Guides to Business Subjects

No. 23 Business History

This is one of a series of subject guides produced by the Thomas J. Long Business Library at the University of California, Berkeley.

Unless indicated, all call numbers refer to The Business Library

Last updated 06/2010.

UC Berkeley faculty, registered students, and staff who are off campus may use items marked * by using The Library's proxy server.

Bibliographic Guides AUBER Bibliography
Associated University Bureaus of Business and Economic Research.
Indexes reports and other publications of university bureaus of business and economic research.
HF5005 .A85 (1957-1989) Off-site. Request through OskiCat

A Bibliography of British Business Histories
Aldershot, UK: Gower, 1987.
HC253 .A12 G591 1987

British Business History: a Bibliography
Edited by Stephanie Zarach. 2nd ed.
Basingstoke : Macmillan, 1994.
HC255 .A12.B68 1994

Corporate America: a Historical Bibliography
Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio Information Services, 1984.
HD2785 .A12C66 1983

Daniells, Lorna M. Business Information Sources, 3rd ed.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
HF5351 .A12D16 1993

Encyclopedia of African American Business History
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1999.
HD2344.5 .U6.E53 1999 Reference

Geahigan, Priscilla C. U.S. and Canadian Businesses, 1955 to 1987 : a Bibliography.
Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1988.
HD2785 .A12G321 1988

Handbook of American Business History
New York: Greenwood Press, 1990.
HC103 .H191990 (3 volumes)

International Bibliography of Business History
London: Routledge, 1997.
HD2312 .G66 1997

Larson, Henrietta M. Guide to Business History
Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1948.
HC103 .L33 Reference

Nasrallah, Wahib. United States Corporation Histories : a Bibliography, 1965-1990. 2nd ed.
New York: Garland Pub., 1991.
HD2785 .A12.N37 1991

Studies in Enterprise: a Selected Bibliography of American and Canadian Company Histories and Biographies of Businessmen
Lorna M. Daniells, compiler.
Boston, 1957.
HD2715 .H36 1957

Wilson, J. F. British business history, 1720-1994.
Manchester: Manchester University, 1995.
HD70 .G7.W55 1995

Company Histories Advertising Age Encyclopedia of Advertising
New York: Fitzroy Dearborn, 2003.
Includes histories of many companies that advertise and advertising agencies.
HF5803 .A38 Reference

Cases in Corporate Acquisitions, Buyouts, Mergers & Takeovers
Detroit: Gale Research Co., 1999.
Covers 300 companies involved in major mergers during the 20th century. Each case includes a substantial history of companies involved.
HD2756 .C37 1999

Corporate Eponymy: A Biographical Dictionary of the Persons Behind the Names of Major American, British, European, and Asian Businesses
Jefferson, NC: MacFarland, 1992.
HC29 .R66 1992

Encyclopedia of American Silver Manufacturers
Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing Co., 1998.
Short histories of companies and individuals.
NK7112 .R3 1998

Encyclopedia of Corporate Names Worldwide
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland & Co., c2002.
Provides brief histories of of the origins of company names.
HD69 .B7.R66 2002

Global Companies in the Twentieth Century: Selected Archival Histories.
London: Routledge, 2001.
Covers the following companies: Barclays Bank, British Broadcasting Corporation, Broken Hill Limited, British Petroleum, Cable & Wireless, Levi Strauss & Co., Marks & Spencer, Royal Dutch/Shell, and Rio Tinto.
HD2755.5 .G549

International Directory of Company Histories
Chicago, IL: St. James Press, 1988- .
A 33+ volume compendium of company histories (2-3 pages each).
HD2721 .D36 Reference

* Mergent/Moody's Manuals Online, 1909 - present.
Brief histories are provided for most companies covered in the various manuals.

Newcomen Society
Lists company histories prepared by the Society since 1923. Most of the individual company histories are in the Doe Memorial Library. Check OskiCat for a call number.

So Who the Heck Was Oscar Mayer? The Real Names Behind Those Brand Names
New York: Barricade Books, 1996.
Brief profiles of brands and the companies behind them.
HC102.5 .A2G45 1996

Industry Encyclopedias and Reference Books Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography
  • The Airline Industry TL509 .E54 1992
  • The Automobile Industry, 1896-1920 HD9710 .U52 A787 1990 (Engineering Library)
  • The Automobile Industry, 1920-1980 HD9710 .U52 A816 1989
  • Banking and Finance, 1913-1989 HG2481 .B325 1990 (Doe Library)
  • Banking and Finance to 1913 HG2461 .B33 1990 (Moffitt Library)
  • Iron and Steel in the Nineteenth Century HD9515 .I76 1989 (Engineering Library)
  • Iron and Steel in the Twentieth Century HD9515 .I77 1994
  • Railroads in the Age of Regulation, 1900-1980 HE2751 .R143 1988
  • Railroads in the Nineteenth Century HE2751 .R1433 1988

