The Exchange: The BHC Weblog


Readers may be interested in the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Search Center website, which allows visitors to "search over 5.4 million records with 460,000 images, video and sound files, electronic journals, and other resources from the Smithsonian's museums, archives & libraries." One can search by typing in a term or by using the headings provided, including "Type," "Place," "Name," "Culture," or "Datasource." Each of the headings is further subdivided; "Type," for instance, includes books, paintings, trade catalogs, and a huge number of other types of material. Just as an example, a simple search on "railroads," limited to results with online media, calls up nearly 2,000 items; one on "steel" returns over 4,400.

Tip of the hat to the American Historical Association blog.

The German Historical Institute in Washington, D.C., announces the publication of its latest reference guide, Business History in the United States: A Guide to Archival Collections. Compiled by Dr. Terry Snyder, the director of the library division at Hagley Museum and Library, the guide provides an overview of holdings of interest to business historians from nearly 200 libraries, archives, and museums from across the United States. Each entry provides pertinent contact information and an overview of the entire collection and of the noteworthy business collections. The listings are arranged geographically by city and state, and there is also an index of individual and business names for easy navigation.

The guide is available free of charge. Interested researchers can contact Mrs. Bärbel Thomas at the German Historical Institute to have a copy mailed to them (though the number of hard copies is limited), or it can be viewed and downloaded from the GHI web site. The online version is searchable by keyword. The GHI plans to set up a platform that will allow the addition of new organizations and the updating of listings.

Atrium, Guinness Storehouse

The European Historical Economics Society will hold its next meeting in Dublin on September 2-3, 2011. The EHES welcomes conference paper submissions in all areas of economic history. Potential participants should send an abstract of 500 words as soon as possible, and no later than January 31, 2011, to Kevin O'Rourke—kevin.orourke@tcd.ie. All submissions will be reviewed by the Conference Scientific Committee, and decisions will be made by March 31, 2011. Accepted papers must be submitted in completed form no later than August 1, 2011.
The conference will take place at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin.

The International Committee for the History of Technology will hold its annual meeting in Glasglow, Scotland, on August 2-7, 2011.  The main theme of the meeting will be "Consumer Choice and Technology." The aim is to examine the interaction of technology and consumer behavior in a historical perspective, with a primary focus on factors steering consumption and how consumers by their choices have influenced technological development. The transition from agrarian society to consumer society is one of the epoch-making phases in human history that can be studied from various aspects and contexts.

ICOHTEC welcomes individual paper and poster proposals as well as the submission of compact and coherent sessions. The symposium program will include scientific and plenary sessions, poster presentations, business meetings and general assemblies of the organizing societies, excursions, social events such as receptions, a formal banquet, and pre- and post-conference trips.
We especially encourage graduate students to participate in the symposium and submit their proposals. Paper or poster proposals must be submitted in English, but French, German, Russian, and Spanish are acceptable for paper and poster presentations at the symposium, although the organizers will not provide simultaneous translation during the conference.

For detailed information on submitting paper or session proposals or poster sessions, please see the full call for papers. The deadline for all submissions is January 31, 2011.

A one-day conference on the history of tobacco and tobacco advertising will be held at the School of History at the University of Nottingham on May 18, 2011. Expressions of interest and abstracts for papers are welcomed. Please send these and any questions to Andrew Newnham. The deadline for abstracts is November 30, 2010.

Applicants are sought for up to two $10,000 fellowships for doctoral thesis research in American business or economic history. These fellowships are available largely through the generosity of the late John E. Rovensky. The Rovensky Fellowship program is administered by the University of Illinois Foundation.

Applicants must be working toward a Ph.D. degree with American business or economic history as the area of major interest. Fellowship recipients must be enrolled in a doctoral program at an accredited college or university in the United States. Preference will be given to applicants who are preparing for a career in teaching and research and who will have completed all graduate course work prior to the fall of 2011. Awards are non-renewable and may not be taken simultaneously with an Economic History Association graduate dissertation fellowship.

Application forms may be found on the web at http://www.thebhc.org/awards/rovenapp.html; the full announcement is at http://www.thebhc.org/awards/rovenann.html.

Inquiries may be directed to:
William J. Hausman, Department of Economics, Box 8795, College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795.

Completed applications for the fellowship must be received no later than Monday, February 14, 2011.

Mira Wilkins, professor of Economics at Florida International University, will present a guest lecture at the Centre for Evolution of Global Business and Institutions (CEGBI) at the University of York School of Management on November 24, 2010, at 5:15 p.m. Her topic will be "The International Confronts the Comparative: The Historical Role of Multinationals." The abstract:

There seems to be an uneasy companionship between the globalization literature and the literature on economic comparisons between nations. It is simpler to study change by comparing nations than by considering interactions within the whole complex world. Research on the historical role of multinational enterprises offers a lens that leads to new understanding. The lecture addresses: how the history of multinational enterprise (one aspect of globalization) helps us in explaining the convergence and divergence in the course of economic growth and development of nations and, in turn, the successes (and failures) of
globalization in forwarding the spread of economic well-being.

See the CEGBI announcement for full details.

