Friday, January 30, 2015

Economic History Society of Southern Africa Annual Is Out

The Economic History Society of Southern Africa (EHSSA) has published volume 3 of its newsletter, the South African Economic History Annual. Among several articles of interest, readers may find most pertinent Grietjie Verhoef's essay on "Business history in Africa: the state of the art" (pp. 10-20), which includes a helpful reference list.
    Volumes 1 and 2 are also available on-line. In addition, the EHSSA publishes a scholarly journal, Economic History of Developing Regions (previously the South African Journal of Economic History).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Digital Resource: University of Auckland Business History Project

The Business School at the University of Auckland in New Zealand instituted a Business History Project to trace the history of some of New Zealand's major businesses. Although the site does not seem to have recent additions, the original impetus to investigate New Zealand's "pioneers in commerce, the firms that they created, and the products and services which became household names" resulted in several company histories, each featuring a company profile; a history of key products and services; and a timeline of key events in the company’s history. Several other projects, including a book of essays, City of Enterprise: Perspectives on Auckland Business History (2006), were also completed.
   (Note that most of the menu links from the project subpages do not work, but the links on the main page listed above do lead to the company histories and information about other projects.)

Monday, January 26, 2015

EHS Preliminary Program Available, Registration Open

The Economic History Society will hold its annual meeting on March 27-29, 2015, at the University of Wolverhampton Telford Campus, UK. The preliminary conference program has been posted on the conference website. The meeting begins with over a dozen "new researcher sessions" on Friday, followed by a plenary address by Barrie Trinder: "Reflections on the Industrial Revolution in Shropshire." After full sessions on Saturday and part of Sunday, the conference concludes with the Tawney Lecture, presented this year by Martin Daunton (University of Cambridge): "Contesting Reconstruction: Remaking the Global Economic Order after 1945."
    The on-line registration site is now operative, with an early bird discount that expires February 4.
    Some papers are available on-line, and will be linked from the program as they are posted.

Friday, January 23, 2015

“Imagining Markets” Project Launches New Website

Library and Archives, Canada
"Imagining Markets" is a combined website to report information relevant to two projects hosted by the University of Exeter’s History Department: "Imagining Markets: Conceptions of Europe, Empire/Commonwealth and China in Britain’s Economic Future since 1900" (AHRC network, 2014-16), established by David Thackeray, Andrew Thompson, and Richard Toye, and David Thackeray’s AHRC Research Leadership Fellowship: "Backing Britain: Imagining a Nation’s Economic Future since 1900" (2014-15). As the initial post explains, "Both projects are united by an interest in connecting historical and contemporary ways of thinking about Britain’s future global economic orientation, and involve a range of activities staged with project partners from the fields of public policy and heritage organisations." The website includes a blog, notices of events, and descriptions of the primary and related projects.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Digital/GIS Resource: “Machines in the Valley” Project

Detail, pastoral view, Santa Clara Valley, California
Jason Heppler, a Ph.D. candidate in western and digital history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and academic technology specialist, Department of History and Center for Interdisciplinary Digital Research (CIDR), Stanford, has released an early "digital component" of his dissertation. "Machines in the Valley: Growth, Conflict, and Environmental Politics in Silicon Valley, 1945-1990" "examines the environmental, economic, and cultural conflicts over suburbanization andindustrialization in California’s Santa Clara Valley–today known as Silicon Valley–between 1945 and 1990. . . . The project will go through iterations as I finish my written dissertation. The project will house several features, including interactive visualizations, dynamic narratives and analysis that extend upon themes covered in my chapters, and access to certain primary sources." A work-in-progress, the website features data (freely available), maps and other digital visualizations of Heppler's research. The project was chosen for an Editor's Choice Award by "Digital Humanities Now."

Monday, January 19, 2015

Books of Interest: New Year's Edition

A list, by no means complete, of books of interest to business and economic historians published or forthcoming between November  2014 and February 2015:
David Grayson Allen, Investment Management in Boston: A History (University of Massachusetts Press, January 2015)

Christopher Beauchamp, Invented by Law: Alexander Graham Bell and the Patent That Changed America (Harvard University Press, January 2015)

Sven Beckert, Empire of Cotton: A Global History (Knopf, December 2014)

Sean Bottomley, The British Patent System during the Industrial Revolution, 1700-1852: From Privilege to Property (Cambridge University Press, December 2014)

Simon James Bytheway, Investing Japan: Foreign Capital, Monetary Standards, and Economic Development, 1859-2011 (Harvard University Press, November 2014)

