Past Events

Lectures & Workshops

  • Nov30
    • 30 Nov 2015
    • Lecture/Workshop

    The HBS Medici Collection: Understanding the History of Renaissance Business

    Sponsored by Harvard Business School and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University
    Baker Library at Harvard Business School holds the largest collection of Renaissance Florentine account books outside Italy. The Medici Collection, which comprises more than 150 ledgers and other manuscript volumes, sheds extraordinary light on the business and personal activities of six generations of one branch of Florence's Medici family, and it contains an abundance of unique materials from the late 14th to the early 18th century, with the vast bulk dating from 1400 to 1600. These lectures and workshops explored the richness and potential for research of the Medici Collection.
  • Apr29
    • 29 Apr 2016
    • Lecture/Workshop

    Experience, Logics and the Science of Trade in the Long 18th Century

    Organized by Sophus Reinert, Harvard Business School, and Christine Zabel, Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies, Harvard University
    The science of trade was professionalized as a form of expert knowledge in the early modern period. Disparate discourses were connected through processes of mutual emulation that in the 18th century shifted from continental commercial republics to England and the British Empire. Simultaneously, the group of practitioners believed to best generate economic knowledge was joined by political arithmeticians, statisticians, and, with time, “political economists” who were considered better able to systematize and render economic experience useful for states and policy-makers. The kind of knowledge generated by these new “experts” in turn influenced the practices of merchants across Europe. This workshop will address the historical relationship between theory and practice in early modern political economy, particularly with regards to the challenges of systematizing and harnessing practical knowledge.

Business History Seminar

Held in Baker 101 from 3:30 to 5:00 PM on Mondays in the fall. For more information, please contact the Business History Initiative at