Baker Library | Bloomberg Center

Historical Collections

Exhibits

Georges F. Doriot: Educating Leaders, Building Companies

Georges F. Doriot: Educating Leaders, Building Companies

During his 40-year tenure at Harvard Business School, Georges F. Doriot taught business and leadership in his celebrated Manufacturing course to nearly 7,000 students. He realized his dream of establishing the first Master of Business Administration program in Europe by helping establish the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD). As president of American Research & Development Corporation (ARD), an early venture capital firm, Doriot fostered the development of startup companies that focused on emerging technologies from computers to pacemakers.

Visit the Exhibit Web Site to learn more about more about the ideas and ideals of a man who played a pioneering role in the emergence of the postwar entrepreneurial economy through his roles as an educator and venture capital pioneer, to find materials that could support further research, and to view some of the items featured in this exhibition.

The Art of American Advertising, 1865-1910

The Art of American Advertising, 1865-1910

"The Art of American Advertising" examines the ways in which an emerging advertising industry reached a national market with innovative printing technologies and marketing strategies that crossed the boundaries of art and commerce. Companies with products to sell reached wholesalers, retailers, and home consumers through media of all shapes, sizes, colors, and imagery.

Visit the Exhibit Web Site to learn more about role these burgeoning and extraordinarily inventive forms of advertising played in marketing mass-produced products to the emerging American consumer culture, to find materials that could support further research on the topic, and to view some of the trade catalogs, trade cards, broadsides, posters, souvenir publications and novelty items featured in this exhibition.
 

Building the Foundation: Business Education for Women at Harvard University, 1937-1970

Building the Foundation: Business Education for Women at Harvard University, 1937-1970

"Building the Foundation" traces the early history of business education for women at Harvard University from the founding of the one-year certificate program at Radcliffe College in 1937 to the HBS faculty vote to admit women into the two year MBA program and finally to the complete integration of women into the HBS campus life by 1970. A selection of photographs, interviews, reports, and correspondence documents how program directors, administrators, and faculty shaped business education for women at the University, preparing students to take their places in the business world. The pioneering graduates of these programs would go on to help open doors to formerly unattainable opportunities for generations of women who followed.

Visit the Exhibit Web Site to learn more about business education for women at Harvard, to find materials that could support further research on the topic, and to view some of the items featured in this exhibition.
 

Chronicle of the China Trade

A Chronicle of the China Trade: The Records of Augustine Heard & Co., 1840-1877

Augustine Heard & Co. reigned among the largest American trading houses in China in the mid nineteenth-century, leaving behind an extensive chronicle of their experiences. The Heard papers, one of the largest collections of business records relating to the nineteenth-century China trade, present a look into momentous events of Sino-Western relations as well as the day-to-day activities of American traders in the treaty ports. "A Chronicle of the China Trade: The Records of Augustine Heard & Co., 1840-1877" examines the professional accounts and personal perspectives of the life and trajectory of a nineteenth-century firm that prospered at the height of the China trade

Visit the Exhibit Web Site to learn more about Augustine Heard & Co., to find materials that could support further research on the China trade, and to view some of the items featured in this exhibition.
 

Railroads and the Transformation of Capitalism

Railroads and the Transformation of Capitalism

In the mid-to-late nineteenth century United States, more than 240,000 miles of railroad track was laid, connecting vast regions of the country, transporting raw materials, goods, and people, and making possible an unparalleled level of commerce. The railroad system, unprecedented in its size and complexity, became one of the models on which modern capitalism would be based. "Railroads and the Transformation of Capitalism" draws from Baker Library Historical Collections' extensive railroad materials to explore the continuing research in the history and role of railroads in creating not only the foundations of modern business, but also a system of modern capitalism that survives to this day.

Visit the Exhibit Web Site to learn more about the influence of the railroads on capitalism, to find materials that could support further research, and to view some of the items featured in this exhibition.
 

