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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 634

Records of Bass and Howes, Inc., 1957-2002 (inclusive), 1986-2002 (bulk)


Records of Bass and Howes, Inc., a public policy consulting and lobbying firm founded in 1986, include administrative, financial, client, and subject files; photographs; audiotapes; videotapes; and memorabilia.


  • Creation: 1957-2002
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1986-2002

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Files containing personnel information, job applicant evaluations, or information regarding specific monetary donations are closed for a period of 80 years from the most recent year within the file or group of files: #3.6-3.11, 3.19-4.18, 75.4 are closed until January 1, 2083; #111.12 is closed until January 1, 2081; #191.1-191.2 are closed until January 1, 2080; #196.6 is closed until January 1, 2081; #256.17 is closed until January 1, 2073; #259.3 is closed until January 1, 2077. Most files for the Coalition for Women's Appointments (#90.12-92.11) are closed until January 1, 2044. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the records created by Bass and Howes, Inc. is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Records may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


118.6 linear feet ((283 + 1/2 file boxes, 1 card file box) plus 1 folio+ folder, 1 oversize folder, 1 supersize folder, 13 photograph folders, 14 audiotapes, 11 videotapes, 8 objects, electronic records)

The Bass and Howes records contain administrative, financial, client, and subject files, as well as audiovisual material and memorabilia. While administrative files and financial records offer insight into the internal operations of Bass and Howes, client files make up the majority of material in this collection. Original folder titles were retained; information in square brackets was added by the processors.

Series I, ADMINISTRATIVE, 1982-2002 (#1.1-17.4), contains files relating to the company's internal functionings, as well as its outreach and public relations efforts.

Subseries A, General, 1989-2002 (#1.1-5.4), includes by-laws and a shareholder agreement, as well as personnel files. General chronological files contain letters regarding various subjects, including marketing and client work. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries B, Marketing, proposals, and contracts, 1982-2002 (#5.5-17.4), contains materials relating to Bass and Howes' promotion, marketing, and public relation efforts. Included are correspondence; research materials; reports; conference proceedings; and articles and clippings regarding its work exploring business opportunities, networking, and promotion. The subseries contains proposals to various organizations, completed contracts, Bass and Howes promotional brochures and booklets, and transcripts or notes of presentations and speeches. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Series II, FINANCIAL, 1978-2002 (#17.5-77.4), contains financial information reflecting the growth and development of the Bass and Howes company from their founding in 1986 to their purchase by DDB Worldwide in 2002. Additional material received as electronic files will be reformatted at some future date for inclusion in this series.

Subseries A, General, 1986-2002 (#17.5-36.19), contains general financial information, including reports and statements, payroll information, tax documents, lobbying reports, general ledgers, and other spreadsheets. Also included is documentation regarding charitable contributions and events and conferences attended. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Subseries B, Client financials, 1978-2002 (#37.1-74.7), contains primarily client invoices and expenses, some of which provide details of the work completed by Bass and Howes. There are also more extensive financial files for the National Women's Education Fund (Women's Vote Project), Reproductive Health Technologies Project, and the Society for the Advancement of Women's Health Research. These client files may include reports, payroll summaries, income and expense statements, general ledgers, etc. Files are arranged alphabetically by client name.

Subseries C, Merger, 1997-2002 (#74.8-77.4), contains documentation created or collected by Bass and Howes in preparation for the purchase of the company by DDB Worldwide. Included are copies of client contracts, and extensive financial information, personnel data, correspondence, and Bass and Howes board minutes. Of note are signed agreements, including the asset purchase agreement and documentation regarding the name change of Bass and Howes to BHF, Inc. Files are arranged alphabetically.

Series III, CLIENT FILES, 1957-2002 (#77.5-274.11), contains working files and general information regarding various clients. Bass and Howes contracted with numerous organizations and completed a variety of projects. There are extensive files for the Family Violence Prevention Fund; National Breast Cancer Coalition; Reproductive Health Technologies Project, which Bass and Howes managed and directed; and the Women's Vote Project. Client files may include contracts; correspondence; meeting minutes and notes; printed materials; research materials, articles, and clippings about the client organization or the subjects for which the clients advocate; reports; press packets and marketing materials; legislative information and related congressional actions; project and event planning files; and contact and other mailing lists. Client files are arranged alphabetically by client name or project name. Some files are arranged chronologically within client groups.

Series IV, SUBJECT FILES, 1979-2001 (#275.1-285.5), contains topic files arranged alphabetically in two subseries by record creator.

Subseries A, Marie Bass, 1979-1990 (#275.1-281.14), contains the alphabetical subject files of Marie Bass and includes correspondence, notes, and research material.

Subseries B, Joanne Howes and/or Jennifer Long, 1988-2001 (#282.1-285.5), contains the subject files of Joanne Howes and/or Jennifer Long and also includes correspondence, notes, and general research material regarding various subjects of interest to the work of Bass and Howes.