The annual meeting of the Economic History Association will be held in Boston, Massachusetts, September 9-11, 2011.  The theme of the meeting is "Crises and Turning Points." In the words of the conference organizers:

If the global economic and financial crisis has a silver lining, it is that recent events have heightened awareness among policy makers and the general public of the importance of economic history.  Crises – economic, financial, social, demographic, environmental, and political, to name only a few – are a hardly perennial.  An understanding of their history is essential to begin to understand what if anything is distinctive about the recent experience.  The history of crises continues to be studied from a number of perspectives: in terms of their causes and their consequences, in terms of their changing incidence, in terms of their short-term impact and their longer-term implications for the development of economies and societies.  This conference seeks to bring together scholars engaged in research on these various dimensions of crises and their implications.  

The Program Committee welcomes submissions on all subjects in economic history, though some preference will be given to papers that specifically fit the theme. Submitters must be members of the Economic History Association.  For coauthored papers this requirement applies to the author submitting the proposal. Papers should in all cases be works in progress rather than accepted or published work.  Individuals who presented or co-authored a paper given at the 2010 meeting are not eligible for inclusion in the 2011 program.

Paper and session proposals should be submitted online: https://eh.net/eha/meetings/submissions. Paper proposals should include a 3-5 page précis and a 150-word abstract suitable for publication in the Journal of Economic History. Proposals should be submitted by January 31, 2011, to ensure consideration.

Graduate students are encouraged to attend the meeting. The Association offers subsidies for travel, hotel, registration, and meals, including a special graduate student dinner; see the online application system. A poster session welcomes work from dissertations in progress. Applications for the poster session are due no later than May 21, 2011, and should be sent to rgrossman@wesleyan.edu. The dissertation session will honor six dissertations completed during the 2010-2011 academic year. The submission deadline is June 11, 2011.

For further information, check http://eh.net/eha/meetings/2011-meeting, which also includes information on travel options to Boston, or contact Meetings Coordinator Jari Eloranta at elorantaj@appstate.edu.

The Lemelson Center's Fellowship Program and Travel to Collections Awards support projects that present creative approaches to the study of invention and innovation and draw upon the holdings of the Archives Center and curatorial divisions at the National Museum of American History. Projects may include, but are not limited to, historical research and documentation projects resulting in publications, exhibitions, educational initiatives, and multimedia products. Both programs provide access to the Smithsonian's vast artifact and archival collections, as well as to the expertise of the Institution's research staff. The Center offers fellowships and travel grants to pre-doctoral graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, and other professionals who have completed advanced training.

The Archives Center holds more than 20,000 feet of archival materials. The collections are particularly strong in documenting the history of technology, invention, and innovation in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Both individuals and companies are documented in subject areas including railroads, pianos, television, radio, plastics, ivory, and sports equipment. One of the largest collections is the Western Union Telegraph Company Records, ca. 1840-1994. Other collections of significance include the Earl S. Tupper Papers, documenting the inventor Tupper, and his invention, Tupperware; the Darby Windsurfing Collection, 1946-1998, documenting the invention of the sailboard; and the Records of Small Beginnings, Inc., a medical supply company that designs, invents, manufactures, and distributes products for premature infants. For a comprehensive list of Archives Center collections, see http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives/d-10.htm.

The Lemelson Center Fellowship Program annually awards 2 to 3 fellowships to qualified researchers. Fellowship tenure is based on the applicants’ stated needs (and available funding) up to a maximum of ten weeks. Fellows are expected to reside in the Washington, D.C. area, to participate in the Center's activities, and to make a presentation of their work at the museum. Stipends for 2011-2012 are $575/week for pre-doctoral fellows and $870/week for post-doctoral and professional fellows. Applications will be accepted from 1 October 2010 through 14 January 2011 and notifications will be made by 15 April 2011. Fellows can begin their residence at the museum on or after 1 June 2011. For application procedures and additional information, please see http://invention.smithsonian.org/resources/research_fellowships.aspx. All applicants are required to consult with the fellowship coordinator prior to submitting a proposal – please contact historian Eric S. Hintz, Ph.D., at +1 202-633-3734 or hintze@si.edu.

The Lemelson Center Travel to Collections Program annually awards 4 to 5 short-term travel grants to encourage the use of its invention-related collections. Awards are $150 per day for a maximum of 10 business days and may be used to cover transportation, living, and reproduction expenses. Only applicants who reside or attend school beyond commuting distance of the National Museum of American History are eligible for this program. Awards may not be used to extend other Smithsonian appointments. Only one award can be offered to a visitor within a twelve-month period. Applications will be accepted from 1 October 2010 through 30 November 2010 and will be announced by mid-December 2010. Recipients must commence their research at the museum within one year of being notified of the award. Recipients are asked to submit a short report following their research and provide the Center with a copy of any publications resulting from their funded research. For application procedures and additional information, please see http://invention.smithsonian.org/resources/research_travel.aspx. All applicants are required to consult with the travel award coordinator prior to submitting a proposal – please contact archivist Alison Oswald at +1 202-633-3726 or oswalda@si.edu.

For more information, visit: http://www.invention.smithsonian.org/resources/default_research.aspx.

Videos of the talks given at the University of Houston's recent (September 23) Oil Spill Symposium are now available. Speakers included UH doctoral candidate Jason Theriot, who spoke on "Building America's Energy Corridor during the Environmental Era of the 1970s"; Joe Pratt , who talked about "Lessons for Government and Environment from the Exxon Valdez"; and Ty Priest, who discussed "MMS [Minerals Management Service] and BOEMRE [Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement]."