Business History Conference
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Purpose and History of the BHC

The Business History Conference is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization devoted to encouraging all aspects of research, writing, and teaching of business history and the environment in which business operates. The first meeting occurred on February 25, 1954, at Northwestern University. In 1970 a formal charter was adopted that provided for the election of officers and trustees; the first president of the Business History Conference was Richard C. Overton. You will find the current bylaws, as well as a complete list of BHC presidents and of current trustees and officers in the Governance section of our pages. Today, the organization is international in scope, with approximately 15 percent of its membership residing outside North America.

The Annual Meeting

The Business History Conference holds an annual meeting each spring that is hosted by a university or corporate sponsor. The conferences provide a forum for discussing current research in business history and related fields and offer an opportunity for people with similar interests to meet and exchange ideas. Participation from overseas scholars is especially encouraged. The president-elect of the organization serves as program chair. A complete list of past meetings and information about the upcoming meeting are included in our pages.

Publications of the BHC

Until 2000, a selection of the papers presented at the annual meetings was published in two issues (September and January) of the conference proceedings volume, Business and Economic History, which was distributed to members of the BHC as one of their membership privileges. The volumes from 1975 through the last printed volume, 1999, are now available on our Web site as the BEH Print Archives. Beginning in 2000, the BHC launched a new refereed quarterly journal Enterprise & Society: The International Journal of Business History, which will continue to publish the presidential address and dissertation summaries. All presenters at the meeting are invited to submit the full text of their papers to the new online version of the BHC Proceedings, Business and Economic History On-line, which began with the publication of the 2003 volume. The program and abstracts of all the papers presented at each meeting are also available as part of the new BEH On-Line.

The BHC also publishes and administers H-Business. One of the earliest of the H-Net discussion lists, H-Business was founded by Austin Kerr and Jeremy Atack. Subscription is open to anyone with an interest in business history, and all BHC members are especially encouraged to subscribe.

BHC Prizes and Fellowships

The Grants and Prizes Committee oversees the awards, grants, and prizes of the BHC. This committee is directly responsible for selection of the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Harold F. Williamson Prize. It appoints standing subcommittees that award the Krooss and Newcomen Article prizes, and it monitors the Hagley Prize and graduate student travel grants. A full listing is available.

About the BHC


Annual Meetings


Grants and Prizes


Become a Member


The BHC is an affiliated organization of H-Net: Humanities and Social Sciences Online.
Page created September 21, 2002; last updated August 18, 2009.
Please report corrections or suggestions to the BHC Web Editor.
© 2009 by the Business History Conference.