Jonathan Coopersmith, Faxed: The Rise and Fall of the Fax Machine (Johns Hopkins University Press, February 2015)

Christine Desan, Making Money: Coin, Currency, and the Coming of Capitalism (Oxford University Press, January 2015)

Hasia R. Diner, Roads Taken: The Great Jewish Migrations to the New World and the Peddlars Who Forged the Way (Yale University Press, January 2015)

Max M. Edling, A Hercules in the Cradle: War, Money, and the American State, 1783-1867 (University of Chicago Press, November 2014)

Barry Eichengreen, Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses—and Misuses—of History (Oxford University Press, January 2015)

Bartow J. Elmore, Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism (W. W. Norton, November 2014)

Leon Fink, The Long Gilded Age: American Capitalism and the Lessons of a New World Order (University of Pennsylvania Press, January 2015)

Steve Fraser, The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power (Little, Brown, February 2015)

Tony Allen Freyer, The Passenger Cases: and the Commerce Clause: Immigrants, Blacks, and States' Rights in Antebellum America (University Press of Kansas, December 2014)

Matthew Hollow, Rogue Banking: A History of Financial Fraud in Interwar Britain (Palgrave, November 2014)

Mary Lindemann, The Merchant Republics: Amsterdam, Antwerp, and Hamburg, 1648-1790 (Cambridge University Press, December 2014)

Brian P. Luskey and Wendy A. Woloson, eds., Capitalism by Gaslight: Illuminating the Economy of Nineteenth-Century America (University of Pennsylvania Press, February 2015)

Keetie J. Sluyterman, ed., Varieties of Capitalism and Business History, the Dutch Case (Routledge, December 2014)

Rebecca L. Spang, Stuff and Money in the Time of the French Revolution (Harvard University Press, January 2015)
For a more extensive selection, please see the "Books of Interest" section of the BHC website.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Over the Counter: Issue No. 11

Special Collections at the Providence (Rhode Island) Public Library has produced an on-line exhibit called "Saltwater Colors," displaying many illustrations from their Nicholson Whaling Collection. The drawings, scrimshaw, watercolors, and other media "highlight artistic creations by whalemen during the age of offshore whaling." Several of the library's whaling logbooks have been digitized.

Bartow Elmore of the University of Alabama recently published an essay in Fortune, based on his new book, Citizen Coke: The Making of Coca-Cola Capitalism (W. W. Norton, 2014); the book was also recently reviewed in both the Wall Street Journal (by Marc Levinson) and the New York Times (by Beth Macy).

Discussion of Thomas Piketty and Capital in the 21st Century continues:
    Deirdre McCloskey has published a review essay, and that essay itself has been discussed by John  Cochrane ("The Grumpy Economist") on his blog.
    Slate published an essay by literary historians examining Piketty's examples from literature.

Wellcome Library's Digital Collections provides an extensive resource of on-line materials covering a wide variety of topics of possible interest to business historians, including food and public health issues. Formats include books, pamphlets, archives, posters, photographs, and film and sound recordings.

The on-line version of National Geographic published an illustrated essay explaining how companies kept their brands in the public eye during World War II: "Digging Up Ads From WWII—When They Pushed Products No One Could Buy."

The New York Review of Books has published an extensive review of a new exhibit at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Assyria to Iberia at the Dawn of the Classical Age." "Great Aspirations of the Iron Age" by James Romm suggests how the show "presents a vast panorama of the Iron Age and an exploration of the commerce and connections between its major civilizations."

Barry Eichengreen's new book, Hall of Mirrors: The Great Depression, the Great Recession, and the Uses--and Misuses--of History (Oxford University Press, 2015) is highlighted by Neil Irwin in his essay in the New York Times "Economic View."

