Mission & History

The Business History Conference is a scholarly organization devoted to encouraging all aspects of research, writing, and teaching about business history and about the environment in which businesses operate. Founded in 1954, the organization is now international in scope, with approximately 30 percent of its membership residing outside North America.

The BHC is based at the Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society at the Hagley Library and relies on the Secretary-Treasurer, supported by Hagley Center Coordinator Carol Lockman, to manage the BHC's annual meetings, finances, membership, and other business. In addition to its refereed quarterly journal, Enterprise & Society, the BHC publishes an online collection of abstracts and selected papers from its annual meeting, BEH On-Line. The organization also operates H-Business, one of the earliest H-Net discussion lists, and maintains an on-line full-text archives of its print proceedings journal, Business and Economic History. It also publishes The Exchange, a blog devoted to news of interest to business and economic historians.

The BHC holds an annual meeting that provides a forum for discussing current research in business history and related fields and offers an opportunity for people with similar interests to meet and exchange ideas. Participation from overseas scholars is especially encouraged, and joint meetings with the European Business History Association are held regularly. The BHC sponsors a number of awards and prizes, including the Hagley Prize in Business History and the Scranton Best Journal Article Prize; it endeavors to support scholars entering the field through its travel-to-meeting grants, its Doctoral Dissertation Colloquium, and its Krooss Dissertation Prize. Sub-groups within the organization promote the interests of women in business history, business historians teaching at business schools, and emerging scholars.

The BHC is a member of the International Economic History Association and is an affiliated organization of the American Historical Association and of H-Net.