Friday, March 23, 2018

Digital Resource: DPLA Exhibit on the Erie Canal

Detail from "View on the Erie Canal" (1830-32) by John William Hill. Courtesy of the New York Public Library.
The Digital Public Library has recently released a new exhibit, "Two Hundred Years on the Erie Canal." Curated by Heidi Ziemer and Dan Ward of the Western New York Library Resources Council, in partnership with the Empire State Digital Network, the web exhibit offers commentary by the curators as well as illustrations of the site's themes, which include construction, commerce, culture, and several more.
    Readers looking for more information might like to visit the "Erie Canal" site maintained by Frank E. Sadowski, Jr.; he has collected a massive amount of useful material--maps, images, documents, and links to other sites.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Digital Resource: New York Slavery Records

On February 1, 2018, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice released the New York Slavery Records Index, an online database containing more than 35,000 records. The database is a searchable compilation of records that identify individual enslaved persons and their owners, beginning as early as 1525 and ending during the Civil War. The data come from census records, slave trade transactions, cemetery records, birth certifications, manumissions, ship inventories, newspaper accounts, private narratives, legal documents, and many other sources. The index will continue to grow as the team of John Jay College professors and students locates and assembles data from additional sources.
    The site is accompanied by several essays, as well as a video introduction that explains the compilation and uses of the database; there are also detailed search instructions and explanations of the tags and data sources. The faculty co-directors of the project are Judy-Lynne Peters and Ned Benton.

Monday, March 19, 2018

CFP: African Economic History Network Annual Meeting

The African Economic History Network (AEHN) will hold its next annual meeting at the University of Bologna, Italy, on October 12-13, 2018. The theme of the meeting will be "Transitions in African Economic History." Papers on all aspects of African economic history are welcome, but preference will be given to those that pertain to the conference theme. Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted to no later than May 15, 2018.
    A small number of grants will be available for graduate students and faculty from Africa; those submitting proposals who would like to be considered should indicate that in their submission.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Historical GIS: Urban Transition Project

The Urban Transition Historical GIS Project uses historical census data to document the state of U.S. cities from the end of the nineteenth century into the early twentieth century. The site explains that "These were the decades of America’s urban transition, fed by rapid growth of industry and large-scale immigration from Eastern and Southern Europe that was directed primarily into cities. In 1880 nearly half of total employment was in agriculture, but this share dropped to about 25% by 1920, and by this time about half of the population lived in urban areas." Using the North American Population Project's 100% digital transcription of records from the 1880 Census, the "Urban Transitions" project has developed several additional resources to make possible analysis of social patterns at the level of individuals and households while also taking into account information about their communities.
    Although the site is technical, both in the descriptions of data sources and in the GIS tools used, anyone can use the web-based interactive map for 1880, for which a brief user guide is supplied.
     The ongoing project is directed by John Logan, professor of sociology at Brown University.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Over the Counter: Issue No. 39

Some notes on items of interest from around the Web:
JSTOR Daily is a site that presents short essays on topics derived from journal articles in its database. Some recent examples relevant to business historians:
"How Consumerism Sold Democracy to Postwar Germany"
"How 17th-Century Unmarried Women Helped Shape Capitalism"
"Madeira, the Island That Helped Invent Capitalism"
"Sex and the Supermarket"

Diana Heredia López’s exhibit using the Florentine Codex, "Of Merchants and Nature," focuses on Nahua agave, cotton, figs, and gourds and the fabrics and containers they engendered,

The History Channel cites George Robb's Ladies of the Ticker (University of Illinois Press, 2017) in a brief article titled "Decades Before They Had the Vote, Women Launched Their Own Stock Exchange" 

Unhappy news for business historians in the wake of last fall's Santa Rosa fires: More than 100 boxes of writings, correspondence, speeches and other items of William Hewlett and David Packard were completely lost when the building that contained them burned to the ground at Keysight Technologies. Keysight traces its roots to HP and acquired the archives in 2014 when its business was split from Agilent Technologies.

Sexing History is a podcast exploring how the history of sexuality shapes our present; it is co-hosted by Gillian Frank and Lauren Gutterman with production and editing by Rebecca Davis. Several episodes deal with the history of sexuality in business situations, including one on flight attendants and another on the Mark Eden "bust developer" business.

"Before Economics" is a podcast series about the history of political economy. The host is Ryan Walter, senior lecturer in political economy at the University of Queensland. The index of podcasts to date is here.

The National Railway Museum in York, UK, has a web exhibit on the history of railway safety since 1913. The material is based on the research of Mike Esbester, who writes about how he grew interested in the topic on the museum's blog.

The full conference on "The Rise of the Newspaper in Europe and America, 1600-1900," held at the Huntington Library last October, is available as a podcast on Soundcloud. (The print program is available here.)

Shane Hamilton has an essay on "Why Supermarket Power Matters" on the "Processed Foods" blog.

Roger Horowitz is the 2018 recipient of the Pogue Award from OHMAR (Oral History n the Mid-Atlantic Region) for his "outstanding and continuing contributions to oral history."

The "Merchant Fleet of Late Medieval and Tudor England, 1400-1580" database contains the details of English, Welsh, and Channel Islands merchant ships, and the voyages they undertook, between 1400 and 1580. The database was compiled using evidence from customs accounts, naval records, and ship surveys.

