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Goldsmiths’ Library of Economic Literature at Senate House Library, University of London, contains more than 70,000 printed books, pamphlets, periodicals, manuscripts, broadsides, and proclamations from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries. Along with the Kress collection at Harvard University, Goldsmiths’ forms the basis of the 356-reel microfilm product first published in the mid-1970s by Research Publications in New Haven, Conn. For an appreciation of the groundbreaking impact of this publication, see the September 1978 issue of Journal of Economic Literature, which features the essay “Democracy Returns to the Library: The Goldsmiths'-Kress Library of Economic Literature” by David O. Whitten.
In 2004, Gale released the digital version of the database as The Making of the Modern World, 1450-1850 (MOMW). Since MOMW’s initial appearance, thousands of unpublished or newly acquired titles have been identified at the University of London, and these titles form the basis of the third and fourth modules of the digital archive at your fingertips. The Making of the Modern World: Part IV, 1800 – 1890 comprises over 8,000 items.
Goldsmiths’ is based on the original collection in the library of the academic economist and bibliophile at Cambridge University, Herbert Somerton Foxwell (1849-1936). Foxwell described his library of approximately 30,000 items as “a collection of books and tracts intended to serve as the basis for the study of the industrial, commercial, monetary and financial history of the United Kingdom, as well as of the gradual development of economic science generally.”
The Foxwell library was purchased by the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and presented to the University of London in 1903. Gifts from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths have enabled Senate House Library to augment the collection ever since. Additions have included the purchase of the Sabatier Collection (1906), Sheffield Collection (1907), Rastrick Collection (1908), Temperance Collection (1930), and Reform Club pamphlets (1964). Further enhancements include periodicals, biographies, and bound pamphlet collections, such as the Aldenham bound pamphlet collections, the Gray, the de Grey, and the Ludlow bound pamphlet collections. The Gray, de Grey, and Reform Club pamphlet collections are unique to MOMW: Part IV. Also specific to MOMW: Part IV are 686 Reform Club pamphlets dated 1800-1860.
Senate House Library remains an active acquiring institution, whose future purchases will present new avenues of research. Major subject fields include economic thought, financial and monetary policy, the British Empire and its colonial history, slavery, railway and transport history, the history technology, travel writing, temperance, poverty, poor laws, socialism, and the condition of the working class.
Central to the collection is the evolution of modern economic thought. The orthodox “classical economics” of Adam Smith and David Ricardo did not metamorphose into neoclassical economics overnight. The recasting of perspectives occurred gradually, over the course of the nineteenth century, and this change can be traced throughout the archive. For example, the idea of marginal utility had existed in economic literature for centuries, in writings from Aristotle to Jeremy Bentham, as documented in texts in Gale’s Eighteenth Century Collections Online and MOMW, Part I: The Goldsmiths'-Kress Collection, 1450-1850. However, in the 1870s three academic economists stand out as having influence on the early development of marginal analysis. Working independently, they showed that the value, or price, of a commodity depends upon the marginal utility of the commodity to the consumer. In 1871 W.S. Jevons published his Theory of Political Economy in English. Carl Mengers published Principles of Economics in German. Three years later, the French economist Léon Walras published Elements of Pure Economics in French.
In 1890, Alfred Marshall, who taught with Foxwell at Cambridge University, the nerve center of the new economic thinking, published what is considered the original overarching synthesis of the new marginal concept that forms the basis of modern microeconomics. Marshall fused all of the developments of the previous decades into a well-rounded theory of household, firms, and markets in his seminal, Principles of Economics. These texts are to be found here and in MOMW: Part III.
The Making of the Modern World fills out – in unexpected ways – the field of Victorian Studies. It helps to uncover the changing mentality and attitudes of Victorian writers across the social sciences and across various locations. The topic searches that follow, some of which focus on a single year or event or policy debate or language other than English, illustrate the broad range and depth of the collection.
