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Arch GA 88

Towl, Andrew Renwick, 1910-. Andrew R. Towl Papers, 1921-1974: 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 88
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Creator: Andrew Renwick Towl, 1910-
Title: Andrew R. Towl papers
Date(s): 1921-1974
Quantity: 20.5 linear feet (44 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The papers of Harvard Business School professor Andrew R. Towl include correspondence, teaching materials, research and writing, and administrative records.

Processing Information:

Processed: March 2004
By: Lisa Moorhead; revised Laura Williams, May 2009; Ben Johnson July 2010.

Conditions Governing Access:

Access may be restricted. Details at the repository. An appointment is necessary to consult collection.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Andrew R. Towl Papers. HBS Archives. Baker Library Historical Collections. Harvard Business School.

Biographical Note:

Andrew Renwick Towl was born in Nebraska to Mr. and Mrs. Roy N. Towl on December 8, 1910. He attended Muskingam College in Ohio and received his BA in Economics in 1932. In 1933, he received his MA, also in Economics, from Columbia University. From 1933-1934 Towl taught economics at the Municipal University of Omaha. Towl enrolled in graduate school at Harvard Business School and received his MBA in 1936. After completing his MBA, Towl accepted a position with the Provident Trust Company of Philadelphia. He stayed with this bank for eight years, working mainly with investment analysis and operations management. In 1944, Towl returned to HBS as a member of the faculty, and for 31 years was closely involved with the development and teaching of case studies. The positions he held during his tenure at HBS include: Research Fellow, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Assistant Director of Research, Director of Case Development, and Director of the Intercollegiate Case Clearing House. Towl supervised the collection of thousands of case studies and their distribution both within HBS and to business schools around the world. During his time at HBS, Towl had five temporary leaves of absence to conduct seminars, workshops, and case development programs in 37 countries throughout the world. In addition, Towl published numerous papers, articles, and books, including To Study Administration by Cases, published in 1969. Towl was considered a leading authority on the case method teaching and research. He retired from HBS in 1975.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

Scope and Content Note:

This collection is organized into five series that document Andrew Towl's work at Harvard Business School from 1944-1975. Most of the records in this collection relate to the collection and development of cases at HBS. Towl's correspondence files include communication with individuals, companies, and other universities regarding case teaching, writing, and collecting. Some of the companies and schools present in this collection include the American Brake Shoe Company, Boston University School of Nursing, the Jewel Tea Company, and Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Towl's research and writing records are also represented. These materials document several research projects, including two large and closely related projects: the Directors Study and the Executive Compensation Study. Records in this series include notes, project reports, drafts, and interviews. Some of the companies involved in these projects include the Standard Oil Company, United Fruit Company, General Foods Corporation, and the Lincoln Electric Company.
Towl's administrative roles at HBS, including those involving case development, distribution, and research are also documented. The administrative and Executive Education records series include records of committees, memos, and budget information. Also present is a series of "Audograph" electronic soundwriter disks (audiographs) that contain recorded discussions of cases.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Business education.
Business -- History.
Business -- Study and teaching.
Case method -- History.
Case method -- Study and teaching.
Towl, Andrew Renwick, 1910-
American Brake Shoe Company.
Boston University. School of Nursing.
General Foods Corporation.
Harvard University. Graduate School of Business Administration -- Faculty.
Harvard University. Graduate School of Education.
Jewell Tea Company.
Lincoln Electric Company.
Standard Oil Company.
United Fruit Company.