George Mason University has made available the program for the recent conference celebrating "The Life and Legacy of Douglass North."

Interesting website (in French): "Des Femmes qui Comptent" (About Women Who Count). This is a blog (and accompanying Twitter and Facebook accounts), done in partnership with BNP Paribas, that explores the history of women's working lives and rights through documents and testimony of those in the banking and financial sector.

At the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, a "Map of of the original grants of village lots from the Dutch West India Company to the inhabitants of New-Amsterdam." This cadastral map shows property lots with dimensions, names of owners, and year of grant (1642-1658).

From Vincent Geloso at the libertarian blog "Notes on Liberty," a list (with commentary) of "The Best Economic History Papers of 2017."

The History of Finance Network aims to "facilitate an international and interdisciplinary exchange on financial history and the culture of finance." It posts news of scholarship, conferences, and other materials of interest to the community; it is currently looking for folks willing to write for its blog.

The New York Public Library has recently digitized the letterbooks of Collin MacGregor, a Scottish New York City merchant acting on behalf of Loyalist or British businessmen in Nova Scotia, Great Britain, and elsewhere in the late eighteenth century. Digital files are linked here.

Benjamin Waterhouse published an article on "Business and Protest Culture, 1960s-1980s" in the Spring 2017 issue of Financial History, the magazine of the Museum of American Finance.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Three Journal CFP: Business History

The journal Business History is planning a number of special issues; there are currently three calls for manuscript submissions:

1. Bank-Industry versus Stock Market-Industry Relationships: A Business History Approach (submission deadline: March 31, 2018) Guest editors are José L. García-Ruiz and Michelangelo Vasta. The articles initially selected for this special issue will be presented in a workshop that will take place in Madrid in June 2018; the final selection of papers will be the result of this workshop.

2. Business-Government relations and national economic models: how do varieties of capitalism emerge and develop over time? (submission deadline: April 30, 2018) The guest editors are Niall MacKenzie, Andrew Perchard, Neil Forbes, and Christopher Miller.

3. Noblemen-Entrepreneurs in the Nineteenth Century: Investments, Innovation, Management and Networks (submission deadline: May 31, 2018) The guest editors are Silvia A. Conca Messina and Takeshi Abe.

Each of these calls (linked above) includes a full explanation, pertinent bibliography, and submission instructions. Readers can find the overall editorial rationale for special issues here.

Friday, March 9, 2018

CFP: Business History Society of Japan 2018

The 54th Congress of the Business History Society of Japan (BHSJ) will be held in Kyoto on September 29-30, 2018. The theme of the meeting will be "Merging Methods and Approaches: History, Social Science and Business Historians." To further enhance international exchange, the BHSJ organizes English sessions every two years, which will take place concurrently with the regularly scheduled Japanese sessions at the annual meeting. According to the call for papers:
In Japan, business history was institutionalized at faculties of social science, and so the use of social scientific concepts and inquiries became an essential element of the discipline, fostering a rich tradition of detailed empirical studies in business and industrial history. However, in recent decades, as a result of the institutionalization of business history as its own discipline, the dialog with social scientists has subsided somewhat. The 2018 international session offers the opportunity to consider the current use of methods and approaches that are applied in our discipline across the globe, and to contemplate the future prospects and direction of our field. By bringing together the latest research on various topics within business history we hope to generate a fruitful discussion on the significance and limitations of social scientific methodologies and concepts.
      The BHSJ welcomes papers on a range of topics, geographical regions, and time periods; both individual papers and full panel proposals are solicited. The deadline for submissions is April 15, 2018. Please consult the meeting website for additional information. Please direct any inquiries to When posted, the conference website will be

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Winter Edition: Business Historians in the News

Links to business and economic historians in the news:
The PBS "American Experience" episode on the Gilded Age features many scholars from the business history community: among others, Steve Fraser, Susie Pak, Richard John, Julia Ott, Noam Maggor, and Richard White. For the transcript of historians' commentary, see here.

A Boston Review forum titled "To Remake the World: Slavery, Racial Capitalism, and Justice" features an essay by Walter Johnson and several responses from a number of historians, including Caitlin Rosenthal, who asks "How does the history of slavery look if we make more use of the language of capitalism?" The entire forum is open access.

In a recent essay for the "Humanities Moments" blog of the National Humanities Center, Edward J. Balleisen writes about "Story-Making and the Fault Lines of American Capitalism."

In a contribution to Bloomberg View, Stephen Mihm discusses toll roads: "Privatizing Roads Was a Great Idea. Not Anymore."

For the Washington Post's "Made by History" series, Elizabeth Tandy Shermer considers "The Toxic Practice Fueling the Fierce Competition over Amazon's Headquarters." [Note: these essays are behind a paywall, but the list of essays in the series is open.]

And in another Washington Post entry, Benjamin Waterhouse has just published a review of Adam Winkler's We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights (Norton, 2018).

On the "History of Knowledge" blog, Josh Lauer writes about "Economic Personae: The Making of Financial Identity in America."

In a post on The Atlantic website, Joshua Clark Davis looks at "The FBI's War on Black-Owned Bookstores."

