Baker Library Special Collections provides access to extensive digital resources, including digitized collections materials and databases.

Manuscript Collections

  • Colonial North America at Harvard Library - Provides access to remarkable wide-ranging materials digitized as part of an ongoing, multi-year project to make all of the Library’s colonial-era content available online.
  • Photographs (HOLLIS Images) - Visual collections include more than 32,000 photographs, daguerreotypes and stereographs of factories, manufacturing techniques, business leaders, and people at work in industrial settings ranging from automobile plants to paper mills. Over 2,000 images have been digitized and are available via HOLLIS Images. Note: Some full-size images may only be available to HarvardKey holders. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for additional information regarding access.
  • Archived Websites (Archive-It) - Captures corporate websites to complement materials in contemporary corporate archives and business manuscript collections, as well as thematic collections that focus on the activities and thoughts of corporations and executives and the interaction of HBS faculty, students, and alumni in the greater business world.

HBS Archives

  • School Publications - The HBS Archives collects school publications such as class yearbooks, alumni publications, and course catalogs, among many others. Select publications have been scanned and are available online.
  • Photographs (HOLLIS Images) - HBS Archives photograph collections show faculty engaged in teaching, MBA and Executive Education students in the classroom and at social events, visitors to campus, and documentation of HBS buildings and grounds. Note: Some full-size images may only be available to HarvardKey holders. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for additional information regarding access.
  • Creating Emerging Markets - Provides a unique research and teaching resource on business leadership in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the MIddle East over recent decades. At its core are over 140 interviews by Harvard faculty with high impact leaders in business and social enterprise. 
  • HBS Entrepreneurs Collections - In 2001, HBS initiated a two-year oral history project to capture the stories of some of the most significant entrepreneurs of the time. 
  • Archived HBS Websites (Archive-It) - Administrative, operational, programmatic, and academic records of Harvard Business School with permanent historic value. Additional archived websites document HBS events, news and publications, student experience, and alumni engagement with the school.

Print Materials

  • Books and Serials (HOLLIS) - Over 65,000 print volumes have been digitized and are available via HathiTrust, Harvard Library delivery systems, or databases. Note: Some materials may be available to HarvardKey holders only. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for additional information regarding access. Visit the Search Special Collections page for instructions on creating your own search for digital content.
  • Trade Cards (HOLLIS Images) - Special Collections holds more than 8,000 trade cards, over 1,200 of which are available in digital form, representing the full range of products and businesses advertised through this medium from the 1870s through the 1890s.

Exhibitions and Curated Content

  • Special Collections Exhibitions - Digital content is available on many of the exhibit sites Special Collections has created. The exhibitions are on a wide variety of topics focused on HBS history and business history, including financial crises, histories of innovative companies, the history of capitalism, advertising, and photography.
  • American Currency-Digital collection of paper money ranging in date from 1709 to 1878 illustrating the history of American finance and commerce from Colonial times through the Civil War and featuring essays on the development of a national currency.
  • Contagion: Historical Views of Diseases and Epidemics - Offering valuable insights to students of the history of medicine and to researchers seeking an historical context for current epidemiology, this collection contributes to the understanding of the global, social–history, and public–policy implications of disease.
  • Women Working, 1800-1930 - Exploration of women's impact on the economic life of the United States between 1800 and the Great Depression.
  • Immigration to the United States, 1789-1930 - Digital collection documenting voluntary immigration to the United States from the signing of the Constitution to the start of the Great Depression.

External Resources

  • Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) - Brings together the riches of America's libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world.
  • Hagley Museum and Library Digital Collections - Provides online access to selected items from the Hagley Library's collection of images, documents, and publications related to the history of business, technology, and society.
  • Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Online Catalog - Include photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings. While international in scope, the collections are particularly rich in materials produced in, or documenting the history of, the United States and the lives, interests and achievements of the American people.

Databases and Content Available to the Harvard Community

Making of the Modern World

Images from 61,000 works of literature on economic and business published from 1450 through 1850.

ProQuest Historical Annual Reports

Includes company annual reports available through searchable PDF images from 1844 to the present day covering 800+ US companies and over 75% of the most prevalent Fortune 500 companies, which have been on the ranking list for 30 years or more.

Business History Review

Business History Review seeks to publish articles based on rigorous primary research that addresses major topics of debate, offer comparative perspectives, and broaden consideration of the subject. Topics include, history of entrepreneurs, firms and business systems, innovation, and regulation.

Harvard Business Review

Harvard Business School's monthly publication; Business Source Complete provides full-text of all issues of Harvard Business Review, dating back to 1922.

Learn more about Baker Library Special Collections' Takedown Policy.