Friday, June 29, 2018

WEHC 2018 Update: Special Sessions and Plenaries

The final program of the World Economic History Congress, meeting in Boston on July 29-August3, 2018, is now up on the WEHC website. In addition to the many sessions, there will be three plenaries (plus the IEHA General Meeting):
  • Sevket Pamuk will speak at the opening plenary on "Waves of Globalization and the Economic Historian."
  • Thomas Piketty will give a keynote lecture on "Rising Inequality and the Changing Structure of Political Conflict."
  • Jane Humphries and Claudia Goldin will speak at the closing plenary on "The Role of Women in Economic Growth": Humphries on "From the Wings to Centre Stage: Women and Economic Growth and Structural Change in Europe during the Pre-Industrial and Industrial Eras," and Goldin on "A Long Road: The Quest for Career and Family." Jan De Vries will serve as discussant.
The Congress will also include special sessions on specific book titles, dissertation competition sessions, and two poster sessions. The program brochure provides a great deal of additional information about the Congress, including links to the abstracts for each session. For complete Congress details, please see the WEHC website. Note that pre-conference registration ends on July 15.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

NEPHIS Review of E&S Article and Free Access

This week in the NEPHIS blog, Helena Varkkey (University of Malaya) comments on "The Emergence of an Export Cluster: Traders and Palm Oil in Early Twentieth-Century Southeast Asia" by Valeria Giacomin (Harvard-Newcomen Fellow in Business History), Enterprise and Society 19, (June 2018): 272-308. The editors of Enterprise & Society have made this article freely available for a limited time; the link is also available on the NEPHIS blog site.

Monday, June 25, 2018

CFP: Economic History Society 2019

The 2019 conference of the Economic History Society (EHS) will be held on April 5-7 at Queen's University Belfast. The conference program committee welcomes proposals on all aspects of economic and social history covering a wide range of periods and countries, and particularly welcomes papers of an interdisciplinary nature. The committee invites proposals for individual papers, as well as for entire sessions of 1.5-2 hours duration.
    Papers should be submitted online via the link on the meeting website. For additional information, including details for submitting proposals for the "new researcher" sessions, please consult the EHS meeting website. The deadline for both regular and "new researcher" proposals is September 3, 2018.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Digital Resource: “Runaway Slaves in Britain” Database

The "Runaway Slaves in Eighteenth-Century Britain" project has created a searchable database of well over eight hundred newspaper advertisements placed by masters and owners seeking the capture and return of enslaved and bound people who had escaped. Many were of African descent, though a small number were from the Indian sub-continent and a few were Indigenous Americans. The principal sources for this project are English and Scottish newspapers published between 1700 and 1780. Although some have been digitized, the poor quality of surviving newsprint makes digital text searching unreliable, so project researchers have surveyed thousands of newspaper issues in archives all over Britain, some in their original print form as well as many more on microfilm or digital form. The database contains full transcriptions of the advertisements, and when possible photographic reproductions.
     The project is a product of the Department of History at the University of Glasgow, headed by Simon Newman; participating members include Stephen Mullen, Nelson Mundell, and Roslyn Chapman.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

CFP: Agricultural History Society 2019

The 100th anniversary meeting of the Agricultural History Society will be held in Washington, D.C., on June 6-8, 2019; the theme will be “ Power in Agricultural History.” According to the call for papers,
Power, in its multiple guises—whether political, social, economic, or physical—is embedded in every aspect of agricultural production, food and fiber marketing and consumption, and rural society and culture. The organizing theme is meant to encourage historians who refuse to accept that the current and future conditions of farms, food systems, and rural society and culture are the result of autonomous logics.
Session proposals should include a two-hundred-word abstract for each paper and a one-page CV for each panel member; individual paper proposals should consist of a two-hundred-word abstract and a one-page CV. All proposals should be submitted electronically in MS Word format to the program committee by email at: Deadline for submissions is September 28, 2018. For the full call for papers, please see the AHS website.
    Questions may be addressed to Shane Hamilton, the program committee chair, at