Also on The Atlantic site, "How 'Citizen Housewives' Made Food Cheaper and Safer," an interview with Emily Twarog, author of Politics of the Pantry: Housewives, Food, and Consumer Protest in Twentieth-Century America (Oxford University Press, 2017).

Commemorating Alexander Hamilton's birthday at the Museum of American Finance, Richard Sylla discusses "Alexander Hamilton and Fiscal Responsibility" on C-Span.

"The Hemmings Daily" (a classic car blog) excerpted a section of Katherine Parkin's Women at the Wheel: A Century of Buying, Driving, and Fixing Cars (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017). The book won the Popular Culture Association's Emily Toth Award for the best single work in Women's Studies in 2017.

An "Atlas Obscura" article on "Finding the Unexpected Wonder in More Than 22,000 International Standards" quotes Craig Murphy, who adds information from his and Joanne Yates' The International Organization for Standardization (ISO): Global Governance Through Voluntary Consensus (Routledge, 2009) and their ongoing research.

Last fall, Louis Hyman spoke to policymakers in Washington, D.C., in a briefing sponsored by the National History Center. The session focused on "how technological innovation is transforming work, and how insights from the past inform responses to the 21st-century wave of automation." The briefing is now available on C-Span.

Monday, March 5, 2018

CFP: Hagley Conference: “Seeing Like a Capitalist”

A call for proposals has been issued for “Seeing Like a Capitalist: Histories of Commercial Surveillance,” a conference sponsored by the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society to be held on November 8–9, 2018, at the Hagley Museum and Library. According to the convenors:
we invite proposals that explore the history of commercial surveillance in the United States, from settlement to the present. These (non-state) surveillance activities might be found in a variety of business settings and industries, involve a range of formal or informal practices, and might be directed at customers, media audiences, borrowers, consumer markets, employees, or labor. The long history of commercial surveillance serves to illuminate the precursors, continuities, and logic of today’s “surveillance capitalism.”
The conference was initiated by Josh Lauer (University of New Hampshire), and he is joined on the program committee by Roger Horowitz (Hagley Museum and Library) and Ken Lipartito (Florida International University). Proposals of no more than 500 words and a one-page CV should be submitted to Carol Lockman at by May 1, 2018.
      Sarah E. Igo (Vanderbilt University) will open the conference with a keynote address on the evening of November 8. She will discuss her new book, The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America, to be published by Harvard University Press in May 2018.
     For more details, please see the complete call for proposals.

Friday, March 2, 2018

New Books of Interest: Winter 2018 Edition

A listing of books of interest to business and economic historians, published in January and February  2018 (plus a few earlier titles we missed):
Alexander Charles Baillie, Call of Empire: From the Highlands to Hindustan (McGill-Queen's University Press, November 2017)

Sven Beckert and Christine Desan, eds., American Capitalism: New Histories  (Columbia University Press, 2018)

Gillian Cookson, The Age of Machinery: Engineering the Industrial Revolution (Boydell and Brewer,  February 2018) [straight to paper]

William Deringer, Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age (Harvard University Press, February 2018)

Robert Hunt Ferguson, Remaking the Rural South: Interracialism, Christian Socialism, and Cooperative Farming in Jim Crow Mississippi (University of Georgia Press, January 2018)

Margot Finn and Kate Smith, eds., The East India Company at Home, 1757-1857 (University College London Press, February 2018)

Joshua B. Freeman, Behemoth: A History of the Factory and the Making of the Modern World (W. W. Norton, February 2018)

Allan Greer, Property and DispossessionNatives, Empires and Land in Early Modern North America (Cambridge University Press, January 2018)

Per H. Hansen, Danish Modern Furniture, 1930-2016: The Rise, Decline and Re-emergence of a Cultural Market Category (University Press of Southern Denmark, February 2018)

Gerard Helferich, Unlikely Trust: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and the Improbable Partnership That Remade American Business (Rowman & Littlefield [Lyons Press], January 2018)

Thomas K. McCraw and William R. Childs, American Business since 1920: How It Worked, 3rd ed. (Wiley, November 2017)

Dana E. Powell, Landscapes of Power: Politics of Energy in the Navajo Nation (Duke University Press, January 2018)

Jonathan Rees, Before the Refrigerator: How We Used to Get Ice (Johns Hopkins University Press, February 2018)

Susan Rose, The Wealth of England: The Medieval Wool Trade and Its Political Importance, 1100–1600 (Oxbow Books, February 2018)

William T. Rowe, Speaking of Profit: Bao Shichen and Reform in Nineteenth-Century China (Harvard University Press, January 2018)

Shomari Wills, Black Fortunes: The Story of the First Six African Americans Who Escaped Slavery and Became Millionaires (Harper Collins [Amistad], January 2018)

Adam Winkler, We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights (W. W. Norton, February 2018)

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

BHC Meeting Deadlines Are Coming Up

A gentle reminder that the deadline for online registration at the upcoming BHC annual meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, is March 25, 2018. Those who register in person will pay a surcharge; moreover, meal availability cannot be guaranteed.
     The deadline for hotel reservations at the group rate is March 3, 2018. Neither rooms nor the discount rate may be available after that time.
     Presenters are reminded to submit an abstract (required) of their paper and the paper itself (encouraged) in advance of the meeting; both tasks can be accomplished via the meeting website.
     Finally, authors and journal editors who would like their new and recent publications displayed at the book and journal exhibit are encouraged to check with their publishers; please direct publishers to our information sheet, which will provide all the necessary information.
     For information about all these topics and more, please consult the BHC meeting website.

