The Kress Collection of Business and Economics is recognized as one of the premier rare book collections in the world. 

This collection was formed by the collecting efforts of the British economist Herbert Somerton Foxwell and acquired by HBS in the 1930s through the generous donation of Claude Washington Kress.


The Kress Collection includes rare books, pamphlets, broadsides, manuscripts, and prints, with the earliest imprint in 1474 and a close date of 1850 (there are some materials post-1850). Strengths within the collection include the history of political economy, economic philosophy, finance, agriculture, and trades and manufactures. In addition, new directions in research continue to bring to light valuable resources that concern an expanding range of disciplines, including the history of technology, African-American and gender studies, and social and cultural history. 

Components of This Collection

South Sea Bubble - Bancroft Collection

Focuses on the South Sea Bubble stock market crisis and the speculative mania that swept England and the Continent in the early part of the 18th century.

Adam Smith - Vanderblue Collection

One of the most comprehensive collections in the world of works by Adam Smith with a special focus on The Wealth of Nations.