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The publishing company that eventually became the Bureau of Business Practice (BBP) began as a small, private venture, the National Foreman's Institute (NFI), in Essex, Connecticut, in 1915. For the first thirty-five years of its existence, NFI was exclusively a publisher of training materials for the first line of industrial supervision. The Bureau of Business Practice records consists of publications dating from the years when the BBP was known as the National Foreman's Institute to just prior to the closing of the BBP Branch of Aspen Publishers. Publications such as the "Better Secretaries Series" from the early 1960s focus on training for office employees through instruction in secretarial principles, such as accounting or letter writing. Topics range from labor issues in Labor Relations Bulletin to common concerns of the secretary in such publications as Just Between Office Girls and Office Guide for Working Women.
This collection is open for research.
Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.
4.50 Linear Feet
The Bureau of Business Practice records spans the years 1944, when the company was known as the National Foreman's Institute, to 1989. The collection consists primarily of pamphlets and serial publications from the company, focusing on management, and office and secretarial work.
The publishing company that eventually became the Bureau of Business Practice (BBP) began as a small, private venture, the National Foreman's Institute (NFI), in Essex, Connecticut, in 1915. For the first thirty-five years of its existence, NFI was exclusively a publisher of training materials for the first line of industrial supervision. In 1950, NFI moved to New London, Connecticut, where they expanded their product line of monthly newsletters into the sales and industrial security field. Employee-handout publications and management and supervisory books also became part of the profile. Vision, a magazine publisher with major properties in the South American market, acquired NFI from its original owners in 1959 and established a publishing facility in New London, housing Croft Educational Services and several smaller, unrelated operations, along with NFI. Prentice Hall bought NFI in 1960 and moved the business to Waterford, Connecticut. Within three years, Prentice Hall had also bought Croft and added some book operations from its New Jersey locations to the Waterford division, now renamed the Bureau of Business Practice. BBP expanded their scope to a wide array of business and organizational categories, all focused on employee, supervisory, and management training. Products included newsletters, books, videotapes, posters, and training services. Notable publications from the BBP include Payroll Manager's Letter, Fair Employment Practices Guidelines, Labor Relations Bulletin, Office Guide, and Creative Secretary's Letter. Annual sales rose from $1 million in 1960 to $40 million in 1985, when the conglomerate that would become Paramount Communications acquired Prentice Hall. Paramount soon began divesting itself of its non-entertainment-related properties, and it sold Prentice Hall to Viacom. Viacom sold the Professional Information Group, of which BBP was a part, to Hicks Muse, which in turn sold it to Wolters Kluwer in June 1999. Aspen Publishers, a part of Wolters Kluwer International, acquired BBP in 1999. The BBP branch of Aspen Publishers in Waterford, Connecticut, closed in August 2003, although Aspen Publishers is still in existence, with headquarters in New York City.
The collection is arranged as one series.
Elaine Stattler of Aspen Publishers donated the Bureau of Business Practice records to the University of Maryland Libraries in August 2003, when the Waterford, Connecticut, branch closed. An additional publication of the Better Secretaries Series was donated by Donna M. Reckson in January 2015.
The publications were placed in acid-free folders and stored in acid-free boxes.
Part of the Special Collections and University Archives