Monday, February 26, 2018

CFP: FRESH London 2018

On June 14, 2018, the Department of Economics, Royal Holloway, and the Department of Economic History, London School of Economics, will jointly host a Frontier Research in Economic and Social History (FRESH) meeting. The broad theme of the meeting is “Labour Markets and Institutions,” but submissions on other topics are also encouraged. The keynote speaker will be Jane Humphries, Professor Emeritus of Economic History and Fellow of All Souls College, University of Oxford.
    FRESH meetings are aimed at researchers in any field of economic and social history. The meetings build on the concept that scholars present their ongoing research at an early stage. The aim of the meetings is to gather researchers in a friendly and collegial environment where they can present their research and receive constructive criticism from their peers
    Prospective speakers should submit a one-page abstract and a short CV by March 30, 2018. For submission instructions, please see the complete call for papers; additional details are available on the FRESH website.
     Initially administered from the University of Southern Denmark, the FRESH program moved to Queen's University Belfast in 2017.

Friday, February 23, 2018

WEHC 2018 Preliminary Program Now Available

The World Economic History Congress (WEHC) will meet in Boston, Massachusetts, on July 29-August 3, 2018. The organization has now released the preliminary program for the meeting; it includes session titles, participants, and a link to each session description. Readers can also access a "conference calendar" version that allows one to save session dates and times to a personal calendar.
   In addition to the many sessions and social events, the congress will feature a keynote speech by Thomas Piketty.
   For much more about the WEHC 2018 meeting, please see the congress website. The organization can also be followed on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

CFP Reminder: Academy of Management Business History Track 2018

The British Academy of Management (BAM)'s 2018 conference will take place at the University of the West of England in Bristol, UK, on September 4-6, 2018. This year's conference theme is "Driving Productivity in Uncertain and Challenging Times." The deadline for submissions is February 28.
      From the Management and Business History Track (track 14) call for papers:
This track aims to encourage the growing number of management and business historians who work in business schools and social science departments to engage in constructive debate with a wide range of management scholars. . . . Histories of organizations, industries and institutions give us the opportunity to understand how managers have responded to uncertain and challenging times in the past, whether it be through war, economic crisis, scandal or other disruptions to their activities. . . .  In this track we specialize in chronologically or longitudinally motivated research. . . . we appreciate papers dealing with the legacy of uncertainty in the past in business and management more generally, and how it has influenced the diversity of experience in present day businesses, regions and communities. 
For more details, please see the full call for papers. For more information about BAM 2018, please see the meeting website.

Monday, February 19, 2018

CFP: Transforming Cities: The Global South in the 20th Century

The Europäische Akademie in Berlin is holding a conference on October 11-12, 2018, on "Transforming Cities: Urbanization and International Development Policies in the Global South in the Twentieth Century." According to the convenors (Sönke Kunkel and Marc Frey),
Connecting global urban history to the history of development, humanitarian aid, international organizations, and INGOs, the conference . . . seeks to bring in a decidedly historical perspective on one of the defining processes of the twentieth century. Our aim is to explore how and why urban development policy established itself as a global policy field, what transformations it engineered on the ground, and how concepts and practices changed over time. We also seek to understand how urban development policies in the global South linked up with transnational urban movements such as the “Urban International” (Pierre-Yves Saunier) and what role urban administrations played.
Scholars interested in participating in the conference are asked to send an abstract (200 to 400 words, in English) and a short curriculum vitae to and before March 18, 2018. In order to facilitate scholarly interchange, participants will circulate their papers before the conference, and will give only very brief oral summaries. Final papers will be available to conference participants only.
      Inquiries can be made to the conveners at the e-mail addresses above. For a much fuller discussion of conference aims and topics, please see the full call for papers.

Friday, February 16, 2018

New Journal from Penn Press: Capitalism and History

The University of Pennsylvania Press has announced the founding of a new journal of interest. Titled Capitalism and History, the journal will publish its first issue in Winter 2019. The editors are Francesco Boldizzoni, University of Helsinki; Marc Flandreau, University of Pennsylvania; and Carl Wennerlind, Barnard College of Columbia University. The editor for review essays is Carolyn N. Biltoft, The Graduate Institute, Geneva. Editorial board members are listed here.
    According to the announcement, Capitalism and History
is concerned with both theory and empirics, welcomes qualitative and quantitative investigations, and encourages conceptual as well as methodological innovations. Capitalism and History is global in reach, diverse in outlook, and comprehensive in coverage, spanning a wide range of periods and world regions. It aims to achieve innovation by challenging the conventional boundaries between historical fields and putting history in conversation with economics, law, social theory, and the humanities at large.
Manuscriptsubmissions should be sent to the editors at

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Winter 2018 Common-Place Articles of Interest

The winter 2018 issue of the on-line journal Common-Place has several articles of interest: 
Katherine Gaudet looks at Charles Brockden Brown's novel, Arthur Mervyn (1799) to examine eighteenth-century ideas of bankruptcy.
Ross Newton tracks down the story of the "Gentlemen of the Bay of Honduras," logwood cutters who donated to Boston's Old North Church.
Robin Bernstein investigates the newly available slave narrative of Jane Clark.
Finally, Katherine Hijar examines nineteenth-century brothel guides to look at views on urban prostitution in the United States.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Program Available: “Entangled Histories” at the McNeil Center

