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COLLECTION Identifier: Arch GA 4.11

Robert N. Anthony papers

The Robert N. Anthony papers document his professional work as a consultant,writer and professor at the Harvard Business School.


  • 1941-2002

Conditions Governing Access

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

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Restricted material has been identified and separated. Note that box and folder lists of restricted material have been redacted.

Digital use copies in this collection can only be accessed onsite in the de GaspéBeaubien Reading Room. To request access please contact prior tovisiting the library.


40 linear feet (1 volume, 93 boxes, 1 carton)

13.1 Megabytes (1,445 files from 66 floppy disks)

The papers of Robert Newton Anthony, the Ross Graham Walker Professor of Management Control at Harvard Business School, document his teaching, research and consulting work related to management control and accounting. The collection dates from1941-2002 and the bulk of the materials date from the 1960s and 1970s during thedeanships of Stanley F. Teele and George P. Baker.

The records document Robert N. Anthony’s personal and professional activities asprofessor, consultant, and writer of a number of books and articles in the area ofmanagement control. The collection includes autobiographical material,correspondence, certificates and awards, research and class notes, speeches andarticles, class syllabi, book reviews and outlines, appointment calendars, andaudio-visual materials. In addition, records from Anthony's memberships in a variety of professional organizations are represented.

Of particular interest are research and writing records related to a data processingstudy conducted by Anthony in the mid-1950s. These records chronicle Anthony's workin understanding data processing technology in order to incorporate it into the HBS curriculum. Also of interest are material for a book on research and development spending patterns among major American manufacturers.

Biographical Note:

Robert Newton Anthony was born in 1916 in Orange, Massachusetts, and graduated from Colby College in 1938. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1940 and joined the faculty the same year working with his former professor, Ross Graham Walker. Anthony served in the U.S. Navy from 1941-1946 and rejoined HBS following World War II. He earned his Doctorate of Commercial Science from HBS in 1952 and inJuly 1956, became a full professor. In 1957 he moved to Lausanne, Switzerland toteach at IMEDE (Institut pour l'étude des méthodes de direction de l'entreprise). Hewas one of the original faculty members. Upon his return to HBS, Anthony resumed his faculty duties and became the first Ross Graham Walker Professor of Management Control in 1963.

From 1965-1968 Anthony took a leave of absence to serve as the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) where he developed a new expense accounting system for theDepartment of Defense. He resumed his teaching in 1968, and became a Professor Emeritus in 1982.

Along with his teaching, Anthony served as an expert witness and consultant in thearea of control to a variety of industrial companies and government agencies. He edited accounting textbooks for Richard D. Irwin, and held leadership positions in such organizations as the American Accounting Association, National Association of Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Financial Accounting Standards Board.

Professor Anthony authored or co-authored many books on control processes, and served on the boards of his alma mater, Colby College, as well as Warnaco, Inc., Carborundum, and the Lexington Savings Bank.

He died in 2006 in Hanover, New Hampshire.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:
  1. Series I. Correspondence and Subject Files, 1942-1993
  2. ___Subseries A.1942-1984
  3. ___Subseries B. 1965-1993
  4. ___Subseries C.Personal Chronological File, 1965-1982
  5. Series II. Teaching Records, 1941-1996
  6. Series III. Research and Writing Records, 1950-2002
  7. ___Subseries A.Speeches and Articles, 1952-1991
  8. ___Subseries B. BookMaterials, 1950-1991
  9. ______i. The CornWet-Milling Industry : A Study in Inter-IndustryCompetition, 1950-1951
  10. ______ii. Spending for IndustrialResearch, 1951-1953
  11. ______iii. Other Books,1955-1991
  12. ___Subseries C. Other Research,1953-1986
  13. ___Subseries D. Bound Volumes,1950-2002
  14. Series IV. Outside Work, 1948-1992
  15. Series V. Microfilm, 1976-1978
  16. Series VI. Audio-Visual Material, 1954-1978


Gift of Robert N. Anthony in 1964, December 1980, August 1982, September 1982, May 1988, April 1990, June 1992, August 1996, June 1998, and January 2007.

Related Material:

Papers from Robert N. Anthony's time as Assistant Secretary of Defense are at the Johnson Presidential Library.


Records relating to Robert N. Anthony's administrative work on the MBA StudyCommittee and the Doctoral Faculty have been removed to their respective collections- MBA Study Committee (AA 210) and Doctoral Faculty: Special Field Definitions (AA119). This material may be restricted. Contact Archivist for more information.

Processing Information

Processed: February 1994

By: Carole Foster

Revised: August 1996

By: Carin Casey

Revised: October 2003

By: Lisa Moorhead

Revised: November 2007

By: Dominique Tremblay

Digital content on physical storage media has been extracted when possible. Files were surveyed, screened for privacy and confidentiality concerns, and transferred to secure storage. Content open for research is described at the series and folder levels below.
Link to catalog
Anthony, Robert N., 1916-2006. Robert N. Anthony Papers, 1941-2002: 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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