Friday, January 16, 2015

CFP: “Taylor's World” Conference

On September 24- 25, 2015, Stevens Institute of Technology will host a conference on the life and legacy of Frederick Winslow Taylor, a Stevens graduate and widely recognized as the father of scientific management. "Taylor's World" marks the centennial of Taylor’s death in 1915; the conference will explore both Taylor’s place in history and his legacy in the twenty-first century.
    Proposals for either individual papers or full panels are welcome. Potential topics include but are not limited to:
  • Taylor’s influence on contemporary management practice
  • The movement of Taylor’s ideas around the globe
  • Vestiges of Taylorism in digital media and labor, including Digital Turking and other forms of crowd sourcing
  • The place of organized labor, race, gender, and sexuality in Taylor’s thought and work
  • Taylor’s place in intellectual and cultural history
  • Taylor’s influence on sports technologies, especially golf and tennis
  • The effect of Taylorism on business strategy and technological change
Please submit proposals for papers or panels by March 1, 2015, by filling out submission proposal form. Paper proposals should be 250–500 words; panel proposals should collect individual paper abstracts of that same length and also include a brief description of the panel’s overarching theme. Panel proposals may also suggest possible commentators. Inquiries about the conference can be sent to Leah Loscutoff,
     Stevens is home to the Taylor archive, which, according to the collection website, consists largely of Taylor's personal and work- related correspondence, including his communications with companies interested in implementing scientific management. Also included are rough drafts of his major publications, translations of his works on scientific management and the cutting of metal, examples of forms developed to improve shop efficiency, glass slides of factories and offices using scientific management, articles written by Taylor on his system, and responses from readers.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

NEH Summer Institutes for College Teachers

A few weeks ago, we posted links to 2015 NEH Summer Institutes and Workshops for K-12 Teachers. This list highlights programs of interest for college and university teachers:
The Cross-Border Connection: Immigrants, Emigrants, and Their Homelands (UCLA)
American Material Culture: Nineteenth-Century New York (Bard Graduate Center)
City of Print: New York and the Periodical Press (New York City College of Technology)
Slavery in the American Republic: From Constitution to Civil War (Washington, D.C. and Charlottesville, Virginia)
Teaching the History of Modern Design: The Canon and Beyond (Drexel University); Regina Blaszczyk is among the instructors, focusing on design for mass markets.
The full list of summer programs can be found here. Each workshop is developed by the hosting institution(s), and application must be made directly to the program in which one wishes to participate. Accepted applicants will be provided with a stipend to help defray expenses. The application deadline for the programs is March 2, 2015.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Reminder: Deadline Approaching for the 2015 Tony Slaven Doctoral Workshop

The Association of Business Historians (ABH) will hold its fourth Tony Slaven Doctoral Training Workshop on July 2-3, 2015, immediately preceding the 2015 ABH Annual Conference at the University of Exeter Business School. Workshop participants will also be welcome, and indeed, encouraged, to attend the main ABH Annual Conference. Students at any stage of their doctoral career, whether first year or near submitting, 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 at least one skills-related workshop. According to the Workshop announcement:
Business history doctoral work is spread over a large number of departments and institutions and by bringing students for an annual workshop, we hope to strengthen links between students working on business history and related topics. For the purposes of the workshop 'business history' is therefore interpreted broadly, and it is intended that students in areas such as (but not confined to) the history of international trade, investment, financial history, agricultural history, not for profit organisations, government-industry relations, accounting history, social studies of technology, and labour history will find it of interest. Students undertaking topics with a significant business history related element but in disciplines other than economic and business history are therefore also welcome. We also welcome papers from students researching any era whether, modern, early modern or medieval. 
Students interested in attending the workshop should send their application to Sheryllynne Haggerty, Department of History, School of Humanities, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK; e-mail: The application should be no more than four pages: a one-page CV; one page stating names of the student’s supervisors, the title of the thesis, the university and department where they are registered, the date of commencement of their thesis registration and a two-page abstract of their paper. The deadline for submissions is February 27, 2015.
     Several Tony Slaven scholarships are available, each worth up to £150, to contribute toward the travel, accommodation, and registration costs of attending the doctoral workshop (not the ABH main conference). These will be awarded competitively prior to the workshop; applicants should clearly state if they wish to be considered for these scholarships.
     For further information, please contact Sheryllynne Haggerty at the above e-mail address. Also please see the full Workshop announcement. For more on the ABH conference please see the ABH website.

Friday, January 9, 2015

CFP: “Managing the Past” ESRC Seminar at Aston Business School

As part of the ESRC Seminar Series on “Organizations and Society: Historicising the theory and practice of organization analysis,” Aston Business School in Birmingham, UK, will hold a seminar on “Managing the Past: The Role of Organisational Archives” on Wednesday, March 18, 2015. Contributions are invited that reflect the general theme of the seminar, how the past is managed in organizations, and how the theory and practice of archiving reflects the organizational engagement with the past. Potential themes include, but are not limited to:
· Archives as organizational memory?
· Managing organizational pasts – assets and dark secrets
· Safeguarding organizational heritage – the Wedgwood Collection and beyond
· Heritage, brands and national identities 
· The professionalization of archivists and history managers
· Digital humanities and the organization 
Those wishing to present a paper at the seminar should submit a 500-word abstract to Stephanie Decker at by January 31, 2015.
    Registration is free. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Please contact to register. Travel and accommodation should be covered by the participants. On campus accommodation is available; please see for further information.
    The keynote speaker will be Roy Suddaby, (University of Victoria and Newcastle Business School), on “The professionalization of the corporate archivist.” Guest speakers include Alistair McKinlay (Nottingham Business School) and Maria Sienkiwicz (Barclays Bank, Group Archivist). There will be a roundtable on “The Theory and Practice of Archiving,” organized by Michael Anson (Business Archives Council and Bank of England) and Margaret Procter (Liverpool University Centre for Archive Studies). 