Isaac Mendes Belisario, “Jaw-Bone, or House John-Canoe,” from <em>Sketches of Character, In Illustration of the Habits, Occupation, and Costume of the Negro Population in the Island of Jamaica</em>, 1837; courtesy of Yale Center for British Art
The McNeil Center for Early American Studies is hosting a conference on April 5-7, 2018, in Philadelphia, Pa., on "Entangled Histories: Making New Connections in Early America, c. 1750-1850." According to the organizers,
Over the last decade, Entangled History has emerged as a response to the global turn in American History. From recent work on the history of capitalism, slavery, and the slave trade, to studies of revolutions and pandemics, entangled approaches continue to push the boundaries of our historical understanding.
The program for the conference is now available. Among sessions of particular interest are "Trade, Slavery, and Settlement" and "Capital and Property on the Periphery." Full copies of the papers will be available in advance to registrants.
     For complete information about registration, accommodations, and travel, please see the "Entangled Histories" website.

Friday, February 9, 2018

CFP: SHOT 2018

The Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) will hold its 2018 annual meeting in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 11-14. In tribute to the meeting location, the theme will be “Gateways: Passages, Openings, and Enclosures in the History of Technology.” According to the call for papers,
[Its] multi-dimensional story makes St. Louis a natural focus for scholarly analysis of the many ways technology impacts, and is impacted by, place, space, and culture. The pre-industrial, industrial, and postindustrial history of the region, from Native American Cahokia mounds to the African-American experience in suburban Ferguson, also suggests topics further analyzing technology, power, and democracy, race, gender, and ethnicity.
The program committee will entertain submissions in three categories:
Traditional Sessions: 3-4 papers, with chair and commentator
Unconventional Sessions: round-table sessions, workshop-style sessions with pre-circulated papers, poster sessions, or "you write, I present" sessions, in which the discussant presents for the author and comments on the paper, with authors on-site to respond to comments, take questions from the audience, and join overall discussions.
Open Sessions: Organizers describe a topic and invite submissions to create a panel
The deadline for all submissions is March 31, 2018. [Those wishing to submit an open session proposal, however, must do so by March 15; potential open session participants must submit by March 24, in order to give the organizer time to pull things together for the March 31 overall deadline.]
    Please see the full call for papers for additional information and submission instructions.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

CFP: Financial History Review New Scholar Fast-Track Workshop

The journal Financial History Review invites submissions of research papers from advanced Ph.D. students and recent postdoctoral researchers (fewer than five years out from completing their Ph.D.) in banking, financial, and monetary history for a New Scholars Fast-Track Workshop to be held in Turin, Italy, on June 13, 2018. Papers on any topic and period are welcome. Co-authored papers are also eligible, provided that one of the authors meets the “new scholar” requirements. Authors of selected manuscripts will have the opportunity to discuss their paper with experienced scholars at the workshop. After the workshop, they will receive referee reports no later than July 15, 2018, and will be requested to resubmit a final version no later than September 30, 2018.
      The workshop is supported by the European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH) (, Fondazione 1563 per l’Arte e la Cultura della Compagnia di San Paolo, and Compagnia di San Paolo. Financial support will be available for travel and accommodation costs. For further information about the FHR, please visit the journal's webpage.
      Those interested in the workshop should submit a paper and a short CV no later than April 30, 2018, to the editors of FHR, Stefano Battilossi (Carlos III Madrid) ( and Rui Esteves (Oxford) ( When submitting, please include in the subject “FHR New Scholar Fast-Track.”
      For more specifics, please see the full call for submissions.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Digital Resource: New York Public Library Maps

As one of its ongoing digitization projects, the New York Public Library has placed over 20,000 maps on its website. Many of them are of direct interest to business historians. Slate's Rebecca Onion blogged about one example, "Chase's Ice Map" of several northeastern rivers in 1894, showing "location, capacity, ownership & cutting surface of the Kennebec, Penobscot & Hudson rivers."
   Other examples include:
"Map of the Oil District of West Virginia," 1864
"Plan of Land & Water Lots of the Charlestown Wharf Co.," 1838
"Map of French & English Grants on Lake Champlain," 1851
"Map & Profile of a Ship Canal from Richmond to Warwick," 1836
"Post Route Map of the State of Arkansas and of the Indian Territory," 1880
"Ontario (Villages) Business Notices," 1874
The maps are searchable by keyword and by several categories such as "Topic" and "Place." The library site has an excellent viewer, which allows users to zoom in on details at very high resolution. Most items are in the public domain.

