The papers of Paul M. Warburg, recently presented to the University Library by his son James P. Warburg, contain approximately 5,000 pieces of manuscript covering the period 1904-1932. The collection consists of official and private correspondence, documents, drafts of Warburg's many writings, materials relating to war-financing and the Federal Reserve System, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and 169 volumes on banking and finance. The papers as a whole present an excellent documentation of the economic history of the United States during the period preceding World War I and of the decade which followed that catastrophe, providing as well a record of the great services which Paul Warburg rendered the nation. It appears fitting that this material should join the papers already at Yale of Colonel Edward M. House, Henry L. Stimson, William Kent, Frank Polk, and Senator Francis G. Newlands, men in public life whose careers covered roughly the same period as that of Paul Warburg's participation in national affairs.
Warburg's correspondents were those who were helping to shape the tenor of the times, and the files are replete with such names as Jane Addams, Nelson Aldrich, Bernard Baruch, Sir Ernest Cassel, Sir Austin Chamberlain, Josephus Daniels, John W. Davis, Norman Davis, Carter Glass, E. H. Harriman, Herbert Hoover, Lord Keynes, Henry Cabot Lodge, William McAdoo, Andrew Mellon, John D. Rockefeller, Reid Smoot, and Lillian Wald. Banking, the economic growth of the country, the course of the war, and the ensuing peace, all came within the scope of Warburg's interest. Many individuals solicited his advice upon matters ranging from the Liberty Bond drives to the question of what to do with a defeated Germany.
Born (1868) into an old Hamburg banking family, Paul Warburg came to the United States in 1902 as a member of Kuhn, Loeb and Company. In the succeeding decade he familiarized himself so thoroughly with the American financial situation that he rapidly became an authority in domestic banking policy. This, combined with his intimate knowledge of European finance and his personal acquaintance with the leading figures in international banking, placed him in a unique position one which caused his pronouncements and writings to be received with singular respect.
Excerpted from Howard B. Gotlieb, "Architect of Federal Reserve: The Papers of Paul Moritz Warburg," The Yale University Library Gazette, 35, no. 3 (January 1961), pp. 106-110.