FEATURED EXHIBITS

At The Intersection of Science & Art: Edwin H. Land and the Polaroid Corporation

Drawing from the wealth of material in the Polaroid corporate archives in Special Collections, this exhibit brings into focus the formative years and trajectory of the Polaroid Corporation and the career of Edwin H. Land. A scientist and inventor, entrepreneur and CEO, aesthete and humanist, Land fostered invention and creativity within the culture of a small, science-based research and manufacturing company. He argued that the industrial process should be “dedicated to the discernment of deep human needs.” His insights into those needs coupled with an eye for artistic expression guided the groundbreaking research ambitions of Polaroid—an iconic, 20th-century startup company.

Georges F. Doriot: Educating Leaders, Building Companies

Georges F. Doriot played a pioneering role in the emergence of the postwar entrepreneurial economy. During his 40-year tenure at Harvard Business School, Doriot taught business and leadership to nearly 7,000 students in his celebrated Manufacturing course. He realized his dream of establishing the first MBA program in Europe by helping to found the European Institute of Business Administration (INSEAD). Further, as president of American Research & Development Corporation (ARD), one of the first venture capital firms, Doriot fostered the development of startup companies that focused on emerging technologies.

The Art of American Advertising, 1865-1910

From the mid-19th to the early 20th century, a burgeoning advertising industry in the United States reached a national market through the use of innovative printing technologies and marketing strategies that crossed the boundaries of art and commerce. Companies with products to sell reached wholesalers, retailers, and consumers, through media of all shapes, sizes, colors, and imagery. These early and extraordinarily inventive forms of advertising, including trade catalogs and cards, broadsides, posters, souvenir publications, and novelty items, advertised mass-produced products to an emerging American consumer culture.

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-19th century, leaving behind an extensive chronicle of their experiences. The Heard papers, one of the largest collections of business records, professional accounts, and personal perspectives, document the life and trajectory of a prosperous 19th century firm that prospered at the height of the China trade. These materials also offer a window into momentous events in Sino-Western relations as well as the day-to-day activities of American traders in the treaty ports.

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. In 1925 construction began on a magnificent campus alongside the Charles River. A wide array of architectural guidelines, correspondence, early plans, detailed blueprints, elevation drawings, and construction photographs demonstrate 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."

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

Four financial crises occurred during a 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 around the world. These crises affected virtually everyone involved in the United States market economy and their causes and consequences remain subjects of debate. Historical materials reveal the voices, actions, and experiences of individuals who played a role in precipitating each crisis, those who suffered its ill effects, and those who seized an opportunity to profit from it.

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

Business education for women at Harvard University began with the founding of the one-year certificate program at Radcliffe College in 1937, leading to an HBS faculty vote to admit women into the two-year MBA program, and finally to the complete integration of women into campus life by 1970. A selection of photographs, interviews, reports, and correspondence documents how program directors, administrators, and faculty facilitated these women’s entry into the business world. The pioneering graduates of these programs opened the door for future generations of women to access formerly unattainable opportunities.

Buy Now, Pay Later: A History of Personal Credit

While the institutions and instruments of 21st century credit are less than a century old, credit is as old as commerce. Previous generations devised creative ways of lending, borrowing, and securing loans well before credit cards or mortgage-backed securities. Though credit is not new, it is newly visible. Personal borrowing—once private, often secretive, and sometimes even illegal—has become decidedly public, moving from the fringes of the economy to its very center, needing to adapt to changing times as a pre-industrial, face-to-face society transformed into a long-distance market economy.

Coin and Conscience: Popular Views of Money, Credit and Speculation

From admonishing biblical allegory to scathing political cartoon, the images in the Bleichroeder Collection of prints resound with the same caution: where there is money, there is power, vice, corruption, and misfortune. Images produced over 400 years 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. Parallels between past and present attitudes toward money are not deeply buried: representations of gamblers and lottery drawings, the idle rich and the penniless all seem remarkably contemporary.

New Directions: Building Baker Library's Collections

Focus on five new major collecting themes: contemporary leadership, 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.

Unique among business school libraries, Baker Library possesses extraordinarily comprehensive and diverse historical collections consisting of letters, memos, reports, books, images, and more. These materials are frequently consulted by numerous scholars and used as evidence in the interpretation of historical events and the questioning of commonly held assumptions. Current initiatives are closely tied to trends in contemporary scholarship, and existing research collections are strengthened through a consistent focus on the evolution of business within five major themes: Contemporary Leaders, Global Markets, Intellectual Capital, Invention and Innovation, and Visual Evidence.

Option Pricing in Theory & Practice: The Nobel Prize Research of Robert C. Merton

In October 1997, the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Professor Robert C. Merton of Harvard University and Professor Myron S. Scholes of Stanford University, "for a new method to determine the value of derivatives." The Black-Scholes option pricing model established the everyday use of mathematical models as essential tools in the world of finance, both in the classroom and on the trading floor. Merton is the first HBS faculty member to receive a Nobel Prize and his groundbreaking work has greatly impacted both academic and financial communities.

Railroads and the Transformation of Capitalism

In the mid-to-late 19th 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 size and complexity, became one of the models on which modern capitalism would be based.  The financial and administrative records of key railroad companies illustrate this industry’s role in creating not only the foundations of modern business, but also a system of capitalism that survives to this day.

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. Donated by its founder and editor, Charles Preston, the collection includes more than 200 cartoons, spans five and a half decades, and represents the work of approximately 80 artists; it continues to grow, building a unique archive of social, cultural, and business history.

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 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, including Russell Aikins, Margaret Bourke-White, Nickolas Muray, John Paul Pennebaker, and William Rittase, with a focus on advertising and industrial images. The photographs contained within this collection survive as a telling chapter in the evolving perceptions about photography's artistic, commercial, and cultural significance.

The Human Factor: Introducing the Industrial Life Photograph Collection at Baker Library

Assembled in the 1930s by Harvard Business School colleagues Donald Davenport and Frank Ayres, 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. Over 2,100 images comprise the collection, featuring the work of such artists as Margaret Bourke-White and Lewis Hine. Its creators hoped to provide everyone from students and faculty to researchers and aspiring corporate managers with visual data to study the interaction of worker and machine: "the human factor."

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 workers at Western Electric's Hawthorne Works plant. The School's role in the experiments represented a milestone in the dawn of the human relations movement, generating questions and theories about the relationship of productivity to the needs and motivations of the industrial worker. Graphs, charts, interviews, correspondence, publications, and photographs tell the story of the Hawthorne experiments and introduce pioneers in the human relations movement.