* “Catholic Emancipation”
Catholic Emancipation was the major political issue in Great Britain in the 1820s. The campaign for it had gone on in Ireland since the act of Union in 1801. The Catholic Emancipation Act passed by parliament in 1829 was the culmination of a long political process that brought civil rights to Catholics. The subsequent history of developments in Ireland throughout the nineteenth century may be traced in searching “Roman Catholic Relief Act” (1829); or by searching the Catholic Question
- The English poor laws and the Catholic poor by John Morris (1860)
- Les institutions politiques, judiciaires et administrative de l'Angleterre: par Charles de Franqueville (1863)
- The Roman Catholic churches, schools & glebes Bill: a proposal for the establishment of the Roman Catholic church in Ireland, rejected by the House of Commons … July 3, 1867: Speech … thereon by Charles Newdigate (1867)
- A letter to the Right Hon. Chichester Fortescue, M.P. on the state of Ireland: by John Earl Russell (1868)
- The Irish union: before and after. being a popular treatise on the political history of Ireland during the last two centuries. [by A. K. Connell] (1888)
* “The Peculiar Institution.” The Slave Power in the United States and Cuba
In the nineteenth century slavery increasingly repulsed the moral conscience of parts of the Western world. It was abolished in the British colonies in 1833 and in the French colonies in 1848. Yet in the American South, whose economy was completely dependent on slave labor, there was no appetite to let go of “the peculiar institution.” For an examination of American slavery in the years prior to the American Civil War search “peculiar institution” or “slave power.” Esclavitud -- slavery in Spanish – renders good results on Cuba.
- Report of Select Committee on Slavery and Affairs in Kansas: submitted Thursday, October 30, 1856. Author: Vermont. General Assembly House of Representatives Select Committee on Slavery and Affairs in Kansas (1856)
- Slavery doomed: or, The contest between free and slave labour in the United States: By Frederick Milne Edge (1860)
Slavery in Spanish – esclavitud – uncovers the debate in Cuba, which is inextricably linked to the sugar trade:
- La supresion del trafico de esclavos africanos en la Isla de Cuba examinada con relacion a su agricultura y a su seguridad by José Antonio Saco (1845)
- Memoria sobre la esclavitud en la isla de Cuba: con observaciones sobre los asertos de la prensa inglesa relativos al trafico de esclavos by Mariano Torrente (1853)
- La Crisis Azucarera y la Isla de Cuba by Gaston Descamps (1885)
* “The Great Boom”
The period of the 1850s and 1860s experienced unprecedented growth. Investors took advantage of cheap capital and the rapid rise of prices. At one point in this period, the rate of profit on paid-up capital of the Crédit mobilier of Paris, one of Europe’s leading finance companies, reached fifty percent. During the boom employment skyrocketed. The bottom fell out in 1873 and two decades of depression followed. Search: “Crédit mobilier” in the period 1848-1875.
- A history of prices, and of the state of the circulation, during the nine years 1848-1856: by Thomas Tooke and William Newmarch (1857)
- La liberté de l'argent: par Clément Laurier (1858)
- La Bourse, ses opérateurs et ses opérations appréciés au point de vue de la loi, de la jurisprudence et de l'économie politique et sociale: Suivie d'une indication des réformes les plus urgentes, avec un appendice contenant les principaux règlements adoptés par la Compagnie des Agents de Change de Paris, etc. by Jules François Jeannotte-Bozérian (1859)
- The Credit Foncier and Mobilier of England, Limited: First report to 8th April, 1865, to be presented to the shareholders
* “Great Exhibition of 1851”
The economic triumph and industrial progress at midcentury brought about new rituals for the display of wealth -- the industrial trade show or world’s fair. The Crystal Palace in London (1851), featured 14,000 firms. It was followed by Paris (1855), London (1862), Vienna (1873), and the Philadelphia Centennial (1876) in the Unites States. Each exhibition attracted tourists in astronomical numbers. Search Great Exhibition of 1851.
