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Baker's New Web Guide:
"Women, Enterprise and Society"

When Baker Library acquired the majority of its manuscript collections in the first half of the twentieth century, collection guides and catalog records did not describe materials by and about women. In 1999, Baker Library initiated a survey of the Business Manuscripts Collection to identify materials that would be useful to the study of the historical role of women in business and the economy.

This three-year survey uncovered a significant economic record in countless financial and legal documents, and brought to light unexpectedly rich resources for social and cultural history in a wealth of personal writings. Included are manuscript sources, such as account books, credit reports, payrolls, time books, employee registers, letters, and diaries, as well as advertising ephemera and photographs.

All the materials identified by the survey are described in an innovative, web-based guide entitled "Women, Enterprise and Society: A Guide to Resources in the Business Manuscripts Collection at Baker Library." Located at, the guide debuts late in January and contains detailed descriptions of resources located in approximately two hundred manuscript collections.

It also incorporates links to full collection records in the Baker Online Catalog. The web format likewise provides the infrastructure for future updates as additional materials are identified and acquired.

Some of the most remarkable documents identified during the survey project are currently on display in the lobby of Baker Library through a new exhibition entitled, "Women, Enterprise and Society: Resources in the Business Manuscripts Collection at Baker Library." The exhibition continues through June 14.

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Last modified on Thursday, April 18, 2002.