Friday, February 2, 2018

CFP: CHORD 2018 Conference

The Centre for the History of Retailing and Distribution ­(CHORD) invites submissions for its 2018  conference, which will focus on retailing and distribution in the eighteenth century. The meeting will take place at the University of Wolverhampton on September 13, 2018. Papers focusing on any geographical area or topic are welcome. Both experienced and new speakers are invited to propose their work, including speakers without an institutional affiliation. For a more detailed expression of possible topics, please see the full call for papers.
    To submit a proposal, please send title and abstract of c.300 to 400 words, specifying whether you are proposing a 10- or a 20-minute presentation, to Laura Ugolini, at by May 4, 2018.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Program Available for APEBH 2018 Meeting

The 2018 Asia Pacific Economic and Business History (APEBH) Conference will be hosted by the School of History at the University of Tasmania in Hobart on February 15-17, 2018. The conference, under the topic "History from Below: Ordinary Lives in Historical and Comparative Perspective," will "bring together researchers in business, economic, and social history and feature new and exciting research from a variety of perspectives covering historical developments in Australia and Asia, as well as in other regions of the world." The preliminary program for the meeting has now been posted on the conference website. The site also provides a link to abstracts and full texts of papers as available.
    The annual Noel Butlin Lecture will be given by Sumner La Croix, with the title "Understanding the Unwritten Past: Hawaii's Economic History, 1260-1778."
    For additional information, including registration and accommodation details, please consult the meeting website.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Over the Counter: Issue No. 38

A listing of short items of interest from around the web:
On OSU's "Origins" blog, Bill Childs writes about "How Public and Private Enterprise Have Built American Infrastructure"

The first winner of the Kobrak Fellowship, named in honour of the late Professor Christopher Kobrak, co-founder of the CBHA/ACHA and past Wilson/Currie Chair in Canadian Business and Financial History at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, is Stefano Tijerina of the University of Maine. He will use the award to study Canadian financial institutions in Latin America.

In other prize news, the 2017 Wadsworth Prize, presented by the Business Archives Council, has been awarded to Hermione Giffard for her book, Making Jet Engines in World War II: Britain, Germany, and the United States (University of Chicago Press).

We are saddened to report that well-known environmental and political historian Samuel P. Hays (University of Pittsburgh, emeritus) died on November 22, 2017, at the age of 92.

A fall program we missed from the European Association for Banking and Financial History (EABH): "Money in Africa: Monetary and Financial Decolonisation in Africa in the 20th Century," held in Lisbon last October.

A blog of interest to researchers from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA): "Twelve Key," edited by Claire Kluskens, a senior reference and projects archivist at NARA. See, for example, "Butter Makers and More: The 1929 Census of Manufacturers."

Charles Baillie, author of Call of Empire: From the Highlands to Hindustan (McGill-Queens University Press, 2017), talks about his work on the East India Company at the Canadian Business History Association on YouTube.
     Also on YouTube, Heidi Tworek talks about her work in developing "The History Lab" course, in which students work on a digital project with faculty members.

The December 2017 issue of the American Historical Review contains a forum called "Follow the Money: Banking and Finances in the Modern World." (A personal or institutional subscription is required for full-text access.)

And a recent issue of the New Statesman online features an article by D'Maris Coffman on "How Bitcoin Resembles the South Sea Bubble."

Dael A. Norwood contributed a post to the Omohundro Institute blog, "Uncommon Sense," titled "Global Trade and Revolution: The Politics of Americans' Commerce with China."

Regina Lee Blaszczyk discusses her new book, Fashionability: Abraham Moon and the Creation of British Cloth for the Global Market (Oxford University Press) in the Yorkshire Post. She also writes about facets of her research in a series of six blog posts for the Manchester University Press.

At "Process," the blog for the Organization of American Historians, high school teacher Mary Anne Christy writes about "Teaching the History of Capitalism in the High School Classroom."

Benjamin C. Waterhouse wrote an essay on "The Small Business Myth" for the online journal Aeon.

From her position as a Prize Fellow at the Joint Center for History and Economics at Harvard University, Paige Glotzer launched a website as part of the Center's "Visualizing Historical Networks" project. Her work, foreshadowing her forthcoming book, is entitled "Building Suburban Power: The Business of Exclusionary Housing Markets, 1890-1950."

Friday, January 26, 2018

Fellowship Opportunities: UNC Special Collections Library

The Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina has announced that it will award up to eight short-term summer research fellowships of $1,250 to support intensive and innovative research use of its collections. (For applicants whose permanent residence is within the Research Triangle region, the award will be adjusted to $625 to support the expenses of commuting rather than travel and housing.) According to the announcemen, a successful candidate for the 2018 Summer Visiting Research Fellowships will:
  • Submit a research plan that draws deeply and substantively on the collections of the Wilson Special Collections Library. The Library’s collections include the North Carolina Collection, the Rare Book Collection, the Southern Folklife Collection, the Southern Historical Collection, and University Archives. 
  • Commit to a research residency of at least ten days at the Louis Round Wilson Library that will occur between May 1 and September 1, 2018. 
  • Agree to participate in the intellectual life of the Library, which will include a public presentation of research findings and experiences and the submission of a brief research report. 
  • Have or be actively pursuing the terminal degree in their discipline. 
Readers should note particularly the Hugh L. McColl Library Fund, which supports research about banking and business in the American South.
     To apply for a Summer Visiting Research Fellowship, researchers should submit a brief research plan that describes the proposed project, discusses its intellectual significance, and lists the specific materials to be consulted at the Wilson Library to with the email subject line: "2018 Summer Visiting Research Fellowships." Please consult the fellowship website for additional requirements. The deadline for all application materials is February 15, 2018. Please contact Matt Turi with any questions.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Economic History Society 2018 Meeting: Program Available

