The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Digital Library

The Arthur Burns Journals Online

This site provides digital access to transcriptions of Dr. Burns' handwritten journals. The Library gratefully acknowledges the Burns' family gift of the journals.

Federal Reserve Board Chairman Arthur Burns and President Richard Nixon
Arthur Burns and Richard Nixon

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Arthur F. Burns was a distinguished economist who advised presidential candidate Richard Nixon in 1968. He held the post of Counsellor in the Nixon White House in 1969-70.  President Nixon then appointed Dr. Burns to be Chairman, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. He served in that role for Presidents Nixon, Ford and Carter until 1978. 

Burns started a personal journal on Inauguration Day in 1969 and made sporadic entries until July 1974, when he apparently ceased the practice.

Burns' journals consist of two spiral bound notebooks in which he made handwritten reflections about people, events, and administration policy.  The journals document his personal account of private interactions, staff meetings, Quadriad meetings (meetings of Nixon administration economic policymakers), and his personal opinions of President Richard Nixon, members of the cabinet, prominent administration officials, members of Congress, and other political players. Included are discussions of a wide range of economic, monetary, domestic, and foreign affairs issues.

The handwriting in the journals is very difficult to read.  To aid researchers, Ford Library staff made these typed transcripts of the journals.

Note on file formats:
The memcon scans are stored as PDF files. They require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader®. Adobe® also provides free PDF tools for the visually impaired.