Harvard Business School Baker Library Historical Collections
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New Directions: Building Baker Library’s Collections

Historical Collections, Baker Library – Harvard Business School

The foundation for contemporary research in history lies in the original materials that are available for study. It is the surviving documents—the letters, memos, reports, books, and images—that allow a story to be told. When pieced together, these individual documents act as evidence to describe and interpret history as well as to challenge commonly held assumptions.

Unique among business school libraries, Baker Library possesses extraordinarily comprehensive and diverse historical collections. Built over time with a consistent focus on the evolution of business and industry, the depth and scope of these collections are exceptional. Since the establishment of Harvard Business School in 1908, the identification of new areas for collection growth has ensured the guided expansion of Baker Library’s resources. New collecting initiatives are closely tied to trends in contemporary scholarship, and existing research collections are continually developed. Baker Library remains committed to strengthening its historical collections to better understand the important theories, organizations, movements, and individuals that have shaped the business world today.

An essential element of collection development is defining new directions for collecting. Baker Library is vigorously building its historical collections, developing resources to support emerging trends in contemporary scholarship and the research directions of the future. Current initiatives focus around five major collecting themes: Contemporary Leaders, 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.

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