Knowledge Base

History of the Bass Business History Collections


In 1955, Mr. Harry W. Bass, prominent in the petroleum industry and a former student at the University of Oklahoma, provided the monies to establish a special collection in business history that would later be named in his honor. Mr. Bass recognized the importance of understanding the history of business enterprise, a subject he felt was neglected in institutions of higher education.

The phrase 'business history' is interpreted broadly and includes business and economics related subjects as well as other social sciences which contribute to an understand of the historical development and progress of commercial activities. Sub-fields include accounting, marketing, finance, business law, management and transportation along with supporting social sciences such as psychology, industrial archaeology, sociology, and economic geography. Materials on coinage, voyages of exploration for the purpose of trade, and other such fields contribute to understanding the historical development of business. Interdisciplinary materials are collected in the form of biographies, company histories, domestic and international economic development, political economy, and histories of industries.

No geographical limits exist when considering business history. East, West and outer space are all fair targets for economic and business developments. Preference is given to works in English but growing internationalism offers opportunities to collect business history related materials of all nations in any language


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