- R. & W. Hawthorn's first-class passenger locomotive engine, "The Hawthorn", sent to the Great Exhibition of 1851: [A description] (1851)
- An earnest plea for the reign of temperance and peace as conducive to the prosperity of nations, submitted to the visitors of the Great Exhibition … accompanied by documents in proof of the statements and principles involved: [by J. S. Buckingham] (1851)
- The glass and the new crystal palace: by George Cruikshank; with cuts (1853)
- Trade museums, their nature and uses: Considered in a letter addressed, by permission, to H. R. H. the Prince Albert, K. G. by Edward Solly (1853)
* Imperialism: Britain and China. “Treaty ports, Hong Kong, and the opium trade”
British involvement in wars in China in the late 1830s and 1840s originated in the clash of two irreconcilable policies. The Chinese were determined to maintain their isolation, and the British were determined to break it down. The immediate issue was the opium trade from India to China, a trade that helped the British balance its trading account with China, when Britain sold little to China and imported large amounts of silk and tea. The Treaty of Nanking in 1842 ceded Hong Kong to Britain. Search “Hong Kong” and “Opium trade.”
- The Chinese: a general description of China and its inhabitants: by John Francis Davis, Esq., F.R.S., &c. governor of Hong-Kong (London, 1844)
- Observations on our Chinese commerce: including remarks the proposed reduction of the tea duties our new settlement at Hong Kong and the opium trade by George Thomas Staunton (1850)
- The Opium Trade; Including a Sketch of its History, Extent, Effects, etc., as Carried on in India and China. By Nathan Allen, M.D. 2d ed. (1851)
- China, political, commercial and social: in an official report to Her Majesty's government by Robert Montgomery Martin (1847)
* “Imperialism: India in the mid-Victorian Era”
For the British presence in India around the time of the Indian Rebellion of 1857 select a geographical area, such as “Hyderabad,” for rich results.
- A Gazetteer of the territories under the government of the East-India company, and of the native states on the continent of India: Compiled by the authority of the Hon. Court of Directors, and chiefly from documents in their possession, by Edward Thornton, Esq. (1854)
- Indian irrigation: being a short description of the system of artificial irrigation and canal navigation in India, with a proposal for carrying the same into effect by private enterprise by Charles William Grant (1854)
- The Punjaub Railway: a selection from official correspondence regarding the introduction of railways into the Punjaub, with [folded] map of Scinde and the Punjaub: Report of proceedings of an extraordinary general meeting of the Scinde Railway Company, held on … the 24th July, 1857 by William Patrick Andrew (1857)
- The government of the East India Company, and its monopolies: or, The Young India Party, and free trade?: by Malcolm Lewin (1857)
- East India (coinage): Returns for the last ten years of the amount of the precious metals, coined and uncoined imported into India and entered at the Custom House at each of the three Presidencies; and the amount of coined money issued by the Calcutta Mint for the same period; also copies of acts or ordinances of the Governor-General in Council for regulating the currency of India … Ordered … to be printed 27th April. Calcutta India Mint (1860)
- Report to the Secretary of State for India in Council: On Railways in India for the year 1870-71. By Juland Danvers (1871)
* “John Stuart Mill”
The mid-Victorian liberal consensus was most clearly distilled in the life and works of John Stuart Mill (1806-1873). Mill, a highly original thinker, contributed significantly to the fields of economics, political science, and philosophy. Although a gifted economic theoretician, Mill’s intellectual background led him toward a social philosophy that aimed to improve the role of the individual in society. In Principles of Political Economy (1848) he offered a synthesis of the major doctrines of classical political economy. His work was translated into multiple languages. Search “Mill” as author and/or J.S. Mill as keyword.
- Extract from Mill's History on the double government: and Observations on the evidence given before the parliamentary committees in 1852: by John Sullivan (1853)
- Liberty and the liquor traffic: reply to J. S. Mill by Dawson Burns (1859)
- Observations on the report and proceedings of the select committee on the income and property tax: In a letter to John Stuart Mill, Esq. by John Gellibrand Hubbard (1861)
- The unity of Comte's life and doctrine: a reply to strictures on Comte's later writings, addressed to J. S. Mill: by J. H. Bridges (1865)
- A refutation of the wage-fund theory of modern political economy as enunciated by Mr. Mill, M.P. and Mr. Fawcett, M.P. by Francis Davy (1869)