Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Future of Economic, Business, and Social History: Free Access to SEHR Article

On May 25, 2012, the Scandinavian Society of Economic and Social History celebrated the 60th anniversary of its international journal, Scandinavian Economic History Review, with a conference on "The Future of Economic, Social and Business History."
     The editors of the journal invited three distinguished scholars in the fields of economic history, business history and social history: Stephen Broadberry (London School of Economics), Geoffrey Jones (Harvard Business School), and Marco van Leeuwen (Utrecht University) to present their personal views and ideas about the future of their respective disciplines. The three speakers were asked to publish their talks in the journal.
     The article containing the talks is now available (free access) from the journal website: The editors, Alfred Reckendrees and Jacob Weisdorf,  hope that the viewpoints expressed in the article will encourage more discussion about the future challenges in the fields of economic, business, and social history, as well as inspire the future research agenda within these fields.
    For more information about the journal, please visit its website.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Exhibit: Business Education for Women at Harvard

"Radcliffe College Announcement of Fellowship for Training in Personnel Administration, April 1, 1937. Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration Records. Radcliffe College Archives, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University."
Baker Library Historical Collections has mounted a new exhibit, “Building the Foundation: Business Education for Women at Harvard University, 1937–1970.” The exhibition will run until September 22, 2013, at Baker Library, Harvard Business School. Illustrating the evolution of this formative period are photographs, interviews, reports, and correspondence from Baker Library Historical Collections at Harvard Business School and from the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute.
    “Building the Foundation” traces the early history of business education for women at Harvard University from the founding of the one-year certificate program at Radcliffe College in 1937 (which HBS Professor Fritz Roethlisberger called “the first daring experiment in ‘practical education’ for women”) to the HBS faculty vote to admit women into the two-year MBA program, and finally to the complete integration of women into HBS campus life by 1970. The physical exhibit at Baker is accompanied by an on-line exhibit, which provides views of some of the items featured in the exhibition (illustrations and texts), as well as information about additional materials in support of further research. The site also contains oral histories from women who participated in the early business education programs.
    As the foreword to the exhibit explains,
The telling documents reveal how program directors, administrators, and faculty shaped business education for women at the University, preparing students to take their places in the business world. The pioneering graduates of these programs would go on to help open doors to formerly unattainable opportunities for generations of women who followed. 
The exhibit represents a contribution by Baker Library Historical Collections and the Bloomberg Center to the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of women’s admission into the full MBA program at Harvard Business School. To learn more about the HBS celebration of "50 Years of Women in the MBA Program,” see the celebration website.
    Please contact Baker Library Historical Collections at to request a copy of the exhibition catalog. For those in the Boston area, the schedule and directions to the exhibit are available here.
    Readers will also find of interest an earlier Historical Collections on-line exhibit on the subject, “A Daring Experiment.” 

Friday, February 22, 2013

CFP: Business and Politics in 20th-Century America

The Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society at the Hagley Museum and Library has issued a call for papers for a conference on "Business and Politics in 20th-Century America," to be held on November 8, 2013. As the organizers state,
Over the past ten years there has been a surge of new scholarship on the relationship between business and American politics in the twentieth century. Much of this work examines the efforts by business and business people to influence politics, often in response to the growth of the American federal government that began with the Progressive Era and continued with the mid-century New Deal. Many of these finely grained studies draw on, and continue to use, the collections in the Hagley Library. It is fitting, then, to invite scholars working on this topic to come to Hagley to assess the state of knowledge, and discuss new work emerging from research.
Papers proposed for the conference should be based on original research and engage with current scholarship. For suggested topics and issues to be addressed, please see the full call for papers. Those interested should submit a 500-word abstract and a c.v. of no more than three pages. Proposals are due by April 30, 2013, and should be sent via email to Carol Lockman, Travel support will be available for presenters.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Enterprise & Society Advance View Now Available

The March 2013 issue of Enterprise & Society is now available at the Oxford University Press website. Full text access requires a subscription (included in BHC membership), but abstracts can be viewed freely. The issue contains the following articles (links to abstracts are provided):
John A. Alic, "Managing US Defense Acquisition"
Francesca Carnevali and Lucy Newton, "Pianos for the People: From Producer to Consumer in Britain, 1851-1914"
Kristin Hall, "Selling Sexual Certainty? Advertising Lysol as a Contraceptive in the United States and Canada, 1919–1939"
Alfred Reckendrees, "Business as a Means of Foreign Policy or Politics as a Means of Production? The German Government and the Creation of Friedrich Flick’s Upper Silesian Industrial Empire (1921–1935)"
David De Vries, "From Porcelain to Plastic: Politics and Business in a Relocated False Teeth Company, 1880s–1950s"
Fernando Mendiola Gonzalo, "Forced Labor, Public Policies, and Business Strategies during Franco’s Dictatorship: An Interim Report"
The issue also contains a collection of book reviews.

