Friday, July 29, 2011

CFP: EABH Workshop for Young Scholars

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) and GREThA (Groupe de Recherche en Économie Théorique et Appliquée) at the University of Bordeaux will co-sponsor the third EABH Workshop for Young Scholars, to be held in Bordeaux in spring 2012. The topic will be "Public Policies and the Direction of Financial Flows." The call for papers states:
Many times in history, public authorities have decided to pursue economic policies (mainly development policies) by directing the financial flows of the economy. The central idea of the workshop is to study this phenomenon using a comparative approach. The basic question to be addressed is therefore: Why and how did non-market forces (states, local authorities, international authorities, technical bodies) manage to direct financial flows so as to achieve specific goals, mainly related to economic development? . . . Such management of financial flows may be achieved with a great variety of instruments, from laws to plans to regulations to government decisions to moral suasion. Most often, these devices coexist with other forms of economic regulation (on prices, investments, foreign trade, etc.), yet the focus of the papers should be on financial flows and possibly on how the management of those interacted with other forms of regulation.
Papers, which should be sent via email to, must be submitted no later than January 30, 2012. Authors of papers of "sufficient quality and relevance to the key issues" will be invited to present their work at the EABH annual conference, which has the same topic, to be held in Bucharest in June 2012. Please see the full call for papers for further details. Those interested can also see the program from the second Workshop, held last March in Rotterdam.
Update, 10/11/11: The date for the workshop has now been set as March 16, 2012.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

CFP: Economic History Society 2012 Meeting

The 2012 conference of the Economic History Society will be held March 30-April 1 at St. Catherine's College, University of Oxford. According to the call for papers,
The program committee welcomes proposals on all aspects of economic and social history covering a wide range of periods and countries and, particularly, papers of an interdisciplinary nature. Preference may be given to scholars who did not present a paper at the previous year's conference. Those currently studying for, or who have recently completed, a PhD should submit a proposal to the New Researcher session. The committee invites proposals for individual papers, as well as for entire sessions (three speakers [optimum], 1.5 hours duration; no more than four papers will be accepted for any one session).  Session entries should include proposals and synopses for each paper in the session, although the committee reserves the right to determine which papers will be presented in the session if it is accepted. If a session is not accepted, the committee may incorporate one or more of the proposed papers into other panels.
The deadline for academic proposals is September 12, 2011, and September 5, 2011, for "New Researcher" proposals.  Please see the EHS conference website for complete information and the on-line submission pages.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Web Exhibit at the AAS: Food as Big Business

The American Antiquarian Society (AAS) has a Web exhibit of interest, entitled "Big Business: Food Production, Processing, and Distribution in the North, 1850-1900." The introduction explains, "This online exhibition features lithographs, chromolithographs, trade catalogues, trade cards, and product labels from the American Antiquarian Society’s collection that help shed light on major changes in the way Americans in the North produced and sold their food in the second half of the nineteenth century." The exhibit categorizes materials under Farming, Seed Catalogues, Manufacturing, Trade Cards, Shopping, and Food Labels. Each section features descriptive text and images that illustrate some aspect of the process of getting food from farm to table in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Call for Papers: EBHS 2012 Meeting

The Economic and Business Historical Society (EBHS) will hold its next annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, April 26-28, 2012. Paper and panel proposals on any aspect of business or economic history are now being accepted. Proposals should include:
  • an abstract of no more than 500 words
  • a brief curriculum vita
  • postal and email addresses
  • telephone and fax numbers
Panel proposals should also suggest a title and a panel chair. Submissions are welcome from graduate students and non-academic affiliates.
   Proposals may be submitted online using the form at the EBHS site, via email to, or via mail to: Frederick Gates, 2012 EBHS Program Chair, Department of Social Sciences, SCI 101-A, Southwest Oklahoma State University, 100 Campus Drive, Weatherford, OK 73096. The deadline for submission of proposals is January 15, 2012.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

