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Jordan J. Baruch papers

Identifier: MC-0699

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Scope and Contents

The Jordan J. Baruch papers consist primarily of writings and presentations by Baruch, as well as correspondence. While these materials comprise the bulk of the collection, the papers also include course notes, reports, meeting agendas and minutes, photographs, clippings, background material, and some ephemera. The collection spans the years 1946 to 2011, with the bulk of the material dating from the 1970s and 1980s.

The materials contained in this collection cover a wide variety of topics including industrial and technological innovation, the intersection of engineering and business management, computer automation in hospitals, Baruch's government service, and the development of one of the earliest academic and business partnerships between the US and China after the two countries normalized relations beginning in 1972. The papers also include drafts of Baruch's unpublished memoir, which lend context to the rest of the materials in the collection.

Series 1. Biographical and Personal Information contains drafts and outlines of Baruch's memoir, along with resumes, photographs, publication lists, mementos, professional certifications, a scrapbook, and "people" files relating to personal and professional contacts Baruch made throughout his life.

Series 2. Chronological Files contains correspondence files. The bulk of this material dates from 1977 to 1981, when Baruch served as Assistant Secretary for Productivity, Technology and Innovation in the US Department of Commerce. Other correspondence in this series deals with Baruch's time working with Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN), MEDINET/General Electric, and EDUCOM; his time teaching at Harvard, Dartmouth, and Johns Hopkins; his years working as a consultant with the Jordan Baruch Associates, Inc.; and his work in China. Also included in this series are several years' worth of weekly planners and some subject files.

Series 3. Course Notes consists of course notes and materials from Baruch’s time teaching at the Harvard Business School (1971-1974), the Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College (1974-1977), and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University (early 1990s).

Series 4. Government Work Files contains some of the work Baruch completed during his tenure as Assistant Secretary for Productivity, Technology and Innovation in the US Department of Commerce (1977-1981). The materials in this series mainly focus on Baruch's work on the Domestic Policy Review on Industrial Innovation (DPR), which was an advisory document for President Jimmy Carter.

Series 5. Testimonies consists of statements and testimonies given by Baruch at hearings before committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives. These testimonies dealt with a wide range of topics including technological and industrial innovation, the United States' international competitiveness in industry, patent and trademark laws, and the administration of government departments that Baruch oversaw in his role as Assistant Secretary for Productivity, Technology and Innovation. The testimonies in this series provide very detailed information on policies and thought about technology and innovation in the 1970s and 1980s.

Series 6. International Work Files contains material related to Baruch's international work and travels, both during his time in the Department of Commerce and as a consultant. The materials in this series cover Baruch's work on technological innovation in developing countries, his help establishing institutes for science and technology management, his founding of the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation, and his work with the Board on Science and Technology for International Development's (BOSTID), Science and Technology for Industrial Development (STAID) project. These files include background documents from the US Department of State, travel itineraries, correspondence, meeting agendas, reports, proposals, and publications.

Series 7. China Files covers Baruch's travels to and work in the People's Republic of China. Baruch traveled to China in 1977 with a delegation from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), where he visited factories and toured cultural sites. The knowledge he gained from that trip gave him an understanding that proved helpful during the US Secretary of Commerce's visit to China in 1979, when a a protocol to promote interchange concerning the management of science and technology matters between the US and China was signed. This trip laid the groundwork for the establishment of the National Center for Industrial Science and Technology Management Development (NCISTMD) in 1980, of which Baruch had a major part. The center was one of the early academic and business partnerships between the US and China, at a time when friendly relations between the two countries were still quite new; President Nixon's diplomatic visit with Chair Mao Zedong had just taken place in 1972. Baruch was involved with the NCISTMD for several years and returned to China a few more times. Materials in this series include correspondence, notebooks, proposals, program plans, clippings, writings, course notes, recordings of lectures, photographs, and souvenirs.

Series 8. Writings and Presentations contains articles, case studies, working papers, grant proposals, speech transcripts and outlines, and book chapters by Baruch, as well as drafts, notes, correspondence, background material, his doctoral thesis, and materials from conferences and symposia that he attended and participated in. Boxes 19 through 22 of this series contain drafts, outlines, notes, and references dealing with the topic of innovation, and these files culminate with a copy of Baruch's 1997 book, Innovation Explosion, which was co-authored with James Brian Quinn and Karen Ann Zien.


  • 1946 - 2011


Conditions Governing Access

Materials in this collection are open unless they are marked as restricted. Restrictions are noted in the container list.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.

Biographical Note

Jordan J. Baruch, 1923-2011, was born in New York. He graduated from James Madison High School in Brooklyn in 1940 and attended Brooklyn College before enlisting in the US Army. After completing the Army Specialized Training Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), he joined the Army Signal Corps. He served in both Asia and Europe, where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and was honorably discharged in 1946. Upon his return to the US he attended MIT, where he earned both the SB and SM in Electrical Engineering in 1948. He received the ScD in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1950. He also taught as an assistant professor in the Electrical Engineering department at MIT in the 1950s, and went on to teach at the Harvard Business School (1971-1974), the Thayer School of Engineering and the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College (1974-1977), and the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University (early 1990s).

