Randall Hinshaw papers, 1930-1997

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Hinshaw, Randall Weston, 1915-1997
Randall Hinshaw (1915-1997) was a professor of economics at the Claremont Graduate School. This collection primarily documents his professional life through his correspondence, writings, research, professional activities, and teaching. It was acquired as part of the Economists' Papers Archive.
18 Linear Feet (12 record cartons, two document boxes, and three audiocassette boxes.)
1.4 Gigabytes (One set.)
Material in English.
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

The Randall Hinshaw papers document his professional life as a government economist then academic economist from 1942 until his death in 1997. The most common types of material are correspondence files, typed manuscripts documenting his writings, and files of his professional activities. The collection also includes some handwritten notes and data, and teaching files. There are 88 audiocassettes, 43 quarter-inch open-reel tapes, and two VHS tapes, most of which contain audio recordings of the Bologna Claremont Monetary Conferences organized by Hinshaw. The transcripts of these tapes were published in lightly edited conference proceedings, and can be found in the series of the same name. One tape containing an audio letter from his half-brother Harvey Hinshaw and his family has been digitized, and the electronic files are available.

The primary subject of the collection is the international monetary and financial system, which is documented in Hinshaw's activities as a federal employee and university faculty member. His activities as a government economist included unpublished reports written for the Federal Reserve System and for US agencies working on the European postwar reconstruction. International negotiations on exchange rates, and the role played in this respect by financial institutions (especially the International Monetary Fund), feature prominently in both Hinshaw's writings and in the writings by others that he kept. The monetary policies of industrial countries and the influence of these policies on international trade is another subject that can be found in the collection, such as in the files documenting the discussions held during the Bologna Claremont Monetary Conferences.

Hinshaw's correspondents include several Nobel Prize economists who attended his conferences, most notably Paul Samuelson. Other frequent correspondents include Gottfried Haberler, Charles P. Kindleberger, Lionel McKenzie, Lionel Robbins, and Robert Triffin. There are obituaries and an audio recording of a memorial for his colleague Willard Thorp in the Personal series, along with material on Hinshaw's family.

Biographical / historical:

Randall Hinshaw (1915-1997) was a white American academic and government economist who specialized in the international financial and monetary system. A graduate of Occidental College (BA, 1937; MA, 1939) and of Princeton University (PhD, 1944), he worked as an instructor at Harvard University in 1942-1943 before joining the division of international finance at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1943 to 1952. In 1946-1947, he briefly left the Federal Reserve to serve as Assistant Professor of Economics at Amherst College, but subsequently returned to government service and participated in the negotiations of the European Payments Union in 1950. In 1952, he joined the Mutual Security Agency (later the Foreign Operations Administration) and served as the US representative on various committees of the Organization for European Economic Co-operation until the late 1950s.

Hinshaw's expertise in international trade and financial cooperation became his main research interest when he transitioned back to academia in 1957. He returned to the US as a visiting professor at Yale University (1957-1958) and Oberlin College (1958-1959), before joining the faculty of the Claremont Graduate School in 1960. He remained there over the following decades, becoming a professor emeritus in 1982. During this time, he was also a visiting professor at several universities, including the University of Southern California, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the Johns Hopkins University Bologna Center.

His association with the Bologna Center (the European campus of Johns Hopkins University's school of international studies) led to the creation of the Claremont Bologna International Monetary Conferences, which alternated between Europe and California over the next decades. These conferences brought together leading economists, businessmen, and civil servants to discuss current economic issues, especially regarding the international monetary system. Participants included Paul Samuelson, Robert Triffin, Robert Solow, Milton Friedman, Lionel Robbins, James Tobin, and others. The proceedings were audio recorded, transcribed, and published, and the organization of these conferences features prominently in the collection.

In addition to the edited proceedings of the conferences, Hinshaw published a book on US—European trade relations, The European Community and American Trade: A Study in Atlantic Economics and Policy (1964), and several academic papers on international trade, monetary economics, and exchange rates. Hinshaw married Pearl Electa Stevens on 19 June 1949, and had three children: Frederic, Robert, and Elisabeth. He died on 14 August 1997.

Acquisition information:
The Randall Hinshaw papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library as gifts from Elisabeth Hinshaw-Osgood and Pearl Hinshaw in 2009 and 2021.
Processing information:

Accessioned by Meghan Lyon, May 2009.

Addition processed by Vincent Carret, June 2023.

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2009-0138 and 2021-0136.


The Randall Hinshaw papers are arranged into seven series: Correspondence, Personal, Writings, Research, Bologna Claremont Monetary Conferences, Professional Activities, and Teaching.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Access note. Some materials in this collection are fragile audiovisual formats that may need to be reformatted before use. Contact Research Services for access.

Access restricted. There is a file of recommendation letters. In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, Duke University permits students to inspect their education records and limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records. Contact Research Services for more information.

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The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the Rubenstein Library's Citations, Permissions, and Copyright guide.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Randall Hinshaw papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.