The Vanderblue Memorial Collection of Smithiana
The collection amassed by former Harvard Business School professor Homer B. Vanderblue reflects his passion for the work of Adam Smith. Vanderblue began collecting in the mid-1920s and actively sought out works by and about Smith, with a special focus on The Wealth of Nations. He generously presented his collection to the Harvard Business School in 1939 in memory of his father, Frank J. Vanderblue. In addition to his role as a professor at Harvard Business School, Homer Vanderblue also served as Honorary Curator of Early Economic Literature in the Baker Library.
Included in the gift were books, manuscript letters of Smith, and several volumes from Smith's own library. In addition to the gift of his rare book collection, Mr. Vanderblue also provided a financial gift, the income from which could be used to purchase additional Adam Smith items and books of the period when Smith was a leading figure. The Baker Library has built on this remarkable foundation over the years, bringing together one of the most comprehensive collections of the works of Adam Smith in the world. The Historical Collections Department maintains its commitment to developing this collection and continues to actively acquire related materials.
The Baker Library published a catalog of the Vanderblue Collection in 1939 as Kress Library Publication #2. The publication, titled The Vanderblue Memorial Collection of Smithiana, is currently out of print but is available at many libraries in the United States and abroad.