Baker Library | Bloomberg Center

Historical Collections

Kress Collection

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The Kress Collection of Business and Economics is recognized as one of the premier rare book collections in the world. Formed by the collecting efforts of H.S. Foxwell, lecturer and teacher of political economy and a book collector of economic literature, and acquired by the Harvard Business School by the generous donation of Claude Washington Kress, businessman and philanthropist. Included are rare books, pamphlets, broadsides, manuscripts, and prints, ranging from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries. Researchers will find not only the great classics of economic thought but also an extensive selection of ephemeral material that provides a historical context for the growth and dissemination of ideas.

Among the collection's traditional strengths are the history of political economy, economic philosophy, business theory, commerce, finance, taxation, money and banking, trades and manufactures, agriculture, transportation, labor, and socialism. In addition, new directions in research continue to bring to light valuable resources for an expanding range of disciplines, including the history of technology, philosophy, African-American studies, gender studies, history of science, and social and cultural history.

There are several special collections within the Kress Collection:

Bancroft Collection
Focuses on the speculation mania, particularly the South Sea Bubble, that swept England and the Continent around 1720.

Bleichroeder Print Collection
Extensive grouping of prints from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries on the subjects of money, banking, and financial history.

Vanderblue Memorial Collection of Smithiana
One of the most comprehensive collections in the world of works by and about Adam Smith.

H.S. Foxwell Papers
A collection of H.S. Foxwell's personal papers, containing incoming correspondence, the bulk of which dates from 1898 to 1899, outgoing letters, writings, memorials and obituaries, and photographs.

Planning a Visit

If you wish to visit, please notify us as far in advance as possible.

Checklist for Visitors

Finding Resources

Card Catalog – Most complete point of access until conversion to the online catalog is finished.

Printed Catalog – Widely available, contains citations for materials in the collection prior to 1967.

HOLLIS – All recently cataloged materials, plus records for items in the Goldsmiths'-Kress microfilm series.

For more information, see the HOLLIS section of the Finding Resources page.

Other Formats: Digital and Microfilm

Many, but not all, of the titles in the Kress Collection may be found in these other formats:

Making of the Modern World: Goldsmiths'-Kress Library of Economic Literature 1450-1850


  • HU PIN
  • Authorized Baker visitors

Goldsmiths' Kress Microfilm Series

Kress Library Publications

List of Publications

Ordering Information


Photoduplication Material from the Kress Collection may not be photocopied. If the item is in the Goldsmiths'-Kress microfilm series, copies may be made from the microfilm.

Permission to Publish

Contact Historical Collections

Baker Library | Bloomberg Center, Harvard Business School, Soldiers Field, Boston, MA 02163, 617-495-6040