About the ESRC seminar series: The seminar series aims create a platform for European research on organizational analysis, heritage and reflective societies. All events revolve around three interlinked themes: archiving and archival research as resources for organizational analysis, organizational remembering as an alternative theoretical approach, and emerging methodologies that challenge organizational histories. During these one-day events there will be sufficient time to discuss ongoing research with leading scholars and journal editors from different disciplines. Further inquiries should be addressed to the organizing team:  Stephanie Decker (Aston Business School), Michael Rowlinson (Queen Mary University London), and John Hassard (Manchester Business School).

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Beckert's Empire of Cotton Is in the News

Sven Beckert, Laird Bell Professor of History at Harvard University, has been in the news often in recent days in relation to his new book, Empire of Cotton: A Global History (Knopf, December 2014). Here is a compendium to date:
Beckert is also co-director of the Program on the Study of Capitalism and of the Weatherhead Initiative on Global History at Harvard.

Monday, January 5, 2015

CFP: SSHA Economics Network

The Economics Network of the Social Science History Association (SSHA) calls for papers for the Association's annual conference. The 2015 meeting will be held in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 12-15. The conference theme is "Pluralism and Community: Social Science History Perspectives."
    SSHA draws submissions of papers and panels through networks organized by topic or field. The Economics network representatives are Phil Hoffman, Matt Jaremski, and Evan Roberts. They invite submissions of papers or (preferably) full panels (note that this year all panels of research papers must have four papers when submitted) by February 14, 2015. They would also like to hear from people who are willing to serve as chairs or discussants. Potential presenters and organizers are free to contact the network representatives with questions, but actual paper and session proposals must be submitted online on the SSHA website; the submission system will open in early January.
     Topic areas identified at the 2014 network meeting include those listed below. Where an email is listed, please contact that person directly to discuss paper and panel proposals. Other inquiries may be sent to any of the network representatives listed above.
* Migration, immigration and assimilation
* Record linkage with complete count data (Please contact Evan Roberts)
* Anthropometric research
* Thin border studies and natural experiments
* Climate and economic risk
* Fisheries
* Segregation in housing and other domains
* Free black populations in Baltimore and elsewhere
* Chesapeake economic history
* Intersections of environmental and economic history
* Indigenous economic history
* Family budgets and living standards (Please contact Evan Roberts)
Potential book sessions include discussions of the following new books in economic history:
* Human Capital in History (Boustan, Frydman, Margo, eds.)
* History of Capitalism (Neal/Williamson)
* Arresting Contagion (Rhode and Olmsted)
* The final volume in Deidre McCloskey's series
* The Color Factor (Bodenhorn)
* Sharing the Prize (Wright, 2013)
 For more information, including the conference-wide call for papers, please see the SSHA website.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Digital Resource: Morgenthau Diaries and War Refugee Board Materials

The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum has recently digitized the diaries, press conferences, and War Refugee Board materials of Henry Morgenthau, Jr., head of the Farm Credit Administration and Roosevelt's Secretary of the Treasury (1934-1945). FRANKLIN, the Library's virtual research room and digital repository, now provides free online access to more than 400,000 pages documenting Morgenthau's life, career, and accomplishments. According to the website,
The Morgenthau Diaries and Press Conferences are some of the most unique resources in the Roosevelt Library. No other Cabinet official kept as complete a record of his official activities and his relationship to the President than Henry Morgenthau, Jr.. . . .[the Library] seeks to enhance the understanding of Morgenthau’s contributions to the New Deal and war effort as FDR’s Secretary of the Treasury.
The Library website provides historical information and descriptions of each part of the collection.
    Readers interested in this period might wish to investigate the FDR Library's other digital exhibits, which include material on Frances Perkins, Roosevelt's fiscal policies, and "The New Deal in Action."

Hat tip to the Legal History Blog