CFP: JHRM Special Issue on Female Contributors to Marketing

The Journal of Historical Research in Marketing (JHRM) has issued a call for papers for a special issue on "Remembering Female Contributors to Marketing Theory, Thought, and Practice," to appear in August 2013. Guest editors for this issue will be Mark Tadajewski, University of Strathclyde, and Pauline Maclaran, Royal Holloway, University of London.
For submission procedures and suggested topics of interest, please see the full call for papers. The submission deadline is April 30, 2012.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Data Resource: Historical Financial Statistics

The Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and Study of Business Enterprise, co-directed by Louis Galambos and Steve Hanke, is co-sponsor with the Center for Financial Stability, headed by Lawrence Goodman, of a new repository of historical financial data. Historical Financial Statistics went online a year ago, with the goal of providing "a source of comprehensive, authoritative, easy-to-use macroeconomic data stretching back several centuries. [The] target range of coverage is from 1492 to the present, with special emphasis on the years before 1950." The Johns Hopkins page further explains:
The Historical Financial Statistics Project is designed to bring long-term perspective to current financial research, policy, and practice. The financial data that are being compiled and digitized by Dr. Kurt Schuler from the Center, and Dr. Steve Hanke and Nicholas Krus from the Institute, cover over 40 countries and include data from the 10th century to the present, although its focus is on the 1492-1950 period, which few other databases cover. Included in the data are exchange rates, money, banking, interest rates, prices, employment, the balance of payments, government finance, and GDP. . . . A community of scholars from around the world graciously contributes their time and digitized information to deepening the data offering.
A full listing of currently available data is available on the site. Researchers should be aware that the nature of the project means that many types of data remain missing for some countries and time periods, especially pre-1800. The site managers are happy to have contributions of new data sets; they supply a set of directions and contact information for those interested. The site also provides some handy tools, including a "Key Dates in Financial History" timeline and a list of city and country names including old and local names. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

CFP: French Conference on Accounting and Management History

The 17th Conference on Accounting and Management History will be held in Toulouse, France, March 22-23, 2012. The meeting is co-sponsored by the Association Francophone de Comptabilité (AFC), the Centre de Recherche en Management (CRM) at the University of Toulouse 1 Capitole, the Laboratoire Gestion et Cognition (LGC) at the University of Toulouse 3 Paul Sabatier, and the Management Research Centre-ESC Toulouse. The theme is "Images and Representations," intended to cover both the use of images and representations in accounting and management and the depiction of those fields in such media. Proposals that do not fit within this theme, but that cover some aspect of accounting and management in historical perspective, are also welcome. The deadline for submission is November 15, 2011. Please note that full papers (in French or in English) and two abstracts (one in French and one in English) must be submitted in electronic form to For complete information and submission requirements, please see the full call for papers.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

CFP: Public Policies and the Direction of Financial Flows

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) and the National Bank of Romania are co-sponsoring a conference, to be held 7-9 June, 2012, in Bucharest, on "Public Policies and the Direction of Financial Flows." The call for papers states:
Many times in history, public authorities have decided to pursue economic policies (mainly development policies) by directing the financial flows of the economy. The central idea of the conference is to study this phenomenon using a comparative approach. The basic question to be addressed is therefore: Why and how did non-market forces (states, local authorities, international authorities, technical bodies) manage to direct financial flows so as to achieve specific goals, mainly related to economic development?
The full announcement is available here. Proposals should be sent via email to by September 19, 2011.

