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Bureau of Business Research records

Administrative History

The Brown Bureau of Business Research was formed in 1921 by the Providence Chamber of Commerce and the Brown Department of Economics for the purpose of effecting a close business contact between Rhode Island business and the Department. This came about largely through the initiative of Professor Ralph E. Badger of the Economics Department, who interested several prominent business men in the project. Its articles of agreement defined its primary purpose as the maintenance and operation of a research laboratory to study problems relating to commerce and industry in metropolitan Providence. In 1924 the Bureau inaugurated its official publication, Brown Business Service, subtitled "Analyses of Economic Conditions in Southeastern New England," for distribution of timely information to the business community monthly from September to July. In 1927-28 the Bureau cooperated with the Division of Industrial and Municipal Research at M.I.T. in the industrial survey of metropolitan Providence. The Bureau continued as an agency of the University until 1939. In 1932 a grant was received from the Rockefeller Foundation for a study of the international gold standard under the direction of William Adams Brown and Carel J. Smit, who came to Brown from Amsterdam in 1932.