Monday, February 18, 2013

CFP and Conference Information: ALFF Second Workshop

The European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) e.V. invites readers to the second workshop in the Archival Legislation for Finance (ALFF) in Europe program, which will take place on the premises of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation in Athens, Greece, on April 19, 2013. This workshop will elaborate on archival and records management legislation for finance in Europe, focusing this time on the Iberian and southern countries.
    Those wishing to present a paper should consult the full call for papers; abstracts, which should be sent via email to, are due by March 1, 2013.
     Information about lodging and registration is now available on the workshop website.

Friday, February 15, 2013

CFP: “Commerce, Corporations and the Law”

The History Project has issued a call for papers for Commerce, Corporations and the Law, a conference to be held September 27-28, 2013, at Princeton University. The organizers welcome proposals for papers from advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and recent Ph.D. recipients "in different disciplines, including economics, economic history, the history of economic thought, legal history, political theory, and the history of science. The conference will be concerned with cross-cultural trade, firms, and legal systems around the world."
    The deadline for submissions of proposals is March 1, 2013. Information on grants in aid of travel and accommodation costs, as well as “a small number of research grants," is here. Please note that proposals are to be submitted on-line, using the form provided at the call for papers site.
    Topics for future conferences sponsored by The History Project can be found here.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

CFP: ABH Tony Slaven Doctoral Workshop in Business History

The Association of Business Historians will hold its second Tony Slaven Doctoral Training Workshop on June 27-28, 2013, immediately preceding the 2013 ABH annual conference at the University of Central Lancashire; participants will also be welcome to attend the conference.
   The workshop presents an opportunity for doctoral students to discuss their work with other research students in business history-related disciplines in an informal and supportive environment. Students at any stage of their doctoral career are encouraged to attend. In addition to providing new researchers with an opportunity to discuss their work with other research students in a related discipline, the workshop will also include a session related to career development. Business history doctoral work is spread over a large number of departments and institutions, and by bringing students from throughout the UK together for an annual workshop, we hope to strengthen links between students working on business history and related topics. Students will present for around 20-30 minutes, with roughly the same time for discussion. Participants will also be expected to act as discussant for one of the other papers being presented.
   A limited number of Tony Slaven scholarships are available to contribute toward the travel, accommodation, and registration costs of attending the doctoral workshop and ABH conference. These will be awarded competitively prior to the workshop.
   Students interested in attending the workshop should send their application to Dr. Sheryllynne Haggerty, Department of History, School of Humanities, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK, or via email to  For full consideration, applications should be submitted prior to April 12, 2013.
   For full details, including application requirements, please consult the complete call for papers; questions may be addressed to Sheryllynne Haggerty.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Business Historians Comment on Post Office History

The Post Office's financial difficulties and proposals have been the subject of recent commentary by business historians who have studied the institution's origins and history:
Richard R. John, professor of journalism at Columbia University and recent BHC president, published an essay on the February 8, 2013, Op-Ed pages of The New York Times. Titled "How the Post Office Made America," the article comments on the roles Post Office services have played in American life since the founding of the institution in 1792. John is the author of an award-winning book on the history of the Post Office, Spreading the News: The American Postal System from Franklin to Morse and, more recently, of Network Nation: Inventing American Telecommunications.

    Joseph M. Adelman (Ph.D., Johns Hopkins, 2010 ) and a visiting assistant professor in the History Department at Framingham State University, has also written extensively on the role and status of the Post Office in American life. Most recently, see his article for the Echoes blog for February 7, "USPS Folly Was Foreshadowed by Confederate Post Office"; he also wrote "The Postal Service Is a Civic Institution, Not a Business" for The Atlantic, and  "The Post Office as a State-Business Hybrid" for Publick Occurrences 2.0 at Common-Place. Adelman won the 2011 Rita Lloyd Moroney Junior Prize for Scholarship in Postal History from the U.S. Postal Service for his article, “ ‘A Constitutional Conveyance of Intelligence, Public and Private,’ ” published in the BHC journal Enterprise & Society (11, no. 4 [2010]).


