While not complete, the collection spans a period when the monetary and fiscal policies of the United States were of major economic and political importance. It was an era of world-wide depresson when a number of countries including the United States abandoned the gold standard, World War II, and the establishment of such international agencies as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Herbert Bratter was born in New York City and died in San Antonio, Texas. Fluent in six languages, he became an internationally known expert on gold and silver. He was educated at City College, New York (1917-1919) and Columbia University (1919-1921). After several positions with private firms, and a period in the early twenties as a statistician in the Chinese Government Bureau of Economic Information, he became an economic analyst for the United States Department of Commerce and later for the Treasury Department (1929-1935) he was also a member of the Rogers financial mission to the Far East.
He returned to the private sector and an economics research post with Loomis-Sayles & Co., a Massachusetts investment company (1935-1937), and later was in private practice as an economic consultant in Washington. Author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles, he was also the Washington correspondent and a regular contributor to "Banking" from 1939-1974. His publications include "The Price of Silver" (1930), "Japanese Banking"(1931) and "Silver Market Dictionary" (1933).
Working files of a financial specialist throughout his professional life: press releases, newspaper clippings, daily, weekly and monthly releases from government agencies such as the press summaries of the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce of the Department of Commerce and that agency's Far Eastern Financial Notes, Federal Reserve Board Notes, and periodic releases of the Bank for International Settlements.
Also many clippings from "The Economist", a number from "Business Week" and the "Congressional Record". Newspaper clippings are most frequently from the "New York Times", "New York Herald Tribune", "Washington Post", "Washington Star", and "Wall Street Journal". Some clippings from English language papers in other countries and a few in the language of the country. Regular bulletins of major banks in this and other countries are included among the papers. A few copies of articles by Bratter, occasional correspondence, and several reports from commercial attaches at U.S. embassies in the Far East.
2004 Addendum: 4.5 cu. ft. of papers relating to the career of Herbert M. Bratter.
Two 2011 addenda, scrapbooks, a card file, and fifteen 8mm films that consist of both home movies and some commercially issued films from 1936-1961. The commercial films include: World Parade Mexico (1952), and World Parade Paris (1953). The home movies were taken presumably by Herbert Bratter of his daughter Julia, other family members, friends, and his travels domestically and internationally. The films are silent and in both black-and-white and color.
The Herbert M. Bratter Collection, 1914-1975, Archives Center, National Museum of American History