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Male and female Black and indigenous students sitting in rows facing a Black male speaker who is pointing to an image of a pyramid.
Hampton Institute students in class. Photo: Frances Benjamin Johnston, 1899. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

Webinar Recording Now Available – African Americans in Business: Doing Historical Company Research

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This post was written by Lynn Weinstein, Business Reference and Research Specialist in the Science, Technology, and Business Division.

The recording of our February 8, 2023 webinar on “African Americans in Business: Doing Historical Company Research” is now available. Both the recording and transcript can be found on the Historical Company Research Webinar page on the African Americans in Business and Entrepreneurship: A Resource Guide.

The webinar focuses on John Merrick (1859-1919), Co-Founder of the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company and Alonzo Herndon (1858-1927), Founder of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company. Both entrepreneurs are featured in The Business Reference Service’s This Month in Business History. The presentation explores historical company research through Mr. Merrick and Mr.  Herndon, who began their post-Civil War journeys as Black barbers who resisted the status quo by supporting Black education and civil rights movements. Discover how these men went on to establish other businesses, including insurance, finance, real estate and more. In the process, explore strategies for how to locate information on historical figures and companies. While the webinar uses resources available at the Library of Congress, some may be available through your local library or historical society, both of which have resources to help with this type of research. Led by Business Reference and Research Specialists, the webinar covers print and electronic sources – both free and subscription.

Library patrons may also be interested in our Doing Historical Company Research: A Resource Guide. This research guide provides links to selected print and electronic resources, as well as tips and tricks for those trying to find information on older or out of business companies. This guide includes a page with a recording and transcript of our general Historical Company Research Webinar covering strategies and resources business librarians at the Library of Congress use to research old companies.

On the right, a photograph of a man in a business suit sitting on a fancy chair; on the right, a group photo of men and one child in business suits, superimposed in front of the Niagara Falls.
Left: John Merrick at the age of 35. From, John Merrick: A Biographical Sketch by R. McCants Andrews, 1920 (HathiTrust). Right: Alonzo F. Herndon, back row, second from left, as part of the founding members of the Niagara Movement. The child in the photo is his son, Norris Bumstead Herndon, who later took over his father’s business. Photo: R.P. Slater, 1905 (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division).


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Comments (2)

  1. I’d like to see more on Black history, I learned something today reading t5hese facts.

  2. Great moment! Very relevant “spotlight”!

    Oficial Congratulations from Webinar African American History.

    King Regards,
    AMBASSADOR @Alcir Vogel

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