Friday, February 8, 2013

Commemorating the 16th Amendment

Sunday, February 3, 2013, marked the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which authorizes Congress to levy a federal income tax. The Amendment states simply, "The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration." Efforts to enact a federal tax on income began much earlier, however, with the need to finance the Civil War; the Supreme Court had declared an 1894 federal income tax law unconstitutional in 1895. The 16th Amendment had the effect of reversing that decision.
   We list here links to some of the more history-based resources and articles generated by the anniversary:
The Amendment
Form 1040, 1913
Library of Congress, History of the [U.S.] Income Tax
U.S. House of Representatives Historical Highlights
Our Documents (National Archives)
Revenue Act, 1861
Civil War Bureau of Internal Revenue (Tax History Project)
Wilson-Gorham Tariff Act, 1894
Pollock v. Farmers' Loan and Trust Co.
   The Case
"Guess What Turned 100 This Weekend?" (Forbes)
"Many Unhappy Returns" (Wall Street Journal)
The Income Tax Arrives (Tax History Museum)
U.S. Federal Income Tax Rates, 1913-2013 (Tax Foundation)
History News Network on the anniversary

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Economic History Society 2013 Program Now Posted

The Economic History Society is holding its annual conference at the University of York on April 5-7, 2013. The preliminary program has now been posted on the conference website. Papers will be linked from the program site if they are provided. Much of the program will be of interest to business historians; several sessions are reserved specifically for business history topics:
IF: Business History I: Ownership and Control
IIIH: Business History II: New and Old Approaches
IVB: Business History III: MNEs
Details about registration, accommodations, and meals are also available on the conference website.

Monday, February 4, 2013

CFP: CEBH April Workshop on “Sources for Economic and Business History”

The Centre for Economic and Business History at the University of Nottingham will hold a two-day workshop on April 18-19, 2013, aimed at postgraduates and early career researchers working in the fields of economic and business history. The theme is "Perspectives on Sources for Economic and Business History." The organizers explain:
Researchers in these areas work in a wide range of disciplines and departments such as History, Economics, Geography and Business Schools. They also think on a wide range of themes such as commercial networks, finance, transport, trade, the economy, investment; the list is potentially endless. This workshop is designed to bring researchers in these seemingly disparate areas together in a supportive and friendly environment via the prism of sources. . . . Delegates will be asked to consider certain issues with relation to their own research, thereby encouraging them to be reflective about their sources as well as learning from each other.
Proposals of 500 words should be sent by February 15, 2013, to Emily Buchnea at Please see the call for papers for additional information.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Book Review Editor Needed for Enterprise & Society

Enterprise & Society: The International Journal of Business History, which is published for the Business History Conference by Oxford University Press, is looking for a new book review editor to replace Marcelo Bucheli, who will step down in May 2013. The book review editor works closely with the editor of the journal, who is currently Philip Scranton, and serves as a member of the editorial board for the journal.

From its foundation, the journal's book review section has been distinguished not only by the quality of its reviews but also by the range of books that it has covered. The ideal candidate for the position will carry on and extend this tradition. S/he will be someone with broad intellectual interests and multiple networks in the field of business history and related fields. S/he will have strong administrative and organizational skills.  It should be noted, however, that much of the administration of the book review process is conducted electronically.  The journal uses a comprehensive submission and editing server, Manuscript Central, which allows the book review editor to invite, receive, and edit reviews online and automates the creation of reminders for reviewers. Based on the experience of previous book review editors, the new editor will require the assistance of a graduate student for roughly 20 hours a month (to request books, log those received, and ship them to reviewers) and a modest budget to cover the costs of telephone, postage, and supplies.

To be considered for the position of book review editor, please send a cover letter, which outlines your interest and aptitude for the job, together with a curriculum vitae to Albert Churella, Chair, Print Media Oversight Committee of the Business History Conference, Social and International Studies Department, Southern Polytechnic State University, 1100 S. Marietta Pkwy., Marietta, GA 30060, or via e-mail (preferred) at All applications must be received by April 1, 2013.  Potential applicants interested in learning more are welcome to contact either Roger Horowitz, Associate Director, Center for Business, Technology, and Society (, or Carol Lockman, Coordinator, Center for Business, Technology, and Society ( at the Hagley Museum and Library.