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The papers of the New York Bureau of Municipal Research (later the National Institute of Public Administration and, after 1931, just the Institute of Public Administration) are collected in some 700 boxes of files and publications that chronicle the progressive movement to create a science of government and professional civic administration starting in 1906.
An early seal depicting a galleon asail aptly captured the group’s audacious mission: “An Adventure in Democracy.”
In many ways the IPA was the extended shadow of an extraordinary public servant, Luther Halsey Gulick, who served it from 1915 to his death in 1993 at almost 101. He took time off to advise Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman, help mastermind American strategy in World War II, save wartime refugees, win the postwar peace, and reorganize New York City’s government in the 1950s.
The collection, now housed at Baruch College of the City University of New York for eventual study by scholars, had been maintained by the IPA until its demise in the early 2000s and was stored for years at a records center in Queens. A faculty member at Baruch, Daniel Williams, associate professor in the School of Public Affairs and a scholar of the history of performance measurement, had learned of the collection, tracked it down, and arranged for its donation to Baruch by a trustee of IPA. The Carnegie Corporation then generously provided a grant to move the boxes to the Library archives of Baruch where they have been processed and cataloged. To access the collection, visit our finding aids here.