While some collections devoted to business history focus on rare books, i.e. pre-1850, we continue beyond that to add out-of-print and more recent books to enrich teaching and research in business and economics. We do not collect for the sake of rarity but for adding the depth of original texts by prominent individuals. The result is a unique blend of old and new books that supplement the holdings of the university library.
Our oldest book is Johannes Nider's De Contractibus Mercatorum, published in 1468 in Cologne by Ulrich Zell, and apprentice of Johannes Gutenberg. An English translation is available and one study of Nider's On the Contracts of Merchants indicates an emerging concern for caveat venditor in the fifteenth century. Written about 1430, the Nider book is suggestive of a need to further study the concern of scholars for business morality as commerce was developing in that century. Other incunabulae are Giorgio Chiarini's 1497 book published in Florence on trade customs in Italy and Bartholomeo di Pasi's 1503 writings about Italian tariffs and taxes. Highlights of other important items are listed below.