Monday, July 11, 2011

SHOT 2011 Meeting Details Now Available

The 2011 meeting of the Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, on November 3-6. The preliminary program has now been posted on the meeting website, along with information about lodging, travel, and the Cleveland area. Registration information is also available, as well as details about tours and meals; the deadline for early registration is October 1, 2011.
   This year's SHOT meeting will be co-located with those of the History of Science Society and the Society for the Social Studies of Science. To facilitate interaction with colleagues in the other societies, there will be a three-society plenary and reception Thursday night and a joint book exhibit at the Renaissance Hotel where HSS is meeting.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Business and Economic History at the SHEAR Meeting

SHEAR (Society for Historians of the Early American Republic) is meeting this week in  Philadelphia (July 14-17). The program includes several sessions of interest to business and economic historians of the early modern period. For example:
Session 6. Laboring Others
Aaron Marrs, chair and commentator
Jay M. Perry: Irish Immigrant Secret Societies and Building of Indiana Canals
Darla Thompson: Engineering Louisiana: Working Slaves on the Public Works
Session 9. Materialism and Anti-Materialism in the Economic Development of New York City
Rohit Thomas Aggarwala, chair and commentator
Brian P. Murphy: Incorporation: Banking on the Future by Banking in the City, 1784–1792
Clifton Hood: Culture and Enterprise: The Roots of New York City’s Rise to Dominance
James Lundberg: "Where Labor is Loathed and Luxury Coveted": Greeley in the Great Emporium, 1831–1860
Session 11. Economic Change and the War of 1812
Cathy Matson, chair and commentator
Colleen F. Rafferty: "To establish an intercourse between our respective houses": Continuity and Change in Mid-Atlantic Networks, 1800-1815
Martin Öhman: The Restrictive System and the War of 1812 in the Mid-Atlantic Region
Lawrence Hatter: The Diplomacy of State Building: The War of 1812 and the Formation of an American Commercial State in the West, 1803-1817
Session 33. Blurring the Public-Private Divide: Federal Patronage in the Antebellum Era
Daniel Feller, chair; Richard R. John, commentator
Stephen Campbell: Hard Times: Federal Patronage, Bank Loans, and Public Opinion in the Bank War
Sean Patrick Adams: Making Markets Out of Shot and Shell: Catharine Furnace, Contract Capitalism, and the Problem of Virginia Industrialization
Session 34. Markets Fair and Foul
Andrew R. L. Cayton, chair and commentator
Catherine Cangany: "Sinister Conduct": Staples Smuggling along the Detroit River, 1796-1840
Daniel P. Glenn: The Fabric of a Commercial Empire: Citizenship, Credit, and the Competition for the Great Lakes
Jeffrey Perry: Panic of the Frontier: Paper Money, Female Luxury, and Indiana Manhood, 1818-1824
Session 53. Marc Egnal: James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales and the Rise of Commercial Capitalism
Lodging information and other details are posted on the meeting website, though the fullest information is to be found in the program brochure. Those interested in proposing a paper for the 2012 meeting (July 19-22 in Baltimore, Md., with a theme of "Local and Global Connections in the Early Republic: New Approaches and New Contexts") can find the call for papers at the end of that document.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The BHC Becomes an AHA Affiliate Organization

At its annual meeting in January, the American Historical Association (AHA) voted to accept the application of the Business History Conference to become an affiliate member of the AHA. We're happy to announce that the BHC affiliate page on the AHA site is now active. As the AHA affiliation application page explains:
Currently, over one hundred different historical organizations are affiliated with the AHA. These affiliates are a diverse group that includes the American Studies Association, the History of Science Society, the North American Conference on British Studies, and the World History Association, to name just a few. The Association's goal in establishing this broad network of organizations is to promote collaboration and communication across the wide history community.
Affiliate status confers certain benefits, including the opportunity to publish organization news and announcements in AHA Perspectives. BHC members Pamela Laird and Michele Alacevich collected the data and prepared the paperwork required to obtain affiliate status.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

World Bank Makes Data Freely Available

The World Bank has always collected huge amounts of data, some of which has been available through  fee-based subscription. Beginning in July 2010, the Bank launched an Open Data site, making—so far—7,000 of its datasets accessible to anyone free of charge. The Bank's original announcement of the policy change and a first-year recap of the program can be found on its website.
   A Data Catalog provides "a listing of available World Bank datasets, including databases, pre-formatted tables, and reports." One can find general information sorted by country, topic, or economic indicator. (It should be noted that the project is ongoing, and a large amount of World Bank data and research remains to be added.)

