Monday, March 28, 2011

Conference Program Available for July ABH Meeting

The Association of Business Historians will hold its annual meeting in association with the Centre for International Business History, Henley Business School, at the University of Reading on July 1-2, 2011.  The theme of the meeting is "Sustainability" (see the original call for papers for a fuller description). The draft conference program has now been posted. The program features an international group of business historians, including scholars from Italy, France, Spain, the United States, Japan, and Germany, for example, as well as from the UK.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire 100 Years Later

March 25, 2011, marks the 100th anniversary of the notorious Triangle Factory Fire in New York City, in which 146 young garment workers, mostly young immigrant women, lost their lives. Several sites document the event, providing images, original documents, and teaching materials; a sampling:
The Triangle Factory Fire, 1911-2011, ILR School, Kheel Center, Cornell University
The Triangle Fire Trial, Famous Trials website
Triangle Fire, American Experience, PBS
"Art · Memory · Place," Gray Art Gallery, NYU
Adelphi Factory Fire Remembrance Project, Adelphi University
Website for the HBO documentary on the fire, "Triangle, Remembering the Fire"
OSHA commemoration page, includes links to other sites
"A Guide to the Forverts Archival Coverage of the Triangle Fire," Jewish Daily Forward: newly translated materials
OAH session on the Triangle Fire, video on C-Span
In addition, several news sites have posted commemorative articles:
Original UP Coverage, UPI Archives Special Report
"Clinging to Scraps of Memories," New York Times, Joseph Berger
"Remembering the Triangle Fire," The Nation
PBS Newshour Extra on the Triangle Fire, and OnLine NewsHour speaks with David von Drehle, author of Triangle: The Fire That Changed America

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

CFP: The “Political Arithmetick” of Empires

The Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park, and the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture will jointly sponsor a conference entitled "The 'Political Arithmetick' of Empires in the Early Modern Atlantic World, 1500-1807," to be held March 17–18, 2012, at the University of Maryland, College Park. The call for papers indicates areas of interest for economic historians:
This conference takes its title from the celebrated pamphlet of Sir William Petty published in 1690. The organizers are particularly eager to receive submissions from scholars working on subjects that Petty and his contemporaries believed formed the basis of the new concept of “political economy,” especially as these related to the Americas from the sixteenth century through the eighteenth.
  Petty’s pamphlet was largely devoted to the question of how best to construct an English empire within which trade, people, and nation would flourish. His calculations involved not only economic factors but also issues of authority, hierarchy, and justice. The purpose of this conference is to examine the many components, economic as well as cultural, that cohered and/or fractured empires in the early modern Atlantic world between 1500 and 1807.
The full call for papers is available on the Institute website; the deadline for submissions is July 31, 2011.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Hagley Digitizes Collection of Enron Papers and Enron at the OAH

Hagley Museum and Library has digitized its Herbert S. Winokur, Jr., Enron Board Records collection. This collection spans th period from 1997 through 2001 and documents the landmark corporate bankruptcy. Herbert “Pug” Winokur donated his Enron board minutes to Hagley in 2010. This collection includes board minutes, records of the executive, finance, and audit committees, and memoranda and emails. Mr. Winokur also funded the digitization of these records. “This is one of the most complete collections of Enron board records in existence,” according to Lynn Catanese, curator of manuscripts and archives at Hagley. Researchers can either browse the documents, search the collection, or examine the materials by category—for example, press releases, board of directors meetings, and finance committee meetings.
  Coincidentally, the HNN blog features the Saturday plenary session at the Organization of American Historian (OAH) meeting: “Ten Years after the Enron Scandal: Historical Perspectives on the Company's Origins and Growth.” The session, chaired by Naomi Lamoreaux, focuses on a paper by Alan D. Anderson, “Enron and the Transformation of the Natural Gas Industry, 1968-1993.” Commentators were Joseph A. Pratt, Margaret B.W. Graham, and Mary Yeager. The full video of the session can be found on the C-Span website.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Calls for Dissertation and Poster Sessions at the WEHC

The International Economic History Association (IEHA) will hold its sixteenth World Economic History Congress in Stellenbosch, South Africa, July 9-13, 2012. The congress includes a poster session for Ph.D. students and junior postdoctoral researchers, offering a great opportunity to present ongoing research to an international audience. Posters combine text and graphics in order to communicate information and ideas, and the informal and interactive setting of the poster session makes it easy to engage people in conversation and invite feedback. Poster abstracts can be submitted at The submission deadline is March 1, 2012.

  The congress also includes a competition for recently completed doctoral theses in economic history or related fields, and young scholars are invited to present their doctoral research. Three dissertation prizes will be offered: one for dissertations covering the period before 1800, one for the period 1800-1914, and one for the period 1914-the present. Per period, three to four candidates will be selected by a jury consisting of members of the Executive Committee of the IEHA to present their doctoral research in Stellenbosch in 2012.

