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Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter’s Contribution to Economics and History

I decided to take a short break from writing about New Orleans to highlight one really interesting title in our reference collection – English Overseas Trade Statistics by Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter.   This title is a favorite of mine because of all of the tables and its historical coverage and like an earlier favorite I wrote about, a Guide to Business History: Materials for the Study of American Business History and Suggestions for their Use, it was written by a woman. Both women also dedicated long periods of time to their respective projects. According to the biographical preface of Schumpeter’s book her work on it occupied the last years of her life, although it was not published until after she died.

Detail from English Overseas Trade Statistics by Elizabeth Boody Schumpeter, p 62.

English Overseas Trade Statistics isn’t particularly thick, but it is oversize because of how the 47 tables were organized and presented.  This post features part of Table XVIII  “Quantities of Imports, Re-exports, and Retained Imports of Selected Commodities, 1700-1808”.  Many of the tables are just an alphabetical listing of commodity by year, but tables beginning with XIX include exports of commodities by Geographical Divisions that include Africa & East Indies, Northern Europe, Central Europe, Southern Europe, British Europe, United States, British Cont. Colonies, British West Indies, and Misc.

There is a separate introduction by T.S. Ashton which includes background on the book as well as information that might help users understand the nature of the title. Ashton writes that the genesis of the work dated back to Schumpeter’s 1934 thesis “Trade Statistics and Cycles in England, 1697-1825” where she pulled from material at the Public Record Office in London. According to Ashton, Schumpeter was unsatisfied with the limited nature of the data in her thesis and she wanted to go beyond the 5- year intervals she had used.  This book is a result of her return to the project. Ashton writes that the two principal sources were the Ledgers of Imports and Exports of England and Wales for 1697-1780 and the Reports on the State of the Navigation, Commerce, and Revenues of Great Britain for the years 1772 onward – both of which came from the office of the Inspector-General of Imports and Exports.  As Austin indicates this was quite an endeavor:

“The magnitude of the task she undertook is attested by some 15,000 separate sheets of transcripts from the Ledgers, and a mass of other papers covered with calculations and notes.” (p1)

How “Shop Class” Helped Win the War: The “Model Aircraft Project” of World War II

This post was written by Michelle Cadoree Bradley, a Science Reference Specialist in the Science, Technology and Business Division. In the collections of the Library of Congress, there are thousands of books in red buckram binding. These fairly innocuous exteriors can sometimes hide unique items. One such item from the stacks is the book Model Aircraft Project from […]

My Love for the Sanborn Maps will Never Die

Last month Inside Adams published a post about some of the “special” collections at the Library that would be good for business research.  In it, I mentioned “place maps,” which was a generic and wholly inadequate phrase that encompasses a lot of material. For quite a while I’ve wanted to write about one particular map […]

“Special” Collections of a Business Nature

The Library has many collections that may not, at first glance, be obvious places to find information for those doing business research.  Most of these collections are only accessible to those that come to the Library, but some of the material from those collections has been digitized.  Business Reference created a list of these “special” […]

“Doon the Watter”: Shipbuilding and Trade in 19th Century Glasgow; Part 1

This post was written by Nancy Lovas a new Business Reference Librarian. I write atop a bookshelf in the Adams Reading Room with an excellent view of the mural on the east wall. I’ve returned to the Business Reference Section after nearly three years away and I’m getting reintroduced to all my old friends. One […]

“It cannot but prove useful” – Moreau’s Trade of Great Britain with all Parts of the World

While working on a new research guide,  I ran across references for what looked to be an interesting book – State of the Trade of Great Britain with all Parts of the World by CeĢsar Moreau.  Because I wasn’t looking too closely at the record, I initially thought it was a book, but it turned […]

To Finance the Great War

One of my favorite business titles in the Library’s collection is the Listing Statements of the New York Stock Exchange.   It yields a lot of really interesting information on stocks and bonds issued by companies.  It sometimes even includes company financial information, which can make it a great source for those doing company research. However, […]