Thursday, May 31, 2012

Baker Library Announces New Exhibit on the China Trade

Knowledge and Library Services announces the opening of "A Chronicle of  the China Trade: The Records of Augustine Heard & Co., 1840-1877," an exhibition and website organized by Baker Library Historical Collections.

The exhibition and website examine the life and trajectory of Augustine Heard & Co., which reigned among the largest American trading houses in China in the mid-nineteenth century. The company was active from 1840 to 1877 under the direction of Augustine Heard and his nephews John, Augustine II, Albert, and George Heard. The Heard family left behind an extensive chronicle of their experiences in China. In addition to a voluminous collection of extraordinarily descriptive letters and diaries, they took care to meticulously preserve the company's documents and journals—from partnership agreements and export lists to custom regulations and ship designs. The Heard papers, one of the largest collections of business records relating to the nineteenth-century China trade, present a look into momentous events concerning Sino-Western relations as well as the day-to-day activities of American traders in the treaty ports. The exhibit examines the professional accounts and personal perspectives of the life and trajectory of a nineteenth-century firm that prospered at the height of the China trade.

Please contact Baker Library Historical Collections at to request a copy of the exhibition catalog. The physical exhibition will run through November 17, 2012, in the North Lobby, Baker Library / Bloomberg Center, Harvard Business School.

For more information about Baker Library Historical Collections, visit