Monday, June 18, 2018

EHA 2018 Program Has Been Posted

The Economic History Association (EHA) is meeting in Montreal, Canada, on September 7-9, 2018; the preliminary program has now been posted as a webpage, with more details available in the brochure version.  The theme of the meeting is “ 'From Plague, Famine, and War, Save us, O Lord': Shocks and Disasters in Economic History.” In addition to regular sessions, there will also be a plenary chaired by Gregory Clark on “Deaths of Despair and the Failure of American Capitalism,” featuring Anne Case and Angus Deaton of Princeton University, and Cormac O’Grada will present his presidential address, titled “The Next World and the New World: Relief, Migration, and the Great Irish Famine.”
    The EHA conference website also includes registration, transportation, and lodging information. Note that pre-registration will close on August 15. Questions may be addressed to Jari Eloranta, EHA meeting coordinator, at

Friday, June 15, 2018

Over the Counter, No. 41

News of interest from around the web:

On BackStory radio, a new program on "The Shock of the New: The Legacy of the 1893 World's Fair" in Chicago; among those interviewed: Bernard Carlson and Robert Rydell.

Sharon Murphy can be heard discussing her current research on slavery and banking on Rhode Island Public Radio.

A short interview with Harry Stout about his book, American Aristocrats: A Family, a Fortune, and the Making of American Capitalism, with John Fea on his blog, "The Way of Improvement Leads Home."

The Business History Review is offering free access to a collection of "Editors' Picks" articles.

Interesting online exhibition at the James Ford Bell Library at the University of Minnesota: "Trade and Commerce in 17th-Century England: Proclamations." 

Tiffany Gill, associate professor of Africana Studies and History at the University of Delaware, has been named the school's inaugural Cochran Scholar.

At this spring's OAH meeting, a number of prizes were awarded for works of interest to business historians:
Courtney Fullilove received an honorable mention for the Frederick Jackson Turner Award (for a first scholarly book dealing with some aspect of American history) for The Profit of the Earth: The Global Seeds of American Agriculture;
Richard White won the Ellis W. Hawley Prize (for the best book-length historical study of the political economy, politics, or institutions of the United States, in its domestic or international affairs, from the Civil War to the present) for The Republic for Which It Stands: The United States during Reconstruction and the Gilded Age, 1865–1896;
Alexandra J. Finley was awarded the Lerner-Scott Prize (for for the best doctoral dissertation in U.S. women’s history) for "Blood Money: Sex, Family, and Finance in the Antebellum Slave Trade";
Robert Lee received the Binkley-Stephenson Award (for the best article that appeared in the Journal of American History during the preceding calendar year) for "Accounting for Conquest: The Price of the Louisiana Purchase of Indian Country" (March 2017);
Katherine Carper was awarded the John Higham Research Fellowship (for graduate students writing doctoral dissertations for a Ph.D. in American history) for her study of "The Business of Migration, 1830–1880."
In other prize news, Eli Cook has been awarded the Society for U.S. Intellectual History's 2017 prize for the best book in the field for his The Pricing of Progress: Economic Indicators and the Capitalization of American Life.

The Library of Congress has announced the digitization of the Woodrow Wilson Papers (the press release; the papers themselves are here). The LOC has recently digitized several other important collections, including the papers of U.S. presidents James Buchanan, Ulysses S. Grant, Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce and James K. Polk, and the papers of Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Susan B. Anthony, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

For BBC radio, The Economist's Soumaya Keynes shares experiences with Harvard's Claudia Goldin about women in the economics profession.

A number of conference programs have items of interest:
  • The 24th annual conference of the Omohundro Institute for Early American History and Culture (OIEAHC), which marks the Institute's 75th anniversary, is taking place in Williamsburg, Virginia, on June 14-17, 2018. The program, now available on the conference website, contains several sessions of interest, particularly session 36, a roundtable on "Approaching the History of American Capitalism from Early America," moderated by Emma Hart with discussion by Cathy Matson, Margaret Newell, Christopher Tomlins, and Simon Middleton.
  • The Adolf A. Berle, Jr. Center on Corporations, Law, & Society at the Seattle University School of Law held its annual symposium on May 17-18, 2018. Berle X, celebrating a decade of such meetings, focused specifically on aspects of Berle's works and the world in which his work was developed. The program, available online, includes papers by Eric Hilt, Frank Partnoy, Andrew Smith, Jason Russell, and Kevin Tennent, and Jesse Tarbart.
  • The Institute for Historical Research is hosting a one-day conference on "Negotiating Networks," focusing on networks in social and economic history, on June 25, 2018; the program is here
  • A conference on "Women, Money, and Markets (1700-1900)" was held at the University of Amsterdam on June  7-8, 2018; the program is here.
  • The Canadian Historical Society 2018 annual meeting was held in Regina, Saskatchewan, on May 28-30; the program is available here.
The Cambridge Group for the History of  Population and Social Structure has a new website, "Populations Past," an online interactive atlas of Victorian and Edwardian population.

