well as research notes in Series II, teaching notes in Series III, and writings in Series IV.
Aside from HBS teaching notes in Series III, Roorbach's activities at HBS are not well-represented in the collection. However, his correspondence with Dean Wallace Donham regarding curriculum change (Series I) is of considerable interest.
Roorbach's commitment to securing international agreements about uniform statistics for international trade is well documented by correspondence in Series I.

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