• IdentificationMSCBT0005
  • TitleChicago Board of Trade Records: Series III - President Robert C. Liebenow correspondence MSCBT0005
  • PublisherSpecial Collections
  • LanguageEnglish
  • RepositorySpecial Collections
  • Physical Description15.0 Linear feet
  • Date1955-1965

Processed by Sarah McMahon and Mike Hartge April 2011-May 2012. Finding aid by Kit Fluker and Jae Lurie. Encoded by Jae Lurie April 2012.

[Collection Title], Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

The records of the Chicago Board of Trade at the University of Illinois at Chicago are closed for 50 years from the date of record creation. Please contact Special Collections before visiting to ensure that the materials are available to the public.

The Chicago Board of Trade records were received by Special Collections and University Archives in numerous accessions between 1968 and 2000.

Materials from accessions 1968-113, 69-11, 72-44, 72-48, 74-16, 74-33, 75-68, 76-115, 77-53, 77-89, 78-91, 79-42, 81-21, 81-22, 81-23, 81-49, 81-110, 82-46, 83-50, 83-51, 84-28, 84-41, 84-42, 85-29, 86-3, 86-4, 86-5, 86-16, 86-17, 86-18, 91-11, 91-24, 92-11, 92-19, 93-1, 93-21, 93-30, 95-28, 97-2, 97-14, 97-32, 98-2, and 2000-37 were merged into one collection. Materials from each accession may be described in this finding aid.

Robert C. Liebenow’s presidential records are arranged roughly by year and alphabetically to the box level.

The Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) was started in 1848 by a small group of Chicago businessmen. The exchange was formed to help structure the grain trade in the Midwest. Before the Chicago Board of Trade came into being, the market for grain was extremely volatile with prices high in the winter and low in the summer, resulting in poor economic conditions for farmers. The early Board of Trade helped to create stable economic conditions for regional farmers and also worked to create standards and grades for various grains along with inspection processes to help ensure buyers received the goods for which they had paid. In 1859 the Illinois legislature granted the Chicago Board of Trade a charter allowing self-regulation. By 1865 the CBOT had a permanent location in the Chicago Chamber of Commerce Building and about 150 members. The Chicago Board of Trade was governed by its members and an elected Board of Directors. Rules and Regulations regarding day-to-day activities of the exchange were amended frequently as the organization responded to the issues of the time. The established organization of the Board of Trade in its early years was mostly maintained over time with revisions to rules and additions and subtractions to the organization based upon the economic, political, and technological climate at the time.

Robert C. Liebenow became the first paid, non-member president of the Chicago Board of Trade in 1956. At 33, he was also the youngest. Prior to serving as president, Liebenow served as assistant secretary from 1952-1953, and served as executive secretary from 1953-1955. Previously Liebenow served as an attorney in the Trust Department of the First National Bank of Chicago. He was also secretary of the Cleveland Telegraph Company. He resigned from the presidency to become president of the Corn Industries Research Foundation, Inc., where he remained until 1990. He died in 2006.

This record group consists of Robert C. Liebenow’s correspondence files from 1956 to 1965, when he served as the president of the Board of Trade. It is almost entirely correspondence, but also includes speeches and miscellanea.

  • Names
    • Chicago Board of Trade.
    • Liebenow, Robert C.
  • Subject
    • Commodity exchanges--Law and legislation.
    • Commodity exchanges.
    • Commodity futures.
    • Futures.
  • Geographic Coverage
    • Illinois--Chicago.
    • United States.