   To be eligible for participation in the dissertation competition candidates must have been awarded their doctorate or equivalent after January 1, 2008, and not later than September 1, 2011. Proposals are requested by September 1, 2011.  Complete information about the application process is available on the Call for Dissertations section of the Congress website.

   For questions about both calls, please contact the WEHC 2012 Programme Secretariat:

Thursday, March 17, 2011

March 2011 Enterprise & Society Now Available

The March 2011 Enterprise & Society is a special issue featuring "New Perspectives on the Military-Industrial Complex." In the introductory essay, Michael Bernstein and Mark R. Wilson write:
In this special issue of Enterprise and Society, we revisit the subject of the MIC [military-industrial complex] by featuring the work of a new generation of scholars. This more recent scholarship is distinguished by its focus on case studies, its broader perception of the complex patterns of cause-and-effect portrayed in the evidence, and its determination to generate a more systematic (and, at times thereby, more complicated) set of conclusions regarding the history and implications of the MIC.
Related articles include:
  • Mark R. Wilson, "Making 'Goop' Out of Lemons: The Permanente Metals Corporation, Magnesium Incendiary Bombs, and the Struggle for Profits during World War II"
  • Eugene Gholz, "Eisenhower versus the Spin-off Story: Did the Rise of the Military–Industrial Complex Hurt or Help America's Commercial Aircraft Industry?"
  • Edmund F. Wehrle, " 'Aid Where It Is Needed Most': American Labor's Military–Industrial Complex"
  • Jocelyn Wills, "Innovation in a Cold [War] Climate: Engineering Peace with the American Military–Industrial Complex"
  • Jeffrey A. Engel, "Not Yet A Garrison State: Reconsidering Eisenhower's Military–Industrial Complex" 
For  the full table of contents of the March issue, please visit the journal's "current issue" site.  Full access requires a subscription, but extracts of each article are accessible to all.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Finding Historical Corporate Reports On-Line

Business historians have a wealth of options for finding recent and current company annual reports; nearly all companies now post them on-line, and several services provide collections of such data (though access may require a paid subscription, either personal or through a library); see here for an international list. But finding historical corporate reports is not so easy; though many libraries hold them, they have not been a priority for digitization. Nevertheless, for the United States and Canada, a few libraries make digitized reports available:
Canadian Corporate Reports at McGill University
Columbia Historical Corporate Reports
Corporate Reports Online at Penn
Northwest Historical Annual Reports at the University of Washington
In addition, Judith Nixon at Purdue University Library has posted a combined listing (not the reports themselves) of the reports held by Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Purdue, Stanford, Alabama, California-Berkeley, Pennsylvania, Western Ontario, Yale, and the Science/Industry/Business Library of New York Public Library.
  Proquest offers Historical Corporate Reports, which includes "42,000 reports from 1844 onward, representing over 800 leading North American companies." This database requires a subscription, but it is freely available to users at many college, university, and public libraries.
  The Library of Congress provides indexes of the pre-1974 U.S. annual reports and 1975-1983 annual reports available there on microfiche.
  For those trying to track down reports from companies directly, the on-line Directory of Corporate Archives in the United States and Canada, just updated and now maintained by the Association of American Archivists, is a useful tool.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

CFP: The Great Depression Revisited

The George Washington Forum on American Ideas, Politics, and Institutions at Ohio University invites paper proposals for a conference and subsequent edited volume on the Great Depression in the United States. The conference will be held at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio on October 13–15, 2011. The call for papers states:
A global event as traumatic as it was transformative, the Great Depression permanently altered the trajectory of state formation in the United States and prompted critical debates about the obligation and capacity of central governments to provide citizens with economic stability and security—debates that continue to resonate prominently today. This conference aims to promote academic discussion and to explore new research trends on the political, economic, and institutional legacy of the Great Depression, from its origins in the twenties to the New Deal’s response over the following decade. Papers on the conference theme addressing a wider chronological context beyond World War II are also encouraged. The conference organizers welcome the work of advanced doctoral students and both young and established scholars in the fields of history, political science, and economics.
Proposals should include a 500-word abstract, a brief curriculum vitae, and current contact information and should be sent by April 2, 2011, to Robert G. Ingram, Director, The George Washington Forum, Department of History, Bentley Annex 415, Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701–2979, USA; email: Notifications of a paper’s acceptance will be mailed in early April.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Shashi: A Tool for Japanese Business History

A recent post on H-Business led us to investigate a resource perhaps little known among Western business historians and non-specialists. Shashi are Japanese company histories—usually published by the companies themselves and often commemorative. Most shashi publications are not sold; they are therefore unavailable through the usual distribution system in Japan and often are not easily found in libraries. Recognizing the potential value of these items for business history (and other genres as well), the North American Japanese Company Histories (Shashi) Group has been working on efforts to collect and catalog as many shashi as possible. They have established a wiki and a discussion group. Much of the available material is in Japanese, but the group's discussions and library listings are bilingual. A set of introductory links:
Shashi at the University of Hawai'i
Shashi Database at Ohio State University and
Japanese Company Histories at the Ohio State University Libraries
Shashi at the University of Kansas
Shibusawa Eiichi Memorial Foundation Resource Center for the History of Entrepreneurship Shashi Project
Both the University of Hawai'i and the Shibusawa Eiichi Foundation sites provide very useful links to other information (informational text and links are in English; sources are usually in Japanese). Another starting point in English is Yuko Matsuzaki's 2007 article, and an article in the Japan Times.