A recent post on "O Say Can You See?" (the blog of the National Museum of American History), examines Alexander Hamilton and the lace industry in Ipswich, Massachusetts. For other business history posts on this blog, see here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

“Who Makes Cents“ Update

Readers who have not visited the "Who Makes Cents?" podcast site for some time will find a number of interviews of interest; for example,
Beginning in April 2018, new episodes are also available on the Verso blog.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Web Exhibit: “The Transcontinental Railroad”

The "Transcontinental Railroad" website was created by the Linda Hall Library with support from the BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) Foundation. It offers visitors a brief history of the building of the transcontinental railroad, as well as general information on the history and technology of nineteenth-century railroads. Most important, it offers full text access to the Linda Hall Library’s extensive collection of nineteenth-century railroad periodicals.
    Check here for more digital exhibits from the Linda Hall Library, which specializes in materials related to science, engineering, and technology.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Book Reviews of Interest, Winter/Spring 2018 Edition

A selection of (ungated) reviews of books in business and economic history:
Charles O'Kelley reviews Naomi Lamoreaux and William Novak, eds., Corporations and American Democracy, for Jotwell.

Loïc Bonneval reviews Alexia Yates, Selling Paris: Property and Commercial Capital in the Fin-de-Siècle Capital, for Books and Ideas.

J. W. Mason reviews Mark R. Wilson, Destructive Creation: American Business and the Winning of World War II, for Dissent.

Jason DeParle reviews Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America, for the New York Review of Books.

Diane Coyle reviews William Deringer, Calculated Values: Finance, Politics, and the Quantitative Age, for her "Enlightened Economist" blog.

Chris Corker reviews Paolo Di Martino, Andrew Popp and Peter Scott, eds., People, Places and Business Cultures: Essays in Honour of Francesca Carnevali, for EH.Net.

Gail Triner reviews Kurt Mettenheim, Monetary Statecraft in Brazil, 1808-2014, for EH.Net.

Claude Diebolt reviews Joel Mokyr, A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy, for EH.Net.

Claire Brennecke reviews Janet Knodell, The Second Bank of the United States: “Central” Banker in an Era of Nation-Building, 1816-1836, for EH.Net.

Timothy Guinnane reviews Marco H.D. Van Leeuwen, Mutual Insurance, 1550-2015: From Guild Welfare and Friendly Societies to Contemporary Micro-Insurers, for EH.Net.

François Gipouloux reviews Xing Hang, Conflict and Commerce in Maritime East Asia: The Zheng Family and the Shaping of the Modern World, c. 1620-1720, for EH.Net.

Tyler Beck Goodspeed reviews Sharon Ann Murphy, Other People's Money: How Banking Worked in the Early American Republic, for EH.Net.

Carole Shammas reviews Cary Carson, Face Value: The Consumer Revolution and the Colonizing of America, for EH.Net.

Alfred E. Eckes reviews Douglas A. Irwin, Clashing over Commerce: A History of U.S. Trade Policy, for EH.Net.

Geoffrey Wood reviews David Kynaston, Till Time's Last Sand: A History of the Bank of England 1694-2013, for Reviews in History.

Matthew Daley reviews J. Anne Funderburg, Rumrunners: Liquor Smugglers on America's Coasts, 1920-1933, for H-FedHist.

Jennifer Delton reviews Timothy L. Fort, The Diplomat in the Corner Office: Corporate Foreign Policy, for H-FedHist.

Dael Norwood reviews Kendall A. Johnson, The New Middle Kingdom: China and the Early American Romance of Free Trade, for H-Diplo.

G. Patrick O'Brien reviews John Wareing, Indentured Migration and the Servant Trade from London to America, 1618-1718, for H-Early-America.

Nicole Welk-Joerger reviews Kendra Smith-Howard, Pure and Modern Milk: An Environmental History since 1900, for H-Envirohealth.