Series V, PHOTOGRAPHS, AUDIOTAPES, AND VIDEOTAPES, 1980-2000 (#PD.1-PD.13; T-375.1 - T-375.14, Vt-180.1 - Vt-180.11), contains audiovisual material arranged in three subseries by format.

Subseries A, Photographs, 1980-1996, n.d. (PD.1-PD.13), includes images of Bass and Howes staff; client event photographs; publicity shots of Marie Bass, Joanne Howes, and Nanette Falkenberg; photographs of rallies; and images of national political figures including William (Bill) Jefferson Clinton and Ted Kennedy.

Subseries B, Audiotapes, 1988-2000, n.d. (T-375.1 - T-375.14), includes interviews and panel discussions regarding health issues and politics.

Subseries C, Videotapes, 1984-1996, n.d. (Vt-180.1 - Vt-180.11), contains news segments, educational videos, and promotional spots for the National Diabetes Research Foundation, Women's Educational Media, and the Women's Vote Project.

Series VI, MEMORABILIA AND OVERSIZED, 1984-1997, n.d. (#285.6m, F+D.1, OD.1, SD.1), contains buttons from various Bass and Howes clients; and oversized material, including marketing campaign posters and financial spreadsheets, removed from throughout the collection.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].


A public policy and public affairs consulting firm, Bass and Howes, Inc. (referred to hereafter as Bass and Howes) was founded by political consultants Marie Bass and Joanne Howes in Washington, D.C., in 1986. As the former national campaign director for ERAmerica and a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Marie Bass and Joanne Howes brought together over 30 years of experience to form Bass and Howes, Inc. While it operated largely in a male-dominated field, Bass and Howes came to be centrally involved in most of the key women's policy issues of the 1980s and 1990s, including reproductive rights, women's health, family and medical leave, domestic violence, and women in politics. With offices in Washington, D.C., and New York City, Bass and Howes worked with clients including the National Women's Law Center, National Breast Cancer Coalition, and Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health among many others. Bass and Howes provided its clients with services including grassroots organizing and network building around progressive issues; electoral strategies and programs for political action committees; policy research, action, and development; services for candidates and public officials; resource development and fundraising; planning and carrying out conferences and symposia; writing and production of publications; and lobbying strategies and representation for organizations. In 2002, the firm was acquired by DDB Worldwide, a leading advertising and public relations agency located in Washington, D.C.


The collection is arranged in six series:

  1. Series I. Administrative, 1982-2002 (#1.1-17.4)
  2. ___Subseries A. General, 1989-2002 (#1.1-5.4)
  3. ___Subseries B. Marketing, proposals, and contracts, 1982-2002 (#5.5.-17.4)
  4. Series II. Financial, 1978-2002 (#17.5-77.4)
  5. ___Subseries A. General, 1986-2002 (#17.5-36.19)
  6. ___Subseries B. Client financials, 1978-2002 (#37.1-74.7)
  7. ___Subseries C. Merger, 1997-2002 (#74.8-77.4)
  8. Series III. Client files, 1957-2002 (#77.5-274.11)
  9. Series IV. Subject files, 1979-2001 (#275.1-285.5)
  10. ___Subseries A. Marie Bass, 1979-1990 (#275.1-281.14)
  11. ___Subseries B. Joanne Howes and/or Jennifer Long, 1988-2001 (#282.1-285.5)
  12. Series V. Photographs, audiotapes, and videotapes, 1980-2000 (#PD.1-PD.13; T-375.1 - T-375.14, Vt-180.1 - Vt-180.11)
  13. ___Subseries A. Photographs, 1980-1996 (#PD.1-PD.13)
  14. ___Subseries B. Audiotapes, 1988-2000 (#T-375.1 - T-375.14)
  15. ___Subseries C. Videotapes, 1984-1996 (#Vt-180.1 - Vt-180.11)
  16. Series VI. Memorabilia and oversized, 1984-1997, n.d. (#285.6m, F+D.1, OD.1, SD.1)

Physical Location

Collection stored off site: researchers must request access 36 hours before use.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 2004-M56

The records of Bass and Howes, Inc. were given to the Schlesinger Library by Bass and Howes, Inc. in June 2004.


Donor: Bass and Howes, Inc.

Accession number: 2004-M56

Processed by: Mary O. Murphy and Laura Peimer

The following items have been removed from the collection:

  1. One linear foot of printed materials have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library's book division.

Processing Information

Processed: August 2010

By: Mary O. Murphy and Laura Peimer

Bass and Howes, Inc.. Records of Bass and Howes, Inc., 1957-2002 (inclusive), 1986-2002 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Language of description
Processing of this collection was made possible by gifts from generous supporters of the Schlesinger Library to the Maximum Access Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future. In addition to its traditional strengths in the history of feminisms, women’s health, and women’s activism, the Schlesinger collections document the intersectional workings of race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and class in American history.

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