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COLLECTION Identifier: Arch GA 5.0

George P. Baker papers

This collection documents the professional and personal activities of Harvard Business School Dean George P. Baker. Types of materials include consulting records; speeches; writings; teaching files; photographs; research materials; transportation timetables; and course work from Baker's time as a student at Harvard Business School.


  • 1917-1989

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Some materials may be stored offsite; access requires advance notice. HBS Archives collections require a secondary registration form, please contact for more information.

Restricted material has been identified and separated. Note that box and folder lists of restricted material have been redacted. See Archivist for more information.


13 linear feet (13 volumes, 26 boxes)

The collection reflects the teaching and consulting career of former Dean of Harvard Business School, George P. Baker. The teaching series documents the numerous cases Baker developed and used in his courses at Harvard Business School. The consulting series reflects Baker’s work to improve the relationship between government and business in the field of transportation. The writing and speeches given by Baker elaborate on his ideas about this relationship and his vision about the future of Harvard Business School. Baker wanted Harvard Business School to be internationally competitive while admitting a broader range of students into the study of business.

The collection also includes notebooks from Baker’s early years as a student at Harvard; railroad, airline, bus and boat timetables spanning approximately a twenty year period (1926-1948); photographs; and annotated research materials such as reports, books, articles, journals and pamphlets.

Biographical Note:

George P. Baker, an accomplished scholar of transportation, railroads and education, was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on November 1, 1903. His father was a noted professor of Literature at Harvard University and Yale University for many years. Baker earned his BA from Harvard College in 1925 and his MS and PhD from Harvard University in 1930 and 1940, respectively. Baker began his teaching career at Harvard in 1928 as an instructor of Economics in the Division of History, Government and Economics but joined the faculty of Harvard Business School as an Assistant Professor of Transportation in 1936.

During World War II, Baker left the Harvard Business School to work for the government. He held several positions during this period which included serving as a Colonel in the Army, and as director of the Office of Transportation and Communications Policy at the State Department (1945-1946). In addition, Baker served on the Civil Aeronautics Board for two years, participated in the Bermuda Civil Aviation Conference which created an international agreement for worldwide air transport rights, and was director of the Mobilization Analysis Center which coordinated all military research projects at Harvard Business School. In 1946 Baker rejoined the faculty at the Harvard Business School as the James J. Hill Professor of Transportation.

In 1953, George P. Baker became the director of the Doctoral Program, a position he held until 1958. During this time, he also served as the president of Transportation Association of America, an organization comprised of executives from major transportation industries in America such as railroads, trucking companies, pipelines and air and water transport services. Baker also held various other consulting positions at Mobil Oil Company, American Research and Development, United Parcel Service of America, the President’s Commission of Postal Organization and the President’s Advisory Council on Executive Organization.

In 1962, Baker was named Dean of Harvard Business School and he immediately focused on improving the School’s academic and administrative performance. Under his leadership, the school converted from a two to three term year in addition to changing the admissions and recruiting process of the School to include a wider range of students such as women and minorities. He also wanted to offer more financial aid options for students with heavy undergraduate debt and develop a joint program with other business graduate schools to ensure that the doctoral program at the School would continue to be well-funded and competitive.

In 1969, Baker resigned as Dean of Harvard Business School. On May 20, 1970 Baker Hall, the new home of the Executive Training Program, was dedicated to the former Dean. George P. Baker died in 1995.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:
  1. Series I. Harvard Business School Teaching Files, 1927-1957
  2. Series II. Writings and Speeches, 1940-1987
  3. ___Subseries A. Speeches, 1958-1969
  4. ___Subseries B. Writings, 1940-1987
  5. Series III. Research Files, 1917-1967
  6. Series IV. Consulting Files, 1940-1968
  7. Series V. Biographical and Personal Papers, 1920-1989
  8. ___Subseries A. General Subject Files, 1934-1989
  9. ___Subseries B. Student Files, 1922-1931
  10. Series VI. Timetables, 1926-1948
  11. ___Subseries A. Airlines, 1930-1948
  12. ___Subseries B. Boats, 1928-1937
  13. ___Subseries C. Buses, 1926-1930
  14. ___Subseries D. Railroads, 1926-1947
  15. ___Subseries E. Oversized Timetables, 1929-1939
  16. Series VII. Photographs, 1926
  17. Series VIII. Personal Financial Records, 1931-1936 (Restricted)

Related Materials:

Printed material from the collection has been integrated into the Baker Old Class collection in Historical Collections at Baker Library. These materials relate to George P. Baker's research on aviation, railroads and air and water transportation and include government and corporate reports, books, serials, articles and pamphlets.

Contact the Archivist for records related to George P. Baker's tenure as Dean of the Harvard Business School.

Processing Information

Processed: August 2006

By: Dominique Tremblay
Link to catalog
Baker, George P. (George Pierce), 1903-. George P. Baker Papers, 1917-1989: A Finding Aid
Baker Library

Repository Details

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

Baker Library Special Collections 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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