Calvin Bryce Hoover papers, 1922-1970

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Hoover, Calvin B. (Calvin Bryce), 1897-
Calvin Hoover (1897-1974) was the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of Economics and dean of the Graduate School at Duke University. This collection primarily documents his professional life through his correspondence, writings, research, and professional and faculty activities. It forms part of the Economists' Papers Archive.
41.5 Linear Feet (77 boxes.)
Material in English, German, and Russian.
Collection ID:
University Archives Record Group:
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates
29 -- Papers of Faculty, Staff, and Associates > 02 -- Individuals


Scope and content:

This collection includes correspondence, departmental files, reports, photographs, sound recordings, books, articles, clippings, scrapbooks, date books, and other printed material.

Correspondence contains mostly academic or professional correspondence. It is important to note that Hoover tended to file his correspondence by subject, rather than by correspondent. As such, a file labeled "John Doe" may not necessarily contain correspondence written by "John Doe," but may include correspondence about "John Doe."

Writings includes copies of Hoover's publications, unpublished material, addresses, drafts, notes, publication agreements, and correspondence.

Academia includes departmental files, course files, and other material associated largely with Hoover's work at Duke University. Includes material about the Economics Department, professors, courses taught by him, correspondence, theses, and other files.

Professional Associations includes files on the American Economic Association, the Southern Economic Association, and the Ford Foundation.

Government Service includes general subject files; files on war agencies, the Committee for Economic Development, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Economic Cooperation Administration; and correspondence.

Subject Files includes general topical files.

Audio and Visual Material includes photographs and audioreels.

Personal includes Hoover's personal school papers, souvenirs, and personal papers belonging to hife wife, Faith.

Printed Material includes publications not authored by Hoover. A fair number of these are in German and Russian.

Of note is the material pertaining to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which offers a unique picture of the work of the OSS in Scandinavia, the Chief of Mission in Stockholm, Hoover's administrative style and means of controlling this operation, his philosophy of intelligence, and many day to day details of the profession of espionage.

Other topics of interest include the administration of an academic department during wartime, Soviet economic data and collection techniques of the 1930s, the formation of New Deal agricultural policies, and the development of the American foreign aid program.

Biographical / historical:

Calvin Bryce Hoover (1897-1974) was a white American academic economist who was a member of the Duke University faculty from 1925 until his retirement in 1966 (he was the James B. Duke Professor of Economics from 1950-1966). He served as chair of the Department of Economics and Business Administration from 1937-1957 and dean of the Graduate School from 1938-1948.

Hoover was born in Berwick, Illinois on 14A pril 1897. He attended Monmouth College, but his studies were interrupted by World War I. He belonged to the 123rd Field Artillery Regiment, US Army, American Expeditionary Forces, and fought at the battles of St. Mihiel and Meuse Argonne. As a corporal, he left the Army and graduated from Monmouth College in 1922. After a brief stint farming, he decided on an academic career and received a PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1926. He also received Litt.D. degrees from Columbia University and Monmouth College, and a Doctor of Laws degree from Case Western Reserve University.

From 1920-1958, Hoover studied, taught, and undertook research in the Soviet Union, Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. His long history of government service began in 1933 when he became economic advisor to the Department of Agriculture. During World War II, he was an Office of Strategic Services official for Northern Europe and Poland, and oversaw the invasion of Germany from those areas for the OSS.

After the war, as chair of the German Standard of Living Board and advisor to General Lucius Clay, Hoover prepared the Hoover Report, which established Germany's postwar level of production. He was an active participant in the implementation of the Marshall Plan and the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development. In 1947, he was awarded the Medal of Freedom.

Professionally, Hoover was a member of the Southern Economic Association (SEA), the American Economic Association (AEA), and the Association for Comparative Economics, and he was a fellow of the Royal Economic Society. He served as President of the SEA in 1937 and of the AEA in 1953, the first Southerner to do so. In 1965, he was awarded the AEA Distinguished Fellow Award. His wrote eight books and one hundred articles.

His books include: Economic Life of Soviet Russia; Germany Enters The Third Reich; Dictators and Democracies; International Trade and Domestic Employment; Economic Resources and Policies of the South; and The Economy, Liberty, and the State. His autobiography, Memoirs of Capitalism, Communism, and Nazism, was published in 1965. He contributed numerous articles to newspapers, magazines and professional journals, and he is widely accepted as the founder of comparative economics.

Socially, Hoover was a member of several clubs, including the Century Club of New York, the Cosmos Club and Gridiron Club, both of Washington, DC, the Watauga Club of North Carolina, and the Newcomen Society and Question Club of Duke University. He married Faith Miriam Sprole in 1919 and they had two daughters, Carol Faith and Sylvia Joan.

Acquisition information:
The Calvin Bryce Hoover papers were received by the University Archives as transfers between 1973-1974 and 1986-1988.
Processing information:

Preliminary inventory created by University Archives staff in 1990; fully processed by Kimberly Sims in July 2008.

Optical character recognition, formatting, and editing of original collection guide completed by Cat Saleeby, May 2002; edited by Kimberly Sims, August 2008.

Encoded by Linda Daniel, May 2004.

Updated by Jill Katte, December 2004.

Accessions described in this collection guide: A73-2, A74-4, UA1988-0008, and UA1989-0108.


The Calvin Bryce Hoover papers are arranged into nine series: Correspondence, Writings, Academia, Professional Associations, Government Service, Subject Files, Audio and Visual Material, Personal, and Printed Material.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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Access restricted. Some materials in this collection are personnel records. Records pertaining to employment where individuals are identified are closed for 70 years.

Access restricted. Some materials in this collection include student records. 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.

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

Terms of access:

Copyright for official university records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], Calvin Bryce Hoover papers, University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Duke University.