Tirthankar Roy reviews Paul Arthur Van Dyke, Merchants of Canton and Macao: Success and Failure in Eighteenth-Century Chinese Trade, for H-Asia.

Kate McMahon reviews Christy Clark-Pujara, Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island, for H-Slavery.

Chris Evans reviews Richard Follett, Sven Beckert, Peter Coclanis, and Barbara Hahn, Plantation Kingdom: The American South and Its Global Commodities, for H-Slavery.

Francesca Bray reviews Courtney Fullilove, The Profit of the Earth: The Global Seeds of American Agriculture, for H-Sci-Med-Tech.

Patrick Jones reviews Joshua Clark Davis, From Headshops to Whole Foods: The Rise and Fall of Activist Entrepreneurs, for H-1960s.

Brendan J. Payne reviews Darren E. Grem, The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity, for H-South.

William A. Morgan reviews Dale W. Tomich, Slavery in the Circuit of Sugar: Martinique and the World-Economy, 1830-1848, for H-LatAm.

Philip Levy reviews Edward G. Lengel, First Entrepreneur: How George Washington Built His--and the Nation's--Prosperity, for H-War.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Program Available: SHEAR 2018 Meeting

The Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR) will hold its annual meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 19-22, 2018. The preliminary program has now been posted online. In addition to the many individual papers on business and economic history, readers of this blog may be particularly interested in
Session 12, "Labor Markets Created By, For, and In Women," chaired by Ellen Hartigan-O'Connor
Session 17, "States of Speculation: Western Lands and the Forging and Fracturing of the Early Republic," chaired by Christopher Clark
Session 22, "Morality and Markets: Regulating Capitalism in the Early Republic," chaired by Whitney Martinko
Session 27, "Metal, Machinery, and Manpower: Free and Coerced Labor in the Early Industrial South," chaired by Frank Byrne
Session 46, "Family, Labor, and Capitalism," chaired by Scott Sandage
Sesson 52, "Financial Opportunity and Adversity in the Not-So-Old South," chaired by Matthew Schoenbachler
   Those interested in attending should note that the special SHEAR rate for hotel reservations expires on June 28 and that online registration for the meeting closes on July 5; on-site registration will incur a $30 additional fee.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Web Exhibit: “Gardening as Enterprise”

The Smithsonian Institution has launched a new exhibition titled "Cultivating America's Gardens," which will run in its physical form through August 2018. In addition to displaying many beautiful images, the online component of the exhibition has a section called "Gardening as Enterprise." The segment covers selling seeds and plant breeding and features many illustrations of seed catalogs and trade cards.
    Those with a special interest in this topic might also take a look at the Smithsonian's main seed and nursery catalog site, as well as its "American Seed and Nursery Industry" page, which provides bibliographies and biographical information about many in that industry.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Resources: U.S. Research Fellowships from Scholarly Organizations

Most major U.S. research libraries and centers have fellowship programs; in the United States, meta-lists include the Association of Research Libraries membership list and the National Archives list of presidential libraries; see also "Research Grants at Presidential Libraries." Looking ahead to the 2019-2020 academic year, we provide a (very) partial listing of major research organizations that offer fellowships.
American Antiquarian Society Fellowships
American Philosophical Society Fellowships
Baker Library Fellowships, Harvard Business School
Bancroft Library Fellowships, University of California Berkeley
Beinecke Library Fellowships, Yale University
Clements Library Fellowships, University of Michigan
David Library of the American Revolution Fellowships
Folger Shakespeare Library Fellowships
Hagley Museum and Library Fellowships
Harry Ransom Center Fellowships, University of Texas Austin
Houghton Library Fellowships, Harvard University
Huntington Library Fellowships
James Ford Bell Library Fellowships, University of Minnesota
John Carter Brown Library Fellowships
Library Company of Philadelphia Fellowships
Library of Congress Kluge Fellowship
Linda Hall Library Fellowships
Newberry Library Fellowships
New York Public Library (multiple fellowships)
Peabody Essex Museum Malamy Fellowship
Rubenstein Library Fellowships, Duke University (including Hartman Center)
Smithsonian Fellowships
Wilson Library, UNC Chapel Hill
Two other resources for research funding in specific repositories are meta-lists of state historical societies and state archives.