Buy Now, Pay Later: A History of Personal Credit

Buy Now, Pay Later: A History of Personal Credit

Credit is a new development in economic history, right? Wrong. While the institutions and instruments of twenty-first century credit are less than a century old, credit is as old as commerce and previous generations devised creative ways of lending, borrowing, and securing loans well before credit cards or mortgage-backed securities. Though credit is not new, its institutions and instruments have needed to adapt to a changing times as a pre-industrial, face-to-face society gave way to a long-distance market economy. "Buy Now, Pay Later" shows how credit moved from the fringes of the economy to its very center.

Visit the Exhibit Web Site to learn more about the history of credit, to find materials in Baker Library Historical Collections that could support further research, and to view some of the items featured in this exhibition.
 

The High Art of Photographic Advertising: The 1934 National Alliance of Art and Industry Exhibition

The High Art of Photographic Advertising: The 1934 National Alliance of Art and Industry Exhibition

On September 18, 1934, a stunning exhibition sponsored by the National Alliance of Art and Industry (NAAI) and the Photographic Illustrators, Inc. opened in the gallery of New York City's 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The show featured 250 works by the top artistic and commercial photographers of the day, with a particular focus on advertising and industrial images. In 1935, approximately 125 prints from the NAAI exhibition came to Harvard Business School, which was actively collecting photographs for exhibition and classroom use. "The High Art of Photographic Advertising" revisits the 1934 exhibition-a collection that seventy-five years later survives as a telling chapter in evolving perceptions about photography's artistic, commercial, and cultural significance.

Visit the Exhibit Web Site for more information and selections from the 1934 National Alliance of Art and Industry Photograph Collection, featuring some of the top photographers of the day-including Russell Aikins, Margaret Bourke-White, Nickolas Muray, John Paul Pennebaker, and William Rittase.
 

Bubbles, Panics & Crashes: A Century of Financial Crises, 1830s - 1930s

Bubbles, Panics & Crashes: A Century of Financial Crises, 1830s - 1930s
One year after the subprime mortgage crisis, this exhibition revisits four financial crises that occurred in an earlier, particularly volatile century of economic history. In 1837, 1873, 1907, and 1929, asset price bubbles burst, shattering public confidence and devastating financial, securities, and credit markets in the United States and around the world. These four crises were so far-reaching that they affected virtually everyone involved in the U. S. market economy. Yet each was so complex that their causes and consequences remain subjects of debate generations later. By introducing these four earlier crises, this exhibit highlights historical materials that provide avenues for historians and economists to better understand these interconnected and multi-causal phenomena.

Visit the Exhibit Web Site to learn more about the history of financial crises, to find materials in Baker Library Historical Collections that could support further research, and to view some of the items featured in this exhibition.
 

A Concrete Symbol: The Building of Harvard Business School, 1908 - 1927

A Concrete Symbol: The Building of Harvard Business School, 1908 - 1927
The early years of Harvard Business School, from its founding in 1908 to the dedication of the campus in 1927, marked pivotal achievements; the "delicate experiment" was a success and the School was growing. In 1925 construction began on a magnificent campus alongside the Charles River. A Concrete Symbol: The Building of Harvard Business School, 1908-1927 looks back at the process behind the planning and building of the campus, which Edwin Gay, the School's first dean, envisioned as "a concrete symbol of what American business is prepared to give-and be."

Visit the Exhibit Web Site for more information and a selection of the wide array of architectural guidelines, correspondence, early plans, detailed blueprints, elevation drawings, and construction photographs from the Harvard Business School Archives as well as The George F. Baker Trust, Boston Public Library, Harvard University Archives, Harvard University Property Information Resource Center, and the McKim, Mead & White Archives at The New-York Historical Society.
 

The Human Relations Movement: Harvard Business School and the Hawthorne Experiments, 1924-1933
In the 1920s Elton Mayo, a professor of Industrial Management at Harvard Business School, and his protégé Fritz J. Roethlisberger led a landmark study of worker behavior at Western Electric's Hawthorne Works plant. Harvard Business School's role in the experiments represented a milestone in the dawn of the human relations movement, and Baker Library's exhaustive archival record of the experiments reveals the art and science of this seminal behavioral study and the questions and theories it generated about the relationship of productivity to the needs and motivations of the industrial worker. Visit the Exhibit Web Site for more information and selection of graphs, charts, interviews, correspondence, publications, and photographs selected from the library's collection to tell the story of the Hawthorne experiments and to introduce pioneers in the human relations movement associated with this ground-breaking study.
 

