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Register of the Vervon Orval Watts papers
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Vervon Orval Watts papers
    Date (inclusive): 1920-1983
    Collection Number: 83064
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 24 manuscript boxes (9.6 linear feet)
    Abstract: Correspondence, speeches and writings, notes, instructional materials, research materials, clippings, and other printed matter relating to economic conditions in the United States and economic theory, especially laissez-faire economics.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Watts, Vervon Orval, 1898-1993


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], V. Orval (Vervon Orval) Watts papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1983.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    1898 March 25 Born, Manitoba, Canada
    1918 Graduated from University of Manitoba
    1923 M.A., Harvard University
    post-1923 Ph.D., Harvard University
    circa 1925-1939 Taught at various colleges and universities, including Clark University, Harvard University, Wellesley, Antioch College, Carlton College, Claremont Men's College, Pepperdine University, and Campbell College
    1938 Author, Why Are We So Prosperous?
    1939 Economic counsel, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce
    1944 Author, Do We Want Free Enterprise?
    1946 Editorial director, Foundation for Economic Education (FEE)
    1952 Author, Away From Freedom
    1954 Author, Union Monopoly
    1955 Author, United Nations: Planned Tyranny
    1963-1984 Director of economic education and chairman of the Division of Social Studies, Northwood University
    1967 Author, Free Markets or Famine
    1976 Author, Politics vs. Prosperity
    1993 Died, Palm Springs, California

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Vervon Orval Watts papers document the life and career of a conservative economist, academic, and opinion maker. An early critic of the New Deal, Watts maintained a lifelong commitment to laissez-faire principles, opposing government intervention in the economy and most social welfare programs. He sought to popularize these ideas by communicating them to a broad audience. His papers are largely comprised of writings, research materials, writings by others, and printed matter.
    The extensive Speeches and Writings series contains many of Watts' articles, speeches, and pamphlets, as well as several monographs that he wrote or edited. The series also includes work that Watts did as a publicist and speechwriter for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, including the texts of many lectures that he gave. The collection also has an extensive Subject File, comprised largely of clippings and articles, that reflects Watts' many research interests. Prior to serving as an economic advisor to organizations, Watts had a long teaching career, and the Academic File contains course materials, lecture notes, and syllabi relating to classes he taught at several institutions. Additionally, the academic file has a number of materials from Watts' time as a student, including papers that he wrote, as well as reading and lecture notes.
    The collection also has a significant number of Speeches and Writings by Others, mainly on economic issues. There are also many pamphlets collected by Watts in the Printed Matter series, largely written by conservative authors.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    United States--Economic conditions.