The next Economic History Society (EHS) annual conference will take place at Keele University in Staffordshire, UK, on April 6-8, 2018. The preliminary program has now been posted. The program features a poster session, and Friday sessions are devoted to papers by new researchers. The conference will conclude with the Tawney Lecture, presented this year by Professor Şevket Pamuk of Bogaziçi (Bosphorus) University on "Uneven Centuries: Economic Development in Turkey since 1820." Presenters are expected to make available an electronic copy of their paper, which will be linked from the program.
    Registration is open, and will continue online until March 23, 2018. For more information, including information about off-line registration, please consult the EHS Conference website.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Workshop: “Fashion and the Supply Chain”

On February 15-16, 2018, Henley Business School at the University of Reading will host a workshop on "Fashion and the Supply Chain." According to the website, "This two-day workshop explores themes in the business history of fashion and its broader supply chain. The aim is to share current research linked to fashion (broadly defined). The papers presented include perspectives from business, culture, retail, curators, archives, design, production and consumption."
    The program includes papers by, among others, Regina Blaszczyk, Ben Wubs, Véronique Pouillard, and Vicki Barnes and Lucy Newton.
    Questions should be directed to Daria Radwan by email at or by phone on +44 (0) 118 378 6597.

Friday, January 19, 2018

CFP: Graduate Conference on “Interdisciplinary Approaches to Early America”

The Early American Republic Seminar at CUNY invites proposals for papers focusing on the years ranging between the colonial period and the end of the Civil War for its fourth annual graduate student conference. The theme for the conference, which will be held on May 11, 2018, at the CUNY Graduate Center, is "Common Ground: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Early America."
    Topics include but are not limited to gender, material culture, religion, the Atlantic World, slavery, Native American history, politics, law, print culture, biography, immigration, urbanism, capitalism, and environmental history. Proposals that consider these topics from alternative disciplinary perspectives, including literature, political science, legal studies, urban studies, women and gender studies, and the digital humanities, are particularly welcome. For more details, please see the full call for papers.
    The extended deadline for submissions is February 1, 2018. Please send an abstract (300 words) and a one-page CV as one document to Include your name in the title of the document. Also, please note in the abstract any AV requirements or special accommodations for your paper. Questions about this event should be directed to the conference organizers, Evan Turiano ( or Alexander Gambaccini (
    The CUNY Graduate Center’s Early American Republic Seminar (EARS) is a student-run organization focused on promoting and facilitating the study of early American history. Its primary mission is to provide a space for graduate students and early career scholars to present works in progress in a rigorous but collegial environment.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Registration Now Open for the 2018 BHC Annual Meeting

Registration for the 2018 BHC Annual Meeting, to be held in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 5-7, is now open. Everyone attending the conference is required to register. This includes all presenters, chairs, and discussants, as well as audience members without a place on this year's program. The registration fee covers costs associated with holding the conference, including room rental charges, coffee breaks, receptions, and audio-visual equipment.
    Those who are not BHC members are encouraged to join the BHC to take advantage of the discounted rates and to obtain an annual subscription to the BHC journal, Enterprise and Society. Attendees can join or renew by going to For those who are already BHC members, membership renewal notices are sent on a quarterly basis; if you have not yet received such a notice, your membership is current.
    The deadline for on-line registration is March 25, 2018. Please be aware that onsite registration will require a $40 surcharge, and meals may not be available for purchase.

Monday, January 15, 2018

CFP: Michigan Graduate School Conference on “Constructing America”

The American History Workshop at the University of Michigan invites papers for its 2018 Graduate Student Conference on May 4-5, with the theme  "Constructing America: Identities, Infrastructure and Institutions." The call for papers states:
The world has constructed America, just as America has shaped itself--as a real and imagined place, constructed and reconstructed by transnational forces and figures. America materializes through global alliance and opposition, immigration, urban development and rural economies, organization, consumption, and rebellion. In whose image is America constructed? Where are its borders? Papers might investigate the construction of America in any number of ways: as an "imagined community"--a product of historical memory intertwined with assumptions about race, class, sex, faith, ethnicity and gender; as an object of knowledge in the social and natural sciences, the arts and humanities; as a material entity made of machines, buildings, bodies, landscapes and infrastructure; or as a network of political, economic, cultural and social institutions. 
The organizers are particularly interested in papers that approach the idea of construction in innovative, counter-intuitive, or interdisciplinary ways. Papers that consider the intersection of public history and traditional scholarship, and the ways in which that might destabilize established national narratives are particularly encouraged. Scholars working in all periods of American history are welcome.
      Those interested in presenting should submit an abstract of 150-300 words and a CV to the conference planning committee at Proposals are due by January 28, 2018.  The full announcement is available here.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Resource: “Technology Stories” on the SHOT Website

The Society for the History of Technology (SHOT) has introduced a blog on its website called "Technology Stories." Edited by Suzanne Moon and Gerardo Con Diaz, the site aims to
engage readers with the usable past—stories that help us make sense of contemporary technological challenges and aspirations. Technology’s Stories is a place for thinkers to share new insights on the integration of technology with our environments and our social, political, and economic lives.
Published several times a year, "issues" feature three to four essays each; after three years, the site now contains many "Technology Stories," ranging from John K. Brown's 2014 discussion of the Eads Bridge and the analytic use of the "constrained counterfactual" to Marie Hicks's recent post on ingrained gender discrimination in the computing industry, "A Feature, Not a Bug."
    Readers can find the full index to the site's essays here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Fellowship: Rovensky Application Process Open

