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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:78 1908-2014 S571

Muriel Siebert collection

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the personal and professional life of American businesswoman Muriel F. Siebert (1928-2013). The personal papers, which include a run of bound and loose personal calendars, desk calendars, and appointment books from 1965 to 2013, provide insight into Siebert’s hectic daily activities of meetings and events, luncheons and dinners, and her extensive and often complicated travel schedules. The bulk of the materials in the collection are Siebert’s professional papers, which provide insight into her rise from analyst to general partner in various securities firms; the challenges she faced during her tenure as New York Superintendent of Banks; her commitment to and involvement with a variety of groups, committees, associations, and other non-profit organizations; and her run for the U.S. Senate. The collection also includes materials related to Muriel Siebert & Co. and to the two programs that were deeply important to Siebert: the Personal Finance Program and the Siebert Entrepreneurial Philanthropic Plan (SEPP). The collection also includes Siebert’s writings and appearances on radio and television, reflecting her extensive knowledge on the topics of finance, banking, the stock market, and the role of women in business.

Materials in this collection include correspondence, underwriting agreements, testimonies, speech material, newspaper clippings, articles, press releases, promotional materials, scrapbooks, photographs, research reports, ephemera, certificates and honorary degrees, and audiovisual materials.

Dates

  • 1908-2014

Creator

Language of Materials

Collection is predominantly in English; materials in Spanish, French, Hebrew, and German are identified at the folder level.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Researchers must complete the Application for the Use of the Muriel Siebert collection prior to accessing materials. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information on access procedures and reproduction services.

Conditions Governing Access

Restricted material has been identified in this collection. All folder titles of restricted material have been redacted.

Conditions Governing Access

Users can request access to digital materials in this collection. See folder or item level notes for additional information.

Conditions Governing Use

In many cases, Baker Library does not hold the copyright to the materials in its collections. Researchers are responsible for determining copyright status and identifying and contacting any copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish content from collections. Baker Library staff have included the names of third-party copyright holders at the folder and item level when known.

Extent

138.5 linear feet (185 boxes, 27 cartons, 1 volume, 1 folder)
1.3 Gigabytes (361 born-digital files in multiple formats)

Biographical / Historical

Muriel F. Siebert (1928-2013) was an American businesswoman, philanthropist, and lifelong advocate for women and business, financial education, and small business ownership. The daughter of Dr. Irwin J. (Jackson) Siebert (1891-1949), a dentist and inventor, and Margaret (Roseman) Siebert (1896-1977), Muriel Siebert was born September 12, 1928 in Cleveland, Ohio. She attended Western Reserve (now Case Western Reserve University) for two years but dropped out to move to New York City. Living with her sister Elaine when she first arrived in New York City, Siebert eventually landed a position with Bache & Co. (1954-1957), where she started out as a trainee in the research department and was eventually promoted to Securities Analyst and Industry Specialist in charge of airlines, motion pictures, and investment trusts. She then joined Selig Altschul (1957-1958) and then moved onto Shields & Co. (1958-1960) and Stearns & Co. (1960-1962), eventually becoming one of the first woman general partners of the firm. After Stearns & Co., Siebert moved onto Finkle & Co. (1962-1965) and then Brimberg & Co. (1965-1967). She was promoted to General Partner during her tenure in both firms.

On December 28, 1967, Siebert made history when she bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and became the first woman member. Muriel Siebert & Co. was incorporated on June 16, 1969. In 1975, the first day that the New York Stock Exchange member firms were permitted to negotiate commissions, Muriel Siebert & Co. became one of the first to announce that it would become a discount brokerage firm. It eventually became one of the world’s largest discount brokerage firms. Siebert took a leave from her firm in 1977 to serve five years as Superintendent of the Banks of New York. During this time the firm was in a blind trust and when Siebert resigned as Superintendent in 1982 to run for U.S. Senate and subsequently lost, she came back to the firm and had to rebuild it.

In addition to overseeing the operations of Muriel Siebert & Co., Siebert was active in both professional and civic activities. She had long-term relationships with and personal involvement in a variety of groups, committees, associations, and other non-profit organizations that she was a member of, was involved with, or was solicited to speak at or attend. As a dedicated supporter of advancing women’s leadership in business and finance, Siebert was a charter member of the Women’s Forum, was a founding member of the International Women’s Forum, and helped found the Committee of 200, a networking organization for women in business. She was a featured lecturer at several schools and universities including Harvard Business School, The New School of Social Research, and Boston, Massachusetts based Simmons College (now Simmons University), and was frequently sought out and interviewed for pieces in print, television and radio.

As a proponent of financial fluency and empowerment, in 1999 Siebert developed The Personal Finance Program. It began as a financial-management-skills program taught in New York City high schools, but eventually expanded to other states and was taught to a range of audiences including middle school students and adults, often in cooperation with other non-profit organizations. She also established the Siebert Entrepreneurial Philanthropic Plan (SEPP) in 1990 with the idea of giving charities chosen by institutional investors affiliated with Muriel Siebert & Co. one-half of the firm’s profits from selling new issues of securities.

Siebert died in New York City on August 24, 2013.

Arrangement

There are 11 series in this collection: Personal and Professional Papers; Senate Campaign Records; Writings; Interviews; Muriel Siebert & Co. Records; Muriel F. Siebert Foundation Records; Scrapbooks; Photographs; Visual Materials; Awards and Recognition; and Audiovisual Materials.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

This collection contains digital material. You may need specialized software to access, render, or use these files. Baker Library Special Collections and Archives can provide software that will render a majority of file types on a computer in the de Gaspé Beaubien Reading Room.

Physical Location

MANU

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Muriel Siebert Collection (M-20-010) was received by Baker Library Special Collections as a donation from the Muriel Siebert Foundation, Inc. in 2019.

Processing Information

Processed: August 2023 By: Mary Samouelian and Ben Johnson

Processing Information

56 audiovisual and digital media objects were deaccessioned from the collection for various reasons including duplicative materials, inability to capture content, and content that was out of scope. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information.

Processing Information

Baker Library Special Collections contracted with an external vendor to digitize materials in this collection. See item level notes in Series XI: Audiovisual Materials for additional information.

Processing Information

Baker Library Special Collections and Archives staff extracted digital materials from storage media when possible. Staff surveyed files and screened them for privacy and confidentiality concerns. Following internal policy, staff did not retain deleted files, operating system and program files, or unallocated space data. The original storage media have been deaccessioned.

Language of description
eng
EAD ID
bak01593

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections and Archives, Harvard Business School Repository

Baker Library Special Collections and Archives holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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