2.6. Legal sources

Legal sources



Ashton Merck, NC State University

Ashton Merck earned her PhD from Duke University in 2020 and was a 2021 Krooss Prize finalist. Merck wrote her dissertation on business self-regulation in food safety during the 20th century, where she used a variety of legal sources, including legal briefs from an antitrust case, SCOTUS audio, regulatory documents, and public comments.

Anna Hrom, Attorney

Anna Hrom earned her JD/PhD from Duke University in 2018. Her dissertation, “Between Fraud Heaven and Tort Hell: The Business, Politics, and Law of Lawsuits,” explored the evolution of tort law in Alabama from the 1970s to the 1990s. Hrom is a practicing lawyer in Washington, D.C.

N/A [NB: Please do not mention Anna by name or reference her firm if you tweet about this workshop. Thank you!]

Justene Hill Edwards, the University of Virginia

Justene HIll Edwards is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Virginia.  An historian of the African American experience, her research explores Black economic life in the United States.  She is the author of Unfree Markets: The Slaves’ Economy and the Rise of Capitalism in South Carolina.  As a Class of 2022 Carnegie Fellow, Hill Edwards is currently writing a book on the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company.  

Nate Holdren, Drake University

Nate Holdren is a legal historian of capitalism and the author of Injury Impoverished: Workplace Accidents, Capitalism, and Law in the Progressive Era.

The chair of this session is Ashton Merck, (NC State University)

Description of workshop 

Convenors will start the conversation by giving an example of two of how they used legal records in their own work, and then we want to open the floor for an open discussion about how others use legal records, and how to use legal records in new and innovative ways. The goal for this session is that we could all come away having learned a thing or two about how other people use these types of sources to do business history, with some ideas about how to apply that to our own future work.

This workshop is primarily focused on U.S. legal research from the 19th century to the 21st century. Business historians interested in doing research with non-U.S. legal sources are welcome to attend, but this may not be as relevant to their interests.

For more information or if you wish to participate in this workshop, please check this document.