The University of Illinois Foundation announces the 2018-2019 John E. Rovensky Fellowships. Two $9,500 fellowships will be awarded for doctoral students writing their dissertations in U.S. business or economic history. The fellowships are available largely through the generosity of the late John E. Rovensky and are administered by the University of Illinois Foundation.
     Applicants must be working toward a Ph.D. degree with U.S. business or economic history as the area of major interest. Fellowship recipients must be enrolled in a doctoral program at an accredited college or university in the United States. Preference will be given to applicants who are preparing for a career in teaching and research and who will have completed all graduate course work prior to the fall of 2018. Awards are non-renewable but may be held concurrently with fellowships from other sources.
      To apply: please fill out the form at Please note that users must be logged in to the BHC website to submit an application (those who do not already have a [free] BHC web account should follow the instructions on the Help Page to create one).
      Completed applications for the fellowship must be received no later than March 9, 2018.

Monday, January 8, 2018

CFP: Sound Economic History Workshop, 2018

The 13th Sound Economic History Workshop will be held in Gothenburg, Sweden, on September 6-7, 2018, hosted by the Unit for Economic History, University of Gothenburg. The keynote speaker will be Deborah Oxley of the University of Oxford. The local organizer is Svante Prado; organizers for Sound are Jacob Weisdorf, Kerstin Enflo, and Svante Prado. According to the organizers:
The main aim of the Sound Workshop is to gather young researchers in a friendly and non-imposing environment where they can present their research and receive constructive criticism from their peers and leading economic historians. Another aim of the workshop is to demonstrate the breadth of (especially Nordic) Economic History as an academic discipline, so there is no theme to the workshop, and submissions are encouraged from any sub-field of economic and social history. Nordic scholars and scholars based in a Nordic country will be given preference, but others are warmly welcome to apply. 
The workshop organizers particularly encourage presentations by PhD students and post-docs. Ph.D. students and post-docs are also encouraged to participate even if they do not wish to present paper. The Sound Workshop organisers strive to accommodate as many speakers as possible. Depending on the number of participants, accepted papers will receive up to 25 minutes each (15 minutes for presentation and 5-10 minutes for discussion). The workshop is a two-day event, and accepted speakers are strongly encouraged to participate on both days. There is no registration fee for this workshop.
    Prospective speakers should submit a one-page abstract and a short CV to Svante Prado ( no later than March 1, 2018. For more information, please visit the Sound Economic History Workshop website.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

CFP Deadline Reminder: “Entangled Histories” Conference at the McNeil Center

Proposals are invited for a two-day conference on "Entangled Histories: Making New Connections in Early America, c. 1750–1850," which will be held at the McNeil Center for Early American Studies on April 5-7, 2018. The organizers
are looking for scholars who challenge traditional narratives of imperial or national history by applying a wider lens to Anglo-America. The goal is to foster a wide-ranging debate on relations across borders – geographic, political, legal, social, and ethnic – in the Americas. . . . We seek papers that link Anglo-America to the Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese, or French empires. Alternatively, proposals might situate the British Atlantic in relation to East Asia or the Gulf Coast borderlands. We also welcome studies about historical figures on the legal, social, or geographic margins of British America – such as maroons, refugees, smugglers, missionaries, indigenous peoples, etc. The program for this conference will highlight the value of entangled history in current debates on global capitalism and slavery, sovereignty and state power, ethnogenesis, and other major issues.
Those wishing to propose a paper should submit an abstract of 300-400 words, along with a short curriculum vitae, to with “Entangled Histories” in the subject line. Please include name, affiliation, and contact information at the head of the abstract. The deadline for submissions is January 20, 2018. Some funding is available to offset the costs of travel and lodging for conference participants. Please see the full call for papers for additional information.
     Questions about the conference may be directed to Eliga Gould ( or Julia Mansfield (

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

CFP: “Negotiating Networks” Networks in Social and Economic History

The Institute of Historical Research (IHR), with the support of the Economic History Society, will hold a one-day conference on June 25, 2018, on "Negotiating Networks: New Research on Networks in Social and Economic History." The keynote speaker will be Sheryllynne Haggerty of the University of Nottingham. According to the call for papers:
The conference will bring together scholars working on networks in social and economic history, broadly defined, with a particular focus on those using Social Network Analysis (SNA) in their research. SNA has become increasingly popular as one of the key digital tools for historical research in recent years. We would like to encourage conversation and exchange of ideas between researchers who use this methodology.
    We welcome proposals for papers from postgraduate, early career and established scholars working in this area. The aim of the conference is to bring together researchers dealing with the challenges and rewards of examining historical networks. We therefore encourage papers dealing with the medieval, early modern or modern periods and any geographical location. Papers which take a methodological approach to historical SNA are also welcome. 
For a fuller discussion of possible themes, please see the full call for papers.
     Those interested in presenting should send an abstract of 250 words (for a 20- minute paper) to organizers Esther Lewis and Charlie Berry at by January 30, 2018.