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Showing posts from September, 2013

“Consumer on the Home Front” Preliminary Program Available

The German Historical Institute (GHI) is holding a conference, "The Consumer on the Home Front: World War II Civilian Consumption in Comparative Perspective," on December 5-7, 2013, at the GHI London. The conveners are Hartmut Berghoff (GHI Washington), Andreas Gestrich (GHI London), Nikolaus Katzer (GHI Moscow), Jan Logemann (GHI Washington), Felix Römer (GHI London), and Sergey Kudryashov (GHI Moskau). According to the call for papers , the conference "will look at the role of the consumer and civilian morale in the war efforts of Germany, Japan, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States." The preliminary program is available here . The conference language will be English.     Inquiries may be addressed to Felix Römer ( ) or Jan Logemann ( ).

Business History Web Exhibits: A Sampling

Many readers will be familiar with the websites constructed by major organizations like the Library of Congress, the British Museum, and the Smithsonian. But smaller organizations too have delved into their holdings to create interesting on-line exhibits of value to business and economic historians. The following links provide a small sample: Art of the Draw: Advertising Posters from the McCormick-International Harvester Collection (Wisconsin Historical Society) Maine Memory Network (a sample):    Aroostook Country Railroads    Atherton Furniture    Biddeford, Saco and the Textile Industry    Canning: A Maine Industry    Early Fish Canneries in Brooklin    Ice: A Maine Commodity Brass Valley Ingenuity (Mattatuck Museum) Exploring the California Gold Rush (California State Library) The Coffee Trade and the Port of New Orleans (Louisiana State Museum) The Colonial Sugar Refining Company, Ltd. (Australia National University) Empire Land and Cattle Company (University

Hagley Digitizes PRR Resource

The Hagley Library has digitized a rare reference work, the four-volume The Pennsylvania Railroad Company: Corporate, Financial and Construction History of Lines Owned, Operated and Controlled to December 31, 1945 , and has made it freely available online via Hagley’s Digital Archives .     In preparation for its 1946 centennial, the Pennsylvania Railroad Company commissioned the engineering firm of Coverdale & Colpitts to prepare a comprehensive history of the company. The commission resulted in the creation of two publications. The second volume, Centennial History of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company , was widely distributed in 1949 and is readily available in many libraries. In contrast, the first volume was intended for the use of management only and dissemination was strictly controlled. Just one hundred copies of the four volumes were printed in 1947 and were distributed to selected company officers. Over time, many copies have been lost; others no doubt remain in the

Recent and Forthcoming Books of Interest: End-of- Summer Edition

A compilation of some of the recently published and forthcoming books of interest to business and economic historians: Joshua Barkan, Corporate Sovereignty: Law and Government under Capitalism (University of Minnesota Press, August 2013) Jeremy Baskes, Staying Afloat: Risk and Uncertainty in Spanish Atlantic World Trade, 1760-1820 (Stanford University Press, July 2013) Sheri J. Caplan, Petticoats and Pinstripes: Portraits of Women in Wall Street's History (Praeger, June 2013) Timothy Cobban, Cities of Oil: Municipalities and Petroleum Manufacturing in Southern Ontario, 1860-1960 (University of Toronto Press, August 2013) Clare Haru Crowston, Credit, Fashion, Sex: Economies of Regard in Old Regime France (Duke University Press, October 2013) Paloma Fernández Pérez and Andrea Colli, eds., The Endurance of Family Businesses: A Global Overview (Cambridge University Press, September 2013) Oscar Gelderblom, Cities of Commerce: The Institutional Foundations of Internat

Upcoming Conference: “Commerce, Corporations and the Law”

The History Project is holding the second in a series of conferences designed to "provide support for young historians who are interested in economic history, the history of economic thought, and political and cultural histories of economic life." The conference, "Commerce, Corporations and the Law," will meet at Princeton University on September 27-28, 2013. A list of the papers with links to abstracts can be found here .     For information about the conference, please contact Jennifer Nickerson, at .

