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"Bombario, o dood, gy waart geen vrind van Law toen gy Paus Clemens schoot, engraving from Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid, 1720.

South Sea Bubble Home : South Sea Bubble Collection : Using the Collection

Using the Collection

All of the resources in the South Sea Bubble Collection are available for use in the de Gaspé Beaubien Reading Room at Baker Library. Researchers interested in planning a visit to use the collection should contact the Historical Collections Department reference staff in advance via e-mail at histcollref@hbs.edu or by phone at 617-495-6411. Please review the Information and Services section of the Historical Collections Web site for more information on preparing for a visit to the reading room.

Most of the South Sea Bubble Collection is available on microfilm as part of the Goldsmiths’-Kress microfilm series. The South Sea Bubble Collection index  provides links to the online catalog records for all materials in the collection. The catalog record includes a reference to the Goldsmiths’-Kress film series if the item is available on film. Please visit the Historical Collections Web site for more information on accessing materials included in the Goldsmiths’-Kress microfilm series.

Only a small portion of the South Sea Bubble Collection is currently available in digital format. These materials are identified in the collection index. The bulk of the digital content is drawn from only two titles. The first is a remarkable Dutch volume titled Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid, which includes seventy-four lushly detailed prints. The second is a deck of fifty-two playing cards, each of which includes an image accompanied by an allegorical quatrain on the risks or rewards of investing.

Two important secondary resources, originally published in the Kress Library publication series, are also now available digitally:

The South Sea Company: an Historical Essay and Bibliographical Finding List (Kress Library Publication #17) provides a history of the South Sea Company as well as a comprehensive bibliography of resources on the South Sea Bubble, including those in the Kress Collection.

The Great Mirror of Folly (Het Groote Tafereel der Dwaasheid): An Economic-Bibliographical Study (Kress Library Publication #6) is a thorough bibliographical analysis of this extraordinary satirical Dutch volume, based on an examination of multiple variants of this work that are part of the Kress Collection.