Collections Policy of the Hagley Library

If you have publications and/or archival material you would like to donate to the library, please see our Collections Policy below. If you have any questions, please contact us at

Collecting Scope of the Hagley Library

Statement of Purpose

The Hagley Library’s collections document the interaction of American business and technology with cultural, social, and political processes since the late 18th century.

We collect the records of businesses, trade associations, non-profit organizations, and individuals.

The Library began with documenting the manufacturing and transportation industries associated with American industrialization in the mid-Atlantic region. This practice has evolved to include materials documenting a broader scope of activities in the history of business and technology on a more national, even international scale.

While we continue to build upon the core collection, we also seek to document the history of business and technology through records related to consumer and service industries, communication and energy sectors, as well as digital commerce and infrastructure.

Hagley will attempt to acquire collections of representative businesses and organizations to document interconnections across industries and sectors. We will not discriminate among large, medium, and small organizations when acquiring representative collections.

Hagley will work to ensure that underrepresented voices are documented in our collections. We seek to remedy our relative lack of materials representing the roles of women, African Americans, and other ethnic minorities, and the roles that these groups have played in American business and technology.

The Library seeks to document accounts of innovation as well as maintenance; change as well as continuity; success as well as failure; and institutional as well as personal experiences.

Subjects and Topics of Particular Interest

We are interested in documenting the following:

Strategic decisions made by businesses and trade associations; details of initiatives in operations, research and development, marketing, and lobbying; and the relative success or failure of these efforts.

The development of supply chains, whether regionally or globally, and their manifestation in economic organization, infrastructure, policy, and consumer behavior.

Government regulation, trade policy, anti-trust policy, and workplace governance, including equal opportunity employer programs and compliance with related labor laws.

Efforts of the business community to advocate on behalf of causes and issues, especially to support commercial and political objectives.

Intra-firm connections (as in an industrial district) and the role of trade and professional associations.

The workplace and its change over time, especially due to shifts in demographics, technology, skill, and management policy.

The impact of businesses on the environment; environmental legislation, regulation, and remediation; environmental politics; efforts at “green capitalism;” and workplace health and risk.

The role of business, technology, and industrial design in shaping the built environment, including commercial and industrial architecture, real estate development, and urban planning.

The commercial production, dissemination, and consumption of media, especially as it relates to the advertising and marketing of goods and services and the promotion of ideologies.

The evolution of concepts, products, and processes specific to industrial design and consumer culture, particularly as they relate to Universal Design and accessibility.

The transnational impact of businesses and organizations originating in America on other areas of the world, and the reciprocal influences on business and society in the USA.

Click to read the full Collections Development Policy for the Hagley Library

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