EBHA Call for Papers 2014: Website Now Open

The European Business History Association (EBHA) will hold its next annual congress in Utrecht, The Netherlands, on August 21-23, 2014, in cooperation with Utrecht University and the Netherlands Economic History Archive . The theme will be "Comparative Business History: Contrasting Regions, Sectors, and Centuries." In the call for papers , organizers "encourage participants to take radically different perspectives and take a long-term view in comparing business activities across different periods of time, to compare similarities and differences, and to reflect about their meaning."     Session and paper proposals can be submitted through the Congress website from today (September 16, 2013) onward. A paper proposal should include a title and an abstract of no more than 400 words plus a brief CV of the author. Session proposals should include a brief abstract of the session along with an abstract plus CV for each participant. The deadline for the submission of se

Fall 2013 Workshops and Forums in Business and Economic History

As the new academic year begins, we again offer a round-up of ongoing workshops, forums, and discussion groups in business and economic history. Please check each website for more detailed information; some groups, particularly those in non-US universities, may not have posted Fall 2013 information. In addition to their value for those able to participate directly, these groups often maintain mailing lists and sometimes make speakers' papers freely available. Business History Forum , Columbia University Business History Seminar , Harvard Business School Business History Unit Seminars, LSE Business History @ Erasmus Seminars Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society (Hagley) Research Seminars Centre for Macroeconomics and the Historical Record (MEHR), University of Copenhagen Columbia University Seminar in Economic History Seminars in Economic and Social History , University of Cambridge Economic and Social History of the Premodern World , IHR, Universi

Ronald Coase, 1910-2013

Readers may be aware of the death of Ronald Coase , the Nobel Prize-winning economist who was the Clifton R. Musser Professor emeritus of Economics at the University of Chicago Law School. He died on Monday, September 2, at the age of 102. Commentary and obituary notices abound; here is a sampling: The New York Times The Economist  The Guardian   The Washington Post  NPR: Planet Money   Los Angeles Times Financial Times Chicago Tribune The Wall Street Journal and again, here , and again, here The New Yorker Coase was probably best known among business historians for his seminal 1937 article, "The Nature of the Firm" (currently available and ungated on-line here ) and for the introduction of the concept of transaction costs.

The BHC Launches Redesigned Website

The Business History Conference has launched its redesigned website. Although the underlying structure remains the same, as does the home page URL, some new sections have been added and others expanded.  Readers who have bookmarked pages in the past should check to see if specific URLs have changed; in addition, if the old pages are cached, users may find it necessary to use the browser's "refresh" button to see the new pages. We hope readers will find the content useful!

CFP: AHA Annual Meeting, New York, 2015

The American Historical Association (AHA) has issued the call for proposals for its 2015 meeting. The AHA will meet in New York City on January 2-5, 2015, when the theme of the meeting will be "History and Other Disciplines." The Program Committee welcomes session proposals from all members of the Association, whatever their institutional affiliation or status, as well as from affiliated societies, historians working outside the United States, and scholars in related disciplines. Please note that proposals for individual presentations can be submitted only as posters; single paper proposals will not be considered for any other type of session.    Proposals, which can be drawn up in several different categories this year, must be submitted on-line. The deadline is February 15, 2014 . Those considering sending in a submission might first want to read Debbie Ann Doyle, "New Ideas for Creative Formats at the Annual Meeting," which outlines the possibilities

Food and Marketing History from the Hagley Library

In the summer 2013 issue of Digest: A Journal of Foodways and Culture , Ai Hisano has published a research note on the value of food market studies for historians, " Negotiating Taste : Food Market Research in the Hagley Library ." She argues that "marketing research can serve as a way to comprehend not only corporate initiatives but also the political and cultural constructions of eating and drinking habits and interrelations between producers, distributors, and consumers." Her research focuses on two Hagley Library collections, the Seagram Company papers and the papers of Ernest Dichter, a psychologist who pioneered the use of motivational research as a marketing tool. Hisano's Digest research note is of particular interest because she lays out the many scholarly issues into which these materials might provide insight. She concludes, The marketing studies found in [these] collections articulate how corporate business activities are closely related to