After receiving his doctorate from MIT, Baruch joined his advisor, Leo Beranek, at the consulting firm Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN). He worked there as a partner and vice president until 1966, and served as a director from 1968 to 1977. While at BBN, Baruch consulted with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on several medical instrumentation projects, and he launched an NIH-funded project with Massachusetts General Hospital to bring computer automation to hospitals. Baruch left BBN in 1966 to become general manager of MEDINET, a department of General Electric that focused on developing computer time-share language and hardware for hospital automation. From 1968 to 1970, Baruch served as president of the EDUCOM consortium, and in the 1960s and 1970s he was part of Boston Broadcasters, Inc., the organization that ran WCVB (Channel 5) in Boston. In the 1950s and 1960s Baruch developed many inventions, including loudspeaker enclosures and devices to absorb sound. Altogether he held 12 patents.

Jordan Baruch became the Assistant Secretary for Science and Technology (this title later changed to Assistant Secretary for Productivity, Technology and Innovation) in the US Department of Commerce in 1977, at the start of Jimmy Carter's presidential term. During Baruch's time in government, he completed the Domestic Policy Review on Industrial Innovation (DPR), an advisory document on strategies for improving the country's innovation and trade, and helped the US forge business relationships with the People's Republic of China, among other accomplishments. He joined a delegation from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on a trip to China in 1977, where he toured factories and saw first-hand the state of the country's industry. During a visit of the US Secretary of Commerce to China in 1979, this knowledge of China's industrial situation led Baruch to suggest the idea of the first management education program in China. In 1980, under Baruch's guidance, the National Center for Industrial Science and Technology Management Development (NCISTMD) was established in Dalian, China. Baruch taught at the NCISTMD in 1984, and continued to be involved with the center into the 1990s.

After Baruch left government service in 1981, he started the consulting firm Jordan Baruch Associates, Inc., and continued to be heavily involved in international affairs as well as matters of science, technology, and innovation. Baruch was invited to speak on these topics at conferences and symposia around the world, and appeared before numerous committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives to give statements on various bills and policies. He was also invited to share his expertise during peace talks in the Middle East.

Israel and the Jewish faith were important to Baruch, which is evidenced by his many connections with Israel throughout his life. He established the Israel-US Binational Industrial Research and Development (BIRD) Foundation and founded both the Trans-Atlantic Institute of the American Jewish Committee and the Washington, DC chapter of the American Associates, Ben-Gurion University (AABGU). He was also a member of the Israel Oceanic and Limnological Research Foundation, the National Board of Governors of the American Jewish Committee, and an active member and former president of the Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC.

Baruch was also a writer with many articles and book chapters to his name. The wide range of topics he wrote about show his multitude of interests, including acoustics, medical instrumentation, computer automation, television broadcasting, foreign trade, decision analysis, technological change and innovation, economics, management, agriculture, and sustainable energy. In 1997 he co-authored a book titled Innovation Explosion with James Brian Quinn and Karen Ann Zien.

Baruch was elected to the National Academy of Engineers (NAE) in 1974 and became an NAE Fellow and Senior Scholar in 2001. In 1997 he joined the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine. He was also a fellow of the Acoustical Society of America, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the IEEE, and the New York Academy of Science. He won the Arthur M. Bueche Award from NAE in 2007, for his "promotion of innovation and management of science and technology nationally and internationally, thereby enhancing the economy of the U.S. and developing nations" (Dr. Jordan J. Baruch, NAE Website, accessed December 30, 2014,


24.6 Cubic Feet (in 68 manuscript boxes, 2 half manuscript boxes, 2 flat boxes, 3 cassette boxes)

Language of Materials


Arrangement note

The Jordan J. Baruch papers are organized into eight series: Series 1. Biographical and Personal Information; Series 2. Chronological Files; Series 3. Course Notes; Series 4. Government Work Files; Series 5. Testimonies; Series 6. International Work Files; Series 7. China Files; Series 8. Writings and Presentations.

Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Source of Acquisition

The Jordan J. Baruch papers were given to the Department of Distinctive Collections (formerly the Institute Archives and Special Collections) in 2013 and processed with a gift from the Baruch family.

Related Archival Materials at MIT

MC 159, Frank Press papers, 1945-1997.

MC 506, Leo Beranek papers, 1924-2010.


  • National Academies Press. Memorial Tributes, vol. 16, 2012, pp. 22-31; by Leo Beranek.
  • National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Awards, Bueche Award, Dr. Jordan J. Baruch biography. (accessed March 10, 2015).
  • Barnett, G. Octo Barnett. History of the Development of Medical Information Systems at the Laboratory of Computer Science at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Processing Information note

Jordan Baruch's original folder titles were retained throughout most of the collection.

Guide to the Papers of Jordan J. Baruch
Dana Hamlin
January 2015
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 July 30: Edited by Lana Mason for compliance with DACS single-level optimum requirements.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US