Encyclopedia of American Industries
Detroit: Gale Research Co., 2007.
HC102 .E53 2001 Reference. (Earlier editions in 1994, 1998, 2005)

Industry Surveys 1959 - present.
New York: Standard & Poor's Corporation.
HC101 .S77 Latest in Reference

Inside U.S. Business: A Concise Encyclopedia of Leading Industries
Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin Professional Publishing, 1994.
HC106.8 .M337 1993

Corporate Reports The Long Library maintains a collection of annual reports for U.S. public companies.
The formats vary:
  • Paper: up to 1972 (annual report only), request at Circulation Desk by company name
  • Microfiche: 1973-1994 (annual report and form 10-K), available in the corporate reports cabinets on the lower level of Long Library.
  • Digital: 1994- present (annual report and form 10-K)
  • A special collection of historical reports is available on microfiche for major U.S. companies from 1895-1973. International company reports are available on microfiche from 1985-1990. Proxy statements for U.S. companies from 1984-1986. Available in the microfiche cabinets on the lower level.
Tracing Companies Business Founding Date Directory
Morgan and Morgan Publishers.
An Alphabetical and chronological list of company founding dates.
HD2785 .K45

* CCH Capital Changes Reports(online)
Commerce Clearing House.
Useful for tracking the history of public corporations.

Directory of Corporate Affiliations
National Register Publishing Co.
HG4057 .A1.D5 1978- Latest in Reference

Directory of Obsolete Securities
Financial Information, Inc.
HG4961 .D561 1974- Latest in Reference

Fisher Manuals 1904-1983.
Microfilming Corporation of America.
Useful for determining what happened to obsolete companies and their securities.
MICROFICHE 6602 Reference

Periodical Indexes: Print and Electronic * America: History and Life
A database indexing over 2,000 journals since 1964. Search under company or industry names or by subject (e.g. corporations).

Annual Index to the Financial Times
Indexes the Financial Times of London.
HG11 .A5 1982-2003.

Business Periodicals Index.
Indexes several hundred business magazines and journals by subject and company name.
HF5005 .B79 1958-1996

California History
The website of the California Historical Society provides indexing to the complete run of California History. Search the index for articles on California companies.

* Declassified Documents Reference System
A database of government reports and documents once classified for security reasons. A good place to search for corporate involvements in government and military contracts.

* Digital Dissertations
Indexes and abstracts doctoral dissertations worldwide since 1861. Useful for finding company and history research done for an academic degree.

* EconLit
Indexes and abstracts over 400 journals in economics and business.

* Historical Abstracts
Indexes the history of the world excluding the U.S. and Canada since 1954.

Industrial Arts Index
Indexes business magazines prior to Business Periodicals Index.
T1 .I3 1935-1957

* Historical Newspapers Online
Palmer's Index to the Times which covers the period from 1790 to 1905 in The Times;
The Official Index to the Times which takes the coverage forward from 1906 to 1980;
The Historical Index to the New York Times which covers The New York Times from 1851-September 1922 (the current release of the The Historical Index to The New York Times contains data from the years 1863 to 1905);
Palmer's Full Text Online 1785-1870.

* New York Times (Current)
1999- The collection includes digital reproductions of every page from every issue—cover to cover—in downloadable PDF® files.

* New York Times (Historical) 1851-2006.
The collection includes digital reproductions of every page from every issue—cover to cover—in downloadable PDF® files.

* Periodicals Contents Index (1770-1993)
Indexes dozens of business and economic magazines and journals before 1993. Very useful for historical topics.

* C19: The Nineteenth Century Index
A subject index to American and English periodicals from 1802-1906.

Predicasts F&S Index
Indexes trade and industry periodicals. Search under company name or industry code (SIC).
HD2715 .F8 1961-1996 - NRLF storage Off-site. Request through OskiCat

* Reader's Guide Retrospective 1963-1982.
Readers Guide Retrospective is a database containing comprehensive indexing of the most popular general-interest periodicals published in the United States and reflects the history of 20th century America. The version available covers the years 1963-1982. It is useful for locating articles in business magazines such as Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, etc.
No full text is available online. Articles must be located in the library's print collection.

* Victorian Database
Indexes journals, books, and dissertations from 1945-1999. Includes many references to commerce and economics.

