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Arch GA 9

Borden, Neil, 1895-1980. Papers, 1925-1982: 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 9
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Neil H. Borden papers
Date(s): 1925-1982
Date(s): 1925-1962
Quantity: 9.75 linear feet (18 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The Neil H. Borden papers document Professor Borden's research and teaching as a faculty member of Harvard Business School, his research on advertising, and records of his consulting work.


The Neil H. Borden papers (GA 9) were received by Baker Library Special Collecions as a gift from Neil H. Borden in 1962.

Processing Information:

Processed: March 2017
By: Brigid Black

Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. HBS Archives collections require a secondary registration form, please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Neil H. Borden Papers. HBS Archives. Baker Library, Harvard Business School.

Biographical Note:

Neil Hopper Borden was a pioneer in the field of advertising, who, during his tenure as a professor at Harvard Business School (HBS), was influential in the introduction of scientific based study of advertising. Born in Boulder, CO he received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Colorado in 1919 and an MBA from HBS in 1922. He was hired by HBS as an Assistant Professor in 1925. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 1928 and full Professor with tenure in 1938; a position he held until his retirement in 1962. In addition to teaching, Borden was a prolific writer, authoring numerous articles and monographs during his time at HBS including Problems in Advertising, published in 1927. He is most closely identified with The Economic Effects of Advertising, published in 1942. This was his most noteworthy work and greatly influenced the study of advertising after its publication. Borden also provided consulting work on advertising and legal matters for a myriad of organizations as well as giving speeches around the world. Borden died in 1982.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection documents Professor Neil H. Borden's research and teaching at Harvard Business School as well as his research, writings, speeches, and consulting work. His research emphasized the role of advertising as a driving force in business and illustrates the expansion of the role of advertising in the teaching of business. Materials include correspondence, notes, consulting reports, speeches, publications, advertising clippings and surveys, as well as a small amount of teaching notes for classes he taught abroad and a film focused on marketing.
The collection covers his time at Harvard Business School, beginning in 1925 through shortly after his retirement in 1962. The bulk of the materials falls during the time of his full professorship (1938-1962).
Of particular interest is a collection of advertisements dating from the 1930s. The advertisements were collected by Professor Borden and his MBA students during the research stage of writing The Economic Effects of Advertising and cover a wide variety of products which were prominent during this time period. Also of note are the records related to Borden's consulting work which cover the entire period from the 1920s until the 1960s in a variety of industries including agriculture, automobile, oil, and government agencies. Professor Borden was a sought after consultant on matters of advertising, and worked with private firms and on legal cases.
The collection is arranged into six series: I. Correspondence and Subject Files, II. Teaching Material and Advertising Research, III. Speeches, IV. Consulting Work, V. Publications, VI. Biographical Material.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Business education.
Harvard University. Graduate School of Business Administration--Faculty
Advertising--Study and teaching