Baker Library | Bloomberg Center

Historical Collections

Current Research

Unique among business school libraries, Baker Library possesses remarkably comprehensive and diverse historical collections that offer a window on the development and growth of business and industry from the fifteenth through the twentieth centuries. Below are brief descriptions of selected recent publications representing some of the varied uses, both traditional and nontraditional, of primary source materials held in the Historical Collections Department at Baker Library.

Fortune Tellers: The Story of America's First Economic Forecasters
By Walter A. Friedman

Walter A. Friedman, Director of Harvard Business School's Business History Initiative, presents the stories of a group of early 20th century entrepreneurs and academics who tried to apply various scientific methods and beliefs to available information in order to predict future economic trends. In the course of his research on this topic, Friedman used the Baker Old Class Collection and the the Office of the Dean (Donham) Records from the HBS Archives. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Manufacturing Morals: the Values of Silence in Business School Education
By Michel Anteby

Harvard Business School Associate Professor Michel Anteby provides the results of an ethnographic study of Harvard Business School's culture, and examines how codes of moral conduct are constructed in organizations. Anteby used materials contained within the HBS Archives, including the HBS Archives Photograph Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Gentlemen Bankers: The World of J. P. Morgan
By Susie J. Pak

St. John's University Assistant Professor Susie Pak examines the J. P. Morgan's network of social and business relationships to determine which were important and meaningful and what they illustrate about the lives of private elite bankers, their partners, peers, and collaborators. Research materials used include the Lehman Brothers Records and the Thomas W. Lamont Papers. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Marking Modern Times: A History of Clocks, Watches, and Other Timekeepers in American Life
By Alexis McCrossen

Alexis McCrossen, associate professor of history at Southern Methodist University, looks at the history of public clocks and personal timekeepers through the lens of their manufacture, marketing, and acquisition in order to trade the development of time discipline in American life. In researching this topic, McCrossen used mutliple collections, including Waltham Watch Co. Records, Advertising Ephemera Collection, Abraham Burger Account Book, D.E. Hoxie Daybook, and the R. G. Dun & Co. Credit Report Volumes. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Pacific Crossing: California Gold, Chinese Migration, and the Making of Hong Kong
By Elizabeth Sinn

Senior Consultant for the Hong Kong Memory Project Elizabeth Sinn examines the complex connections between California and Hong Kong from the mid 19th century onward to study both the role Hong Kong played in Chinese emigration and the influence Chinese emigration patterns had on the economic, social, and cultural development of Hong Kong. In the course of her extensive archival research on this topic, Sinn used the Heard Family Business Records. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Instant: The Story of Polaroid
By Christopher Bonanos

New York magazine editor Christopher Bonanos traces the arc of Polaroid Corporation and its driven, charismatic leader, Edwin Land, from the earliest days of polarized light filters to the development of instant photography; from its decades long reign as a research and development powerhouse to the years of decline and eventual bankruptcy. In the course of his extensive archival research on this topic, Bonanos used the Polaroid Corporation Administrative Records and the Polaroid Corporation Legal and Patent Records. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

When Wall Street Met Main Street: The Quest for an Investors' Democracy
By Julia C. Ott

Julia C. Ott presents the development of a broadening investment market in the early 20th century and examines the roles of government, corporations, financial institutions, and individual stakeholders. During her research visit to Baker Library Historical Collections, Julia Ott used the Thomas W. Lamont Papers, the Kidder, Peabody and Company Records, and the Edgar Higgins Investment Trust Papers. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America
By Richard White

In this work, Stanford University Professor and MacArthur Award winner Richard White presents the history of North America's western railroads and how they transformed the corporate world in the latter part of the 19th century through their failures as much as their successes. In the course of his extensive archival research on this topic, Richard White used the Jay Cooke & Co. Records, the Henry Villard Business Papers, and the Harris Charles Fahnestock Papers. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

 

 

History of Black Business in America Vol. 1, to 1865

The History of Black Business in America: Capitalism, Race, Entrepreneurship, Second Edition, Volume 1, to 1865
by Juliet E.K. Walker
Volume 1 of this new, updated version of Juliet Walker's work draws on hundreds of primary and secondary sources to present a comprehensive survey of black business development through the end of the Civil War. Volume 2 covers from the end of the Civil War to the 21st century. Walker used the R. G. Dun & Company Credit Report Volumes at Baker Library, comprised of thousands of credit reports on businesses and individuals from locations throughout the expanding nineteenth-century United States. Walker used these reports to research black businesses and entrepreneurs in the mid-nineteenth century. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book, or purchase it.

Debtor Nation: The History of America in Red Ink
By Louis Hyman

Louis Hyman presents a history of American postwar consumer credit behavior through an examination of the financial practices, policies, institutions, and instruments that shifted the borrowing and lending processes of the 20th century. In the course of his research, Louis Hyman used materials from the Historic Corporate Report Collection and the Baker Old Class Collection. Consult the Catalog Record for more information about the book or purchase it here.

More Publications from Historical Collections Research


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