Data from World Bank
In addition the Bank has released over 80,000 historical documents and reports. There is also a Microdata Library, which contains materials created by other contributing agencies as well as by the World Bank. Many areas of the Open Data site assume basic familiarity with statistical analysis software packages such as Stata, SPSS or SAS. The Bank is also teaming with software developers to create "apps" that will  allow more user-friendly interfaces, including mapping and real-time updates.
   As a planning and policy organization, the World Bank is interested primarily in recent data and forecasting tools, but economists and historians working on topics focused on periods from the 1960s to the present will find significant historical data, especially as older materials are uploaded.  
 For a recent New York Times story on the new policy, see here. Bank president Robert B. Zoellick can be seen discussing the policy in this video.

Monday, July 4, 2011

IBM at 100: A Round-Up of Media Coverage

As many in the business history community will have noted, IBM (International Business Machines) turned 100 last month (June 16, to be precise, marking the date that the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company was founded). The company marked the occasion with  its own centennial website, featuring films, images, and essays about IBM's past and future. A great deal of other material about the history of the company can be found on the IBM Archives website, including interviews with Tom Watson, Sr. and Jr.
   In addition, several newspaper and magazine columnists took note of the event:
The New York Times published "Lessons in Longevity from IBM"
The Economist published a lengthy substantive piece, "1100100 and Counting"
Biztech2 imagined the world without IBM
The Atlantic provided a "Heavily Illustrated Timeline"
Forbes featured an interview with current CEO Sam Palmisano
The WSJ published "100 Years of 'Think' " and a "Happy Birthday" piece on its Tech blog
CNN Money published a short retrospective and an article on "Lessons"
PCWorld looked at IBM's technological milestones
CNet wrote about "15 Inflection Points in History"
NPR published a time line of IBM's most important moments
CNBC featured a guest blog by Steve Hamm, co-author of IBM's centennial book, Making the World Work Better
PBS's Nightly Business Report ran an interview with IBM's VP of Innovation
MarketWatch focused on "What IBM Can Teach Apple and HP"
"The Street" ran an article entitled "100 Years of Fortitude"
The Early Show on CBS covered the anniversary
The history of technology scholar most well known for work on IBM is Emerson Pugh, especially Building IBM: Shaping an Industry and Its Technology (MIT Press, 1995; 2009); for an early business history, see Robert Sobel, Thomas Watson, Sr.: IBM and the Computer Revolution (1981; 2008); on the Watsons, books include Richard S. Tedlow's The Watson Dynasty (HarperCollins, 2004) and journalist Kevin Maney's The Maverick and His Machine: Thomas Watson, Sr., and the Making of IBM (John Wiley, 2004). Maney is also the co-author, with Steve Hamm and Jeffrey O'Brien, of IBM's own centennial history, Making the World Work Better (IBM Press, 2011).

Friday, July 1, 2011

Hagley Announces New Director of Library Services

Hagley Museum and Library Executive Director Geoff Halfpenny has announced that Erik P. Rau will assume duties as Hagley's Director of Library Services on July 1, 2011. Dr. Rau comes to Hagley from Drexel University, where he was an assistant professor in the Department of History and Politics.
   According to Mr. Halfpenny, “As a historian of technology, information, and organizations, Dr. Rau brings to Hagley a keen understanding of the issues now facing independent research libraries and the insight to guide the Hagley Library into the future.”
   Dr. Rau serves on the board as vice chairperson of the Delaware Humanities Council and is project director of their Delaware Industrial History Initiative, a digital humanities program of the Delaware Humanities Forum. The initiative includes Hagley’s “Industrial Brandywine” project. He earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in the Department of History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. from Stanford University.
   For the full press release, see here, and for more information about Hagley and its collections, visit
   Rau replaces Terry Snyder, who joined Hagley in 2003 and who became the Librarian of the College at Haverford College last February. She is the editor of Business History in the United States: A Guide to Archival Collections (published by the German Historical Institute).