* Wall Street Journal (Current) 1986-
The collection includes digital reproductions of every page from every issue — cover to cover — in downloadable PDF® files.

* Wall Street Journal (Historical), 1889-1992.
The collection includes digital reproductions of every page from every issue — cover to cover — in downloadable PDF® files.

Wall Street Journal Index
Indexes the eastern edition of the Wall Street Journal.
HG1 .W3 1958-2008.

Major Journals/Annuals in Business History Bulletin of the Business Historical Society
HF5001 .B82 1926-1953 Off-site. Request through OskiCat

Business & Economic History Business History Conference. Quarterly.
HF5343 .B9 1976-1999

Business History Review Harvard Business School, Quarterly.
HF5001 .B825 1960-present.

Enterprise & Society: the International Journal of Business History
HF5343 .E58 2001-present

Essays in Economic and Business History : Selected Papers from the Economic and Business Historical Society 1976-present.
HC10 .E78

European Yearbook of Business History Society of European Business History. Annual.
HF3491 .E97 1998-2000.

German Yearbook on Business History German Society for Business History. Annual.
HC14 .G47 1981-1988 Doe Library

Journal of European Economic History Banco di Roma. Quarterly.
HC240 .A1 J681, 1972-present Doe Library

Multinational Monitor
6 issues per year. Frequently has articles on the impacts of multinational corporations on the environment or on developing economies.
HD2755.5 .M84 1983-present.

Finding Books in OskiCat The UCB Library collects most published company and industry histories. They may be located in OskiCat, the library's catalog, by searching on a company or industry name, or by using subject headings such as the following:
  • African-American Businesspeople
  • Asian American Businesspeople
  • Business enterprises -- united states -- history
  • Big business -- history
  • Corporations -- history
  • Industries -- government policy -- united states
  • Industries -- united states -- history
  • Industrial management -- united states-- history
  • International business enterprises -- bibliography
  • Korean American businesspeople
  • Minority business enterprises
  • United states -- economic conditions
  • United states -- commerce-- history
  • Women in business-- united states -- history
Monographic Series in Business Historyr Many publishers produce business history books in series. Specific titles may be located in OskiCat by searching under the series name.
  • American Business History (Garland)
  • Business History Series (Gower)
  • Case Studies in Business History and Economic Concepts (Heath)
  • Harvard East Asian monographs ; Subseries on the History of Japanese Business and Industry.
  • Harvard Studies in Business History
  • International Conference on Business History
  • International Library of Critical Writings in Business History (Elgar)
  • Kenneth E. Montague Series in Oil and Business History
  • Luther Hartwell Hodges Series on Business, Society, and the State (UNC)
  • Mellon Studies in Business
  • The New Business History Series (Elgar)
  • Princeton Studies in Business & Technology
  • Northwestern University Studies in Business History.
  • Routledge International Studies in Business History (Routledge)
  • Studies in Asia Pacific Business (F. Cass)
  • The University of Arkansas Press Series in Business History
Biographical Sources African-American Business Leaders: A Biographical Dictionary
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994.
HC 102.5 .A2I52 1994 Reference.

African American Entrepreneurs
New York: Wiley, 1998.
Thirty entrepreneurs from the 19th century to the present are profiled.
HC102.5 .A2H37 1998. Reference

American Business Leaders: From Colonial Times to the Present
Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 1999.
HC 102.5 .A2H36 1999 Reference

American Inventors, Entrepreneurs & Business Visionaries
New York, NY: Facts on File, 2002.
CT214 .C29 2002 Reference

* American National Biography
Biographical portraits of more than 17,400 American men and women.

Biographical Dictionary of American Business Leaders
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1983.
A four-volume set providing substantial biographies for 835 American business leaders.
HC102.5 .A2I53 1983

* Biography and Genealogy Master Index
Includes citations for biographical materials appearing in thousands of periodicals and books.

Contemporary American Business Leaders
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1990.
A companion guide to the title above.
HC102.5 .A2I534

Encyclopedia of Entrepreneurs
New York: Wiley, 1997.
Biographical sketches for hundreds of entrepreneurs in the U.S.
HC102.5 .A2H35 1997

Who's Who in Finance and Industry
Chicago: Marquis' Who's Who.
HF3023 .A2 W5 Reference, 1970-present

Chronologies Business History of the World: A Chronology
Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1993.
Covers the period 10,000 B.C. to 1988 with short descriptions of major events.
HC51 .R615 1993

Great Events From History: Business & Commerce Series
Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, 1994.
Covers the period 1897-1994. Features essays on 375 major events in business history.
HC55 .G68 1994

Notable Corporate Chronologies
Detroit, MI : Gale Research, 1995-2001.
Includes important dates for selected companies.
HG4009 .N68

United States Business History, 1602-1988: A Chronology.
New York, NY: Greenwood Press, 1990.
HC103 .R595 1990

Guides to Corporate and Institutional Archives * ArchivesUSA
A directory of over 5,400 repositories and 124,000 collections of primary source materials in the USA.

