Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Fisk, Harvey E. (Harvey Edward), b. 1856
Harvey E. Fisk Papers
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
1889-1944 (mostly 1910-1930)
56 boxes
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-56
English French


Harvey E. Fisk (1856-1944) was a New York City banker who also wrote numerous pamphlets and books on public finance for Bankers Trust Company of New York. He specialized in railroad securities and public finance. Fisk's papers document his work as an author and include his research files, notes, and drafts of articles and books.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Fisk's papers document his work as an author and include his research files, notes, and drafts of articles and books. The majority of the papers are composed of clippings and other research materials he collected about the economies and finances of many countries, especially France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States. The papers also include Fisk's notes and drafts for articles and books, most notably for an unpublished work on American public finance and for his book English Public Finance from the Revolution of 1688 (1920).

Please see the series descriptions in the contents list for additional information about individual series.


The Papers have been arranged in three series:

Collection Creator Biography:

Fisk, Harvey E. (Harvey Edward), b. 1856

Harvey E. Fisk (1856-1944) was a New York City banker who also wrote numerous pamphlets and books on public finance for Bankers Trust Company of New York. He specialized in railroad securities and public finance.

Harvey Edward Fisk was born on March 26, 1856 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He was one of eight children, the eldest son, of Harvey and Louisa (Green) Fisk. Fisk earned his A.B. from Princeton University in 1877, where he studied English literature and economics. He married Mary Lee Scudder on October 1, 1879 and they had two sons, Harvey E. Fisk, Jr. and Kenneth Fisk.

Fisk joined his father's banking house of Fisk & Hatch in New York City immediately after his graduation in 1877. The firm specialized in the sale of United States government bonds and railroad securities, which caused Fisk to develop an interest in government and railroad financing. He studied these fields throughout his career and later focused on public finance. Fisk & Hatch was dissolved in 1885. That same year, Harvey Fisk formed the firm of Harvey Fisk & Sons, also in New York City, with his three eldest sons: Harvey E., Charles, and Pliny. The firm also specialized in transactions in United States bonds and other high class investment securities, with Fisk specializing in railroad bonds.

Fisk resigned from Harvey Fisk & Sons in 1898 and spent the next six months traveling through Europe with his family. He then returned to New York City and formed the investment banking firm of Fisk & Robinson with George H. Robinson in 1899. The business was successful in its early years but began experiencing difficulties in 1910. Following the closure of Fisk & Robinson in 1914, Fisk returned to Harvey Fisk & Sons, where he was in charge of publicity.

In April 1917, Fisk changed firms for the last time in his career, becoming a research writer at Bankers Trust Company of New York. During World War I, he was chiefly involved in the preparation of pamphlets to promote the purchasing of Liberty Bonds. After the war, he continued to work in the publicity department of the bank, writing pamphlets and several books on public finance. His books include Our Public Debt (1919), The Dominion of Canada (1920), English Public Finance from the Revolution of 1688 (1920), French Public Finance in the Great War and To-Day (1922), and The Inter-ally Debts (1924). Fisk retired in 1930.

In addition to his banking career, Fisk was also engaged in philanthropic activities. He sponsored a boy's club in New York City and raised funds for Mercer Hospital in Trenton, New Jersey. He was also a longtime supporter of the Princeton University Library, where he was the Honorary Curator of the Benjamin Strong Collection. Fisk's collection of publications on corporate finance was donated to the library by his brother, Pliny Fisk. Harvey E. Fisk died on October 8, 1944.

Collection History


A portion of the collection was donated in September 1931 . No further acquisition information is available for this collection.

Custodial History

A small number of letters between G.R. Josyer and Harvey E. Fisk related to India and its economic situation, 1920-1937, were previously held in the General Manuscripts Collection at Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University.


Duplicate materials have been separated from this collection.


These papers were processed with the generous support of National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Adriane Hanson and Christopher M. Shannon in 2007. Finding aid written by Adriane Hanson in April 2007.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Harvey E. Fisk Papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345
Storage Note:
  • Mudd Manuscript Library (scamudd): Box 1-56

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Related Materials

A small collection of business and personal papers of the Fisk family is located at the Hagley Museum & Library in Greenville, Delaware.

This collection is part of a group of 28 Mudd Manuscript Library collections related to 20th century economic thought and development which were processed as part of a National Historical Publications and Records Commission funded project. Researchers wishing to access these collections should search for the subject "Economics--20th century" or related terms in the Princeton University Library Main Catalog. Collections at the Mudd Manuscript Library of particular relevance to the Harvey E. Fisk Papers are the papers of banker Fred I. Kent and of Hans A. Widenmann, an expert in international finance.


The following sources were consulted during the preparation of the biographical note: Fisk, Harvey Edward File; Undergraduate Alumni Records, Box 151; University Archives, Special Collections, Princeton University Library. "Harvey E. Fisk Dies; Retired Banker, 88." The New York Times, October 9, 1944.

Subject Terms:
Banks and banking.
Economics -- 20th century.
Finance, Public -- France.
Finance, Public -- Great Britain.
Finance, Public -- United States.
International finance.
Genre Terms: