Guide to the Research Collections

- SECTION -- III -- THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
- PART ONE
- 35 -- GENERAL RESOURCES IN ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION
- BANKING AND FINANCE. INCLUDING TAXATION AND INSURANCE

BANKING AND FINANCE. INCLUDING TAXATION AND INSURANCE

General materials on money, coins, and currency form a significant group, embracing early publications on and historical studies of money and prices in various countries, complete sets of the reports of the American and British mints, and proceedings of various monetary conferences. The library's collection of works on coins and paper currency and resources for the study of numismatics are discussed in chapter 28 of this Guide. There is a strong collection on prices, including comparative price indexes over the years and material on prices in foreign countries (chiefly European). More than 1,800 entries in the Public Catalog form an unusual index to information on prices by commodity or product--agricultural products, automobiles, books, gold, oranges, painting, paper, securities, etc. Entries under such headings as "Exchange, Foreign" and "Inflation and Deflation" locate related material.

The collection on banks and banking is excellent, with notable holdings in certain areas. Banking in the United States is well covered, with extensive files of journals which include, among others, American Bank Reporter, Banking, the publications of many state banking associations, and the reviews of business conditions issued by the twelve Federal Reserve banks. The history of commercial banking is also well documented, for the early years as well as the period since 1863 and the development of the Federal Reserve Banking System. The collection contains long files of the reports of state agencies which supervise banks, extending back over a century for such states as Connecticut. New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island, and to the turn of the century for many others. However, the library has followed a highly selective policy in acquiring material on individual banks; resources are generally limited to the annual reports of major New York and Chicago banks and of, a few other institutions (for example, the Bank of America) principally for the postwar period, and published histories and miscellaneous titles appearing under the imprints of individual banks.

The Public Catalog lists approximately 4,500 titles on banks and banking in specific foreign countries. Especially notable in this area are the files (in most cases complete) of the bulletins and annual reports of foreign central banks and of the reports of national development banks in such countries as India, the Netherlands, Niger, Paraguay, the Philippines, and Tunisia. Holdings of general foreign serials are also good, with some titles existing in few other American libraries. Since 1945 the library has collected extensively the reports of individual foreign banks.

In recent years holdings in the field of international banking have expanded greatly. These include all publications of and significant items about the International Monetary Fund, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Bank for International Settlements, and regional development banks (e.g., African Development Bank, Central American Bank for Economic Integration, and Inter-American Development Bank). For such important current questions as the gold crisis, international liquidity, actions of the "Group of Ten," and Euro-dollars, the library attempts to secure all types and forms of publications wherever issued.

The Public Catalog contains more than 1,100 entries under the subject heading "Banks and Banking, Savings." They represent, in addition to general monographic works, such items as reports of state agencies dealing with savings banks, publications of the National Association of Mutual Savings Banks, and reports of state associations. Material about individual states is most abundant for New York and Massachusetts. A good collection of periodicals includes titles such as World Thrift and The Savings Bank Journal. Literature on savings banks abroad is most extensive for Australia, Germany, and Great Britain; an unusual group consists of the commemorative histories of approximately fifty Norwegian savings banks, the majority of which were issued for centennial observances.

Material on building and loan associations, while less extensive (500 entries in the Public Catalog), is comprised of publications of the United States Savings and Loan League and leagues in such states as New York, Illinois, Colorado, Montana, and Pennsylvania, and reports of state agencies which supervise these associations. Coverage of states in the latter category is selective. For foreign countries material is most extensive for Great Britain, as exemplified by a full set of the Building Societies Year Book.

The Economic and Public Affairs Division has not systematically collected specialized material relating to the financial structure of corporations (organization and reorganization plans, bylaws, indentures, mortgages, deeds, reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission, proxy statements, notices of annual and special meetings, registration statements, letters to stockholders, and the like) and maintains no special files of such material. However, the classified collection does contain annual reports (with some gaps) of major American corporations, generally from the 1920s through the mid-1950s; since 1956 the library has

-------------------------------------------- page 174
subscribed to the microform editions of the reports of all corporations listed on the major United States and (more recently) Canadian stock exchanges. In the past several years the library has also begun to acquire microform editions of annual reports of unlisted American and Canadian corporations. There is a large group of histories of individual business organizations, including a great many of the published versions of addresses given at the American Branch of the Newcomen Society.

Additional material on corporate finance includes Poor's and Moody's investment manuals (complete sets) and their foreign equivalents (extensive holdings). The collection of popular books on personal investing in securities is large, although most add little to existing knowledge in the field. General investment periodicals such as Barron's, Financial World, Forbes, and the Magazine of Wall Street are present and complete, but the high cost of investment advisory services has made it necessary for the library to subscribe only to some of the major ones: Moody's Stock Survey and Bond Survey, The Outlook, United Business Service, Value Line Investment Survey, and others of this type.

Holdings on government regulation of business are notable, embracing not only general monographs on actions against monopolies, cartels, and trusts, but also the decisions and reports of such regulatory agencies as the Federal Power Commission and Federal Trade Commission (for publications of the Interstate Commerce Commission and Civil Aeronautics Board, see chapter 37 of this Guide ). Files of many state public utilities commissions reports are available and usually are complete or lack few numbers.

The Public Catalog contains over 1,200 entries on the subject of stock exchanges (in addition, the publications of individual exchanges are listed under specific names). Best covered, of course, is the New York Stock Exchange, for which files of the successive editions of the constitution and bylaws, the Directory, Fact Book, Listing Statements (beginning 1884), and Report are virtually complete; in all, there are more than 100 publications issued by the exchange itself. Similar titles are present for the American Stock Exchange, but the set of Listing Applications is incomplete. Less material is available on the regional exchanges. Holdings on the prices of American securities are very extensive. The library has assembled a nearly complete group of Securities and Exchange Commission publications, including its Decisions and Reports from the first issue.

The largest body of resources on foreign exchanges deals with London and Paris, but others represented include Amsterdam, Berlin, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Geneva, Hong Kong, Johannesburg, Madrid, Melbourne, Montreal, St. Petersburg (prior to 1917), Tokyo, Toronto, and Vienna. Material on stock prices makes it possible to furnish stock exchange quotations for many countries, in some cases (e.g., Belgium, France, Germany, India) on a daily basis, in others on a weekly or monthly basis.

Resources on American investment companies include Speaker's The Investment Trust (the first book published in the United States on the subject), other studies, and the numerous magazine articles which have appeared from the height of the popularity of trusts in the 1920s to the present. Also in the holdings are the hearings and reports of the Securities and Exchange Commission's investigations, the annual surveys compiled by Arthur Wiesenberger and Company, and the Annual Report and other publications of the Investment Company Institute, as well as the reports of the investment companies themselves. There is also material on foreign investment companies, especially British.2

The collection contains strong resources on public finance and taxation. A particularly notable feature consists of the financial reports of nearly all of the world's national governments and American states, generally for long spans of years. Sets for the United States federal government include the reports and other serials issued by the General Accounting Office, the Comptroller General, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Department of the Treasury. Holdings for political subdivisions outside the United States (provinces, states, cantons, etc.) are limited, with the best coverage given to Canadian provinces. Municipal finance is discussed in the political science section of the chapter on sociology.

The Public Catalog shows extensive holdings on the general subject of taxation: over 3,000 entries related to the United States and individual states, and over 3,500 related to specific foreign countries. Notable are historical publications, especially for such nations as France, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and the United States. Additional material appears under the entries on specific forms of taxation (e.g., some 1,800 entries on income tax and 3,300 entries on tariff); the library also catalogs materials on taxation as a subdivision under the subject taxed; for example, advertising, bread, church property, corporations, insurance, libraries, and water supply. Coverage of organizations dealing with taxes and tax questions is excellent; included are the publications of the National Tax Association, Tax Institute of America, Tax Foundation, and International Bureau of Fiscal Documentation, as well as those of current research programs, such as the Harvard Law School International Program in Taxation and the Joint Tax Program of the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Development Bank. The library has also assembled some special material, including fiscal codes, tariff statistics, several of the Commerce Clearing House tax services, and the reports and studies of state tax commissions and state equalization boards. The Manuscripts and Archives Division holds the papers of the American Free Trade League (1916-33).

Entries in the Public Catalog reveal substantial holdings on the general topic of insurance and for such subdivisions as agents, finance, government control, rates, risks, and taxation. In addition, approximately 7,600 references deal with special types of insurance, such as accident, bank depositors, burial, disability, disaster, fire, health, library, life, marine, mortgage, surety and fidelity, unemployment, and workmen's. Of these, the most extensively represented are health, life, and unemployment insurance. With some exceptions there is an adequate collection of material on insurance in various foreign countries.

Reference materials include such standard tools as Insurance Periodicals Index, Insurance Almanac, Who's Who in Insurance, and the various

-------------------------------------------- page 175
publications of the Best Company. Serial publications, both periodicals and the reports and proceedings of organizations, are well covered; for example, Local Agent, National Underwriter, and Moniteur des assurances (one of three sets in the United States), as well as publications from the American Association of University Teachers of Insurance, Institute of Life Insurance, and National Association of Insurance Commissioners are available. The library currently receives about 90 periodicals in the field. An interesting group consists of complete files of the proceedings and journals of such actuarial groups as the Institute of Actuaries, Faculty of Actuaries in Scotland, and the Institute des Actuaries Français, along with Skandinavisk aktuarietidskrift. The reports of state insurance departments are a notable feature; for a substantial majority of the states (the exceptions generally being in the south and west) the sets are complete or lack only a few early years.

The life insurance field includes material on such subjects as agents, finance, government control, investments, and rates, as well as popular books on buying life insurance. The published histories of individual companies are present, but their annual reports have not been collected extensively. On the whole there is little material about the industry in countries other than the United States. The resources on health insurance encompass a substantial block (both pro and con) on socialized medicine, in addition to official publications from countries and other political units having government-sponsored health plans, such as Saskatchewan and Great Britain.