Guide to the Research Collections

- SECTION -- III -- THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
- PART ONE
- 35 -- GENERAL RESOURCES IN ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
- ECONOMIC HISTORY

ECONOMIC HISTORY

Resources in economic history are excellent. Holdings of rare and early books on economics and business, while not matching in extent the Kress Library at Harvard University, form a sizeable block of material; for some years the library has been acquiring items in the published catalogs of the Kress collection which it lacked, and has also added some titles not listed there. The full extent of these resources cannot be readily determined, however, because they are merged with the general collection of rare books; no separate catalog or checklist is available. The collection of seventeenth-and eighteenth-century English and French pamphlets is excellent.

For major economists the library has not only standard editions and extensive critical material, but also many first, early, and unusual editions and some translations of key works into major European languages. The mercantilists and physiocrats, for example, are represented in first editions of Thomas Mun, Sir William Petty, Charles Davenant, Richard Cantillon, Ferdinando Galiani, Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, and François Quesnay.

The library has notable resources on Adam Smith, especially editions of The Wealth of Nations. These include not only the first editions published in England and Ireland, but also the rare first American edition (Philadelphia, 1789) and that published in Switzerland in 1791. Among later editions of importance are those edited by David Buchanan (1814), John Ramsay McCulloch (1828), and J.E.T. Rogers (1869); a curious item is the 1809 volume with the cover title Enfield's Wealth of Nations, a paraphrase of Smith's treatise. In all, the library holds approximately 50 English-language editions published between 1776 and the end of the nineteenth century, and numerous modern reprints and extracts, as well as the first translations into French, Italian, and Spanish, and an early edition in German. More recent translation include those into Czech, Finnish, and Polish, and additional versions in the languages already mentioned. While lacking equal strength in Smith's other writings, the library's collections contain first editions of his first important work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), of Essays on Philosophical Subjects (1795), and of his Works (1811-12), and the Public Catalog has about 300 references to books and journal articles by and about him. Material on Smith--in Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, and Spanish as well as English--consists of such varied forms as biographies, contributions to periodicals, studies of his ideas and their influence, doctoral dissertations, and curiosities (such as the proceedings of the London dinner held on the hundredth anniversary of the publication of The Wealth of Nations ).

Thomas Malthus is represented by An Essay on the Principle of Population in the first edition, the 1803 revision, and more than a dozen later editions, as well as other works; the Public Catalog contains approximately 100 entries on Malthus, most dealing with his theory of population. Extensive holdings are also available on David Ricardo (130 Public Catalog entries for works by and about him); included are the first 3 and several later editions of his Principles of Political Economy and Taxation, a number of pamphlets in early editions, and critical studies. Also well represented are the works of such critics of the classical economists as Jean Charles Sismondi, Adam Müller, and Friedrich List.

Among later figures, the library's most extensive holdings are centered on Henry George and his theories. His daughter, Anna George de Mille, presented to the library the books and papers in her possession relating to her father in 1925; in subsequent years she added a number of items. Her daughter, Mrs. Agnes de Mille Prude, has continued to add to the collection. Numerous forms of material are represented. Manuscripts include Henry George's correspondence (1854-97); his diary (1855-96 with some intermissions); text and notes of lectures; the original draft of Progress and Poverty; and miscellaneous items. Correspondence received by Mrs. Henry George, the manuscripts (1881-1916) of Henry George, Jr., and some letters to Anna George de Mille supplement these papers. The largest holdings of published works are editions of Progress and Poverty: the first copy in print is present in the form of stereotype plate proofs of the first five books, pasted by the author into a municipal report. An interleaved copy of the book bears George's manuscript notes; there are numerous later editions and translations into Chinese, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. First and later editions of George's other works are present, as well as some translations. Clippings from newspapers and periodicals fill 29 volumes (4 of them devoted to the New York mayoralty campaign of 1886); photographs and daguerreotypes show Henry George at various ages.

Although the library has also assembled an extensive amount of critical material (indicated by more than 150 entries on George in the Public Catalog, exclusive of those specifically on Progress and Poverty, ) it lacks some publications which would add significantly to the value of the resources: for example, the number of single tax publications is small, and files are generally incomplete.1

Extensive resources dealing with the economic history of individual countries are available; the number of cards in the Public Catalog under the heading "Economic history" with geographical subdivisions exceeds 28,000. The following entry count provides an indication of the quantity of material assembled on some major nations: Brazil--500, Canada--450, China--400, France--1,200, Germany--2,600, Great Britain--1,850, India--850, Indonesia--175, Italy--1,125, Japan--375, Mexico--375, Poland--375, Russia--1,600, Sweden--200, and the United States--5,400. Even the smaller and more recently developing states (for example, the Cameroons, Laos, and Uruguay) have between 10 and 50 references.

Among the newer phases of economics the Research Libraries have assembled a good collection on national planning for economic and social development; the exact nature of resources and

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their full extent is difficult to ascertain, because material is entered under several headings in the Public Catalog, all of which list other types of publications as well. Two such headings are "Cities--Plans" (many publications entered here deal primarily with planning on the local level) and "Regional Planning," but the bulk of material appears under the heading "Economic Policy." Important source materials are the texts of national development plans, most of them projections for goals to be reached in the five or ten years following their release (from about 1955 through the early 1980s); among the countries represented are Burma, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Jamaica, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Peru, Singapore, the Soviet Union, Trans-Jordan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, and Yugoslavia. Under the same heading are found the reports of the missions of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the reports of such private consulting firms as Arthur D. Little, Inc., Robert R. Nathan Associates. Inc., and Development and Resources Corporation; supplementing these resources are several hundred studies, reports, and documents from AID (U.S. Agency for International Development) missions in specific countries, publications of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), and similar items appearing in the Public Catalog under the heading "Economic and Technical Assistance, American." The library's files of the journals devoted to this specialized area--among them Planning and Development in the Netherlands-- are generally complete.