New Directions: Building Baker Library's Collections
Unique among business school libraries, Baker Library possesses extraordinarily comprehensive and diverse historical collections consisting of letters, memos, reports, books, images and more. When pieced together, these individual documents act as evidence to describe and interpret history as well as to challenge commonly held assumptions. Current collecting initiatives are closely tied to trends in contemporary scholarship, and existing research collections are continually developed with a consistent focus on the evolution of business and industry within five major collecting themes: Contemporary Leaders, Global Markets, Intellectual Capital, Invention and Innovation, and Visual Evidence. Additional areas of collecting interest include documenting women in business and the significance of family business. Visit the Exhibit Web Site for more information and representative samples from recent Historical Collections acquisitions. This site will be updated as new research collections become available.
 

The Human Factor: Introducing the Industrial Life Photograph Collection at Baker Library
Created in the years between the world wars, the Industrial Life Photograph Collection at Baker Library reveals the colliding-and sometimes competing-messages of art and industry, education and public relations, humanity and modernization. Assembled in the 1930s by Harvard Business School colleagues Donald Davenport and Frank Ayres, the collection was intended to provide students, and America's aspiring corporate managers, with visual data to study the interaction of worker and machine- "the human factor." Visit the Exhibit Web Site for more information and a selection from the over 2,100 images that comprise the Industrial Life Photograph Collection, featuring the work of such artists as Margaret Bourke-White and Lewis Hine.
 

The Funny Side of the Street: Introducing The Wall Street Journal Cartoon Collection at Baker Library
On June 6, 1950, readers of The Wall Street Journal were treated to something very different from the graphs, stock reports and serious articles they were accustomed to reading. Under the title "Pepper ... and Salt," a cartoon appeared that added irreverent and humorous "seasoning" to the day's news. The Wall Street Journal Cartoon Collection at Baker Library includes more than 200 cartoons, spans five and a half decades and represents the work of approximately eighty artists. The collection will continue to grow, building a unique archive of the social and cultural history for American business across the decades. Visit the Exhibit Web Site for more information as well as gallery of thirty cartoons, commentary from Charles Preston, a brief history of "Pepper ... and Salt," and a comprehensive list of published collections of "Pepper ... and Salt" cartoons.
 

Coin and Conscience: Popular Views of Money, Credit and Speculation
Through four centuries and six countries, from admonishing biblical allegory to scathing political cartoon, the images in the Bleichroeder Collection of prints at Baker Library resound with the same caution: where there is money, there is power, vice, corruption, and misfortune. To view these prints is to trace society's changing attitudes toward money from the Reformation and the Church's injunctions against usury, to the Industrial Revolution, to the emergence of modern capitalism. Visit the Exhibit Web Site for more information as well as a gallery of 70 items from the collection.
 

Investigating Disruptive Technology: The Emergence of Ring Spinning in the American Textile Industry
The concept of disruptive technologies, first developed by Harvard Business School Professors Richard S. Rosenbloom, Joseph L. Bowers, and Clayton M. Christensen, cuts across many industry types and time periods. A disruptive technology is a new product or innovation that sneaks into an established market because industry leaders fail to recognize the threat it poses. Visit the Exhibit Web Site for more information.
 

 

Option Pricing in Theory & Practice: The Nobel Prize Research of Robert C. Merton
In October 1997, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced that the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was to be awarded to Professor Robert C. Merton, Harvard University, and Professor Myron S. Scholes, Stanford University, "for a new method to determine the value of derivatives." Robert Merton is the 35th Harvard University faculty member – and the first from the Graduate School of Business Administration – to be awarded a Nobel Prize. Visit the Exhibit Web Site for more information.


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