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Goldsmiths'-Kress Library of Economic Literature - Microform Collection: Home


Microfilm collection of approximately 30,000 printed books, pamphlets, proclamations and government publications, and broadsides from the fifteenth century through 1800 on economics "interpreted in the widest sense".

This collection is a segment of a very large microform collection, now digitized and available for Penn readers as:




Goldsmiths'-Kress library of economic literature. Segment I, Printed books through 1800 [microform]. Woodbridge, Conn.: Research Publications, Inc., 1987.


1,669 microfilm reels. 35 mm; positive.


Microfilm collection of approximately 30,000 printed books, pamphlets, proclamations and government publications, and broadsides from the fifteenth century through 1800 on economics "interpreted in the widest sense", including political science, history, and sociology, and special collections on slavery, transportation, temperance, and city guilds and companies. Items in the collection are reproduced from the holdings of the Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature, University of London Library, and a related library, the Kress Library of Business and Economics, Baker Library, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration.


Works are arranged chronologically by year of printing or publication. Each year's entries are classified by subject (following Catalogue of the Goldsmiths' Library, vol. I, xix):
  • General: including general treatises on sociology and political science as well as economics; topography, and the theoretical and general aspects of emigration.
  • Agriculture: including fishing, mining, surveying and landed property in all its aspects except tithes.
  • Corn Laws: including their agricultural, financial and commercial aspects.
  • Population.
  • Trades and Manufactures: including practical manuals and technology in general.
  • Commerce: including shipping, piracy and smuggling.
  • Colonies: including all subjects relating to particular colonial areas, but not usually those concerning the relations between the mother country and the colonies.
  • Finance: including coinage, numismatics and tithes.
  • Transport: including transport technology.
  • Social Conditions: including public order, public utilities, debtor and creditor (except discussions from a financial standpoint), penology, criminology, trades unions and temperance.
  • Slavery.
  • Politics: including some political theory.
  • Socialism: limited to theoretical works on the subject and not including works on other subjects from a socialist viewpoint.
  • Miscellaneous: including national defense, local government, subjects not relevant to the social sciences (e.g., theology), and the unclassifiable.
Within each subject division, items appear in alphabetical order by author's name. Items are assigned serial numbers following Catalogue of the Goldsmiths' Library. Items from the Kress Library have been inserted into the Goldsmiths' Library serial numbering according to their publication date, subject, and author; these items usually have decimalized serial numbers.


Goldsmiths'-Kress library of economic literature: a consolidated guide to segment I of the microfilm collection. 3 volumes. Woodbridge, Conn.: Research Publications, Inc., 1976-1978.
[Van Pelt Reference: HB161 .G6]
This guide is the preferred tool for identifying and locating items in the collection. Each volume covers a chronological period: volume 1, through 1720; volume 2, 1721-1776; volume 3, 1777-1800. Within each volume, entries are arranged following the year/subject/author and serial numbering scheme described above; reel breaks are indicated throughout the serial numbering. Although prefatory matter indicates a Kress number-to-Goldsmiths-Kress number cross-index will be published, this has not appeared.

Canney, Margaret and David Knott (comp.) Catalogue of the Goldsmiths' Library of Economic Literature. Volume I, Printed books to 1800. London: Cambridge University Press, 1970.
[Van Pelt Reference: HB161 .G65 1970 v.1]
Other volumes under this title continue the catalogue for works published between 1801 and 1850 and provide a dictionary index of authors, titles, and subject places.

Kress Library of Business and Economics. Catalogue, with data upon cognate items in other Harvard libraries. 5 volumes. Boston: Baker Library, Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, 1940-1967.
Volumes 1-3 cover materials published through 1818.

Individual titles reproduced in this set are listed in Franklin. However, original or reprint editions in the library's general or special collections will be listed in Franklin and/or the main card catalog.
Beware!. Cataloging information for this set's individual titles in Franklin is faulty. Two possible errors may result through relying upon Franklin to identify titles in this set:
  1. Titles included in the set may not appear in Franklin. The cataloging contractor for this set did not catalog every title. No heuristic exists to characterize omissions.
  2. Titles appearing in Franklin may not be included in the set. The cataloging contractor merged this set with an ancillary set, Supplement to Segment I, containing approximately 325 reels. Supplement items are inserted into the set's serial numbering scheme, usually as decimalized serial numbers: as Kress-owned items also appear with decimalized serial numbers, both the set and the Supplement were not cataloged completely, and the cataloging contractor did not indicate "Supplement" status in cataloging records, it is not possible to distinguish records for items in the set from items in the Supplement. It may be possible to use RLIN/Eureka BIB database to identify Supplement items through records from individual holding libraries.
    To be certain that an item is included in the set, consult the printed Goldsmiths'-Kress library of economic literature: a consolidated guide to segment I of the microfilm collection (above).


Van Pelt Microforms: Microfilm 2371

Librarian & Coordinator of Social Sciences Collections

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Lauris Olson
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