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COLLECTION Identifier: Arch GA 9

Neil H. Borden papers


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.


  • 1925-1982
  • Majority of material found within 1925-1962


Language of Materials

Materials are entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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


9.75 linear feet (18 boxes)

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.

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.

Physical Location



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

Borden, Neil, 1895-1980. Papers, 1925-1982: A Finding Aid
Baker Library
Language of description

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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