Brandt, E. N. The Papers of Herbert H. Dow : a Guide for the Scholarly
Midland, Mich. : Post Street Archives, c1990.
HD9661.95 .A12B72 1990

Briggs, Martha T. Guide to the Pullman Company Archives
Chicago: Newberry Library, 1995.
HD8039 .R36A12B7 1995

Chartered Accountants in England and Wales : a Guide to Historical Records
Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1994.
HF5616 .G72.E543 1994 Off-site. Request through OskiCat

Cockerell, H.A.L. The British Insurance Business, 1547-1970: An Introduction and Guide to Historical Records in the United Kingdom
London: Heinemann Educational, 1976.
HG8597 .C621 1976

Directory of Business Archives in the United States and Canada
Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1990.
CD941 .S6 1990b Off-site. Request through OskiCat

Directory of Corporate Archives in the United States and Canada

Ford Motor Company. Archives [Miscellaneous publications.]
[S.l., s.n., 1952-53].
HD9710 .U54F6A4

Guide to Australian Business Records

IBM Archives

Online Archive of California
Provides finding aids that list corporate records in institutional archives in the State of California (American Salt Company, Carson Hill Gold Mining Corporation, Southern Pacific Railroad, Spreckels Sugar Company, and hundreds more).

Overview of Business Archives in Western Europe
Glasgow: Glasgow University Archives & Business Record Centre, 1996.
Includes Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.
CD1001 .O84 1996.

Pressnell, L. S. A Guide to the Historical Records of British Banking
New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985.
HG2988 .P731 1985

Records of American Business
Chicago: Society of American Archivists, 1997.
HF5736 .R3625 1997

Records of British Business and Industry, 1760-1914: Metal Processing and Engineering
London: HMSO, 1994.
Main Stack HD9521.5 .R425 1994

Records of British Business and Industry, 1760-1914: Textiles and Leather
London: HMSO, 1990.
GSSI HD2321 .G74 1990

Company Logos Living Logos: How Corporations Renew Their Image
New York: Art Direction Book Co., 1993.
NC1002 .L63L58 1993

Logos of America's Fastest Growing Corporations
New York: Art Direction Book Co., 1992.
Provides logos for over 500 U.S. companies.
NC1002 .L63L63 1992

Logos of Major World Corporations
New York: Art Direction Book Co., 1989.
NC1002 .L63L63 1989

Special Collections Business History Collection Research Publications.
A microfiche collection of statistical annuals and factbooks on American industries from the 20th century.
Reference Microfiche 1062

Corporate & Industry Research Reports Index 1984-1989.
Indexes research reports done by U.S. investment banks on American companies and industries.
Text of the reports are available on microfiche at UCLA.
HG4001 .C53 Off-site. Request through OskiCat

* Making of the Modern World:
The Goldsmith's-Kress Library of Economic Literature

A digital collection of more than 61,000 books from the period 1460-1850, and 466 pre-1906 serials. Focuses on economics but includes political science, history, sociology, and special collections on banking, finance, transportation, and manufacturing. Combines the Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature at the University of London Library, and the Kress Library of Business and Economics at the Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration along with supplementary materials from the Seligman Collection in the Butler Library at Columbia University and from the libraries of Yale.

Business History Websites Automotive History
The Michigan Electronic Library.


Business Plan Archive
A site attempting to collect for historical purposes the business plans of the era.

Chinese Business History

Economic History Services

Emergence of Advertising in America

European Association for Banking History

Guide to Business History Resources
Library of Congress.

Guide to the Warshaw Collection on Business Americana

Harry W. Bass Business History Collection
University of Oklahoma.

Historical Collections, Baker Library, Harvard Business School

History of Advertising Trust (UK)

Institute for Business History

Railroad History

Sources for Business History (UK)
List of British archival collections.

Historical Stock Prices * Global Financial Database
Includes long runs of historical U.S. stock prices.

Datastream Available only at the datastream terminal in the library and only for users with a personal Haas School login.
Includes some historical market data for international companies, including stock prices.

Yahoo Finance
Search by ticker or company name, then click on Historical Prices to get free data. Goes back a few decades for some companies.