Monday, March 7, 2011

All-University of California Group in Economic History Events Announced

The All-California Group in Economic History has posted a call for papers and the program, respectively, for two of its upcoming events.
   The All-UC Group, in cooperation with the Center for the Evolution of the Global Economy, has issued a call for papers for a conference to be held May 6-7, 2011, at the UC Davis Conference Center.  The topic is “New Perspectives on the Great Specialization in the Nineteenth Century: Growth, Welfare, and Inter-dependence.” The call for papers states:
Rapid technological advances were a major force in shaping the global economy of the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries.  These changes, along with the building of overseas empires, affected the international division of labor, generating what has recently been referred to as a “Great Specialization.” . . . This conference seeks to bring together scholars working on research related to the relation between economic growth and market integration, the welfare impact of integration, and policy constraints wrought by these fundamental forces of technology and specialization.  Papers making use of new data sets on regions outside of Western Europe, especially those investigating the evolution of global markets and their impact on local economies, are of special interest.   Papers presenting new ways of conceptualizing the process of economic change, the structure of international markets and their relation in this period are also welcome.
   To submit a paper proposal or to attend, please see the conference website; proposals are requested by March 21, 2011.

On April 22-23, 2011, the All-UC Group, in connection with the Huntington Library and Caltech, will hold a conference on “Space and Place in Economic Growth” at the Huntington Library. The program has now been posted.  The conference will examine the role of space in economic activity in long-term perspective. Presenters include Price Fishback, Sheilagh Ogilvie, and Lee Alston.
   Those who would like to attend should contact Hilary Wilkoff ( no later than March 11.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

CFP: Accounting History Review Conference, Cardiff

The 23rd Accounting History Conference, sponsored by the Cardiff Business School, will be held in Cardiff on September 12-13, 2011. As the organizers, Malcolm Anderson and Stephen Walker, state: “The conference will be the launch event for Accounting History Review. In accordance with the focus of the journal, a key theme of the conference will be ‘Accounting in History’—exploring the scope for greater interdisciplinary engagement between accounting and mainstream historians.”
   Those wishing to propose papers for the conference should send a one-page abstract (including name, affiliation, and contact details) formatted in Word as an email attachment by June 1, 2011, to Applicants will be advised of the conference organizers’ decision by June 10. Please see the conference website for complete details.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Hagley's Center for Business, Technology, and Society Offers New Grant

The Center for Business, Technology, and Society at the Hagley Museum and Library has announced a new class of grants, "Exploratory Research Grants." The Center now invites applications for these one-week grants, which are intended to allow researchers to determine if the Hagley Library collections are useful for a particular project. Priority will be given to junior scholars with innovative projects that seek to expand on existing scholarship. Applicants should reside more than 50 miles from Hagley; the stipend is $400. The next application deadline is March 31, 2011; other deadlines are June 30 and October 31 of each year. See the Hagley's website for detailed information about this and other available grants.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

“Power and History of Capitalism” Program Available

The History Department of Lang College, the New School for Social Research, and the Culture of the Market Network at the University of Manchester are holding a conference on "Power and the History of Capitalism," to be held at the New School in New York City, April 15-16, 2011. The program is now available on the group's University of Manchester website. Among the many participants are Vicki Howard, Noam Maggor, Kim Phillips-Fein, Louis Hyman, Sven Beckert, Michael Zakim, and Ken Lipartito; Joyce Appleby and Stephen Mihm will offer keynote addresses, and  Beckert and Zakim will join Jeffrey Sklansky, James Livingston, and Robin Blackburn in a "State of the Field" roundtable. Organizers are Oz Frankel, Peter Knight, and Julia Ott.
   The Culture of the Market Network is a collaboration between the University of Manchester, Oxford University, the New School, and Harvard University aimed at bringing together an international group of scholars from the humanities and social sciences to investigate how economic ideas, institutions, and practices are embedded in the wider culture.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Vintage TV Commercials Available from Duke's Hartman Center

The John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in Duke University's Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library is placing on-line thousands of vintage television commercials dating from the 1950s to the 1980s. The digital exhibit, entitled: "AdViews: A Digital Archive of Vintage Television Commercials," can be browsed or searched.  Users must have iTunes installed on their computers to play the commercials, but a list of available commercials can be accessed on the site itself. The site also contains a series of "expert interviews," which can be viewed without additional software on most computers.
  The Hartman Center is also home to other important digital collections, including Ad*Access and The Emergence of Advertising in America.