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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:1416 1913-1934 P187

Pan-American Photograph Collection

Overview

This artificial collection contains approximately 330 black and white photographic prints and three photograph albums that depict a wide range of industries, including agriculture, logging, mining, petroleum, communications, banking, and various manufacturing industries in Lating American countries.

Dates

  • 1913-1934

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information.

Extent

8.5 linear feet (9 boxes)
An artificial collection that contains approximately 330 black and white photographic prints and three photograph albums. Most of the photographs are accompanied by descriptive captions. The bulk of photographs were submitted for use in an April 1934 Pan-American Day exhibit. Most of the photographs are undated, although they appear roughly contemporary with the date of the exhibit.

The photographs depict a wide range of industries, including agriculture, logging, mining, petroleum, communications, banking, and various manufacturing industries. The photographs often show laborers and craftsmen at work in local agricultural and industrial activities. The collection also documents daily life in the cities and towns of the Caribbean, Central American, and South American countries during the early twentieth century. The collection is divided into two series. The first series contains photographs of national industries that were submitted by government officials. The second series contains photographs documenting the activities of companies that operated in Latin American countries, typically donated by the company itself.

Historical Note:

In early 1934, the Business Historical Society was invited by the Pan American Union of Washington, D.C., to recognize “Pan-American Day” on April 14, 1934. The society planned an exhibit of “action photographs of industrial, mining, and agricultural operations carried on in the Latin American states,” accompanied by related posters, advertising materials, and wall maps. The exhibit was displayed in Baker Library on the Harvard Business School campus. Business Historical Society members contacted foreign governments, American embassies, and businesses in many Caribbean, Central American, and South American countries, explaining their intent and requesting material for the exhibit. A wide variety of photographs were submitted, and materials continued to arrive even after the Pan American exhibit was dismantled. After the exhibit, the photographs became a permanent collection held by Baker Library.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:
  1. Series I. Industries of various Latin American countries, ca. 1934
  2. Series II. Companies operating in Latin American countries, 1913 - 1934

Physical Location

MANU

Provenance:

Barbados photographs: Gift of Barbados Colonial Secretary, July 17, 1934.

British Honduras photographs: Gift of British Honduras Acting Colonial Secretary, November, 1934.

Jamaica photographs: Gift of Jamaica Colonial Secretary’s Office, September 10, 1934.

Trinidad photographs: Gift of Trinidad Acting Colonial Secretary, July 17, 1934.

Uruguay photographs: Gift of Consul General for Uruguay, March 29, 1934.

Venezuela photographs: Gift of Consul General of Venezuela, July 7, 1934.

First National Bank of Boston: Gift of Prof. G.B. Roorbach, May 10, 1934.

National City Bank of New York photographs. Gift of National City Bank of New York, April 12, 1934.

Caracoles Tin Mining Company of Bolivia album: Gift of Guggenhem Brothers, May 9, 1934.

Nitrate mining in Chile photographs: Gift of Nitrate Corp. of Chile, in liquidation, May 11, 1934.

International Telephone and Telegraph Co. photographs: Gift of ITT, May 18, 1934

Source unknown for remaining photographs.

Processing Information

Processed: August 2001

By: Maggie Hale
Processing Note: Formerly part of the PG (Pictures Geographic) and the PM (Pictures of Manufacturing) files and an unprocessed group of photograph albums, these materials were identified and processed during the Historical Collections photographic survey project of 1999 to 2001. The photographs solicited for the Pan-American Day exhibit were identified based upon source, date of gift, donor cards and correspondence of the Business Historical Society. The photographs were rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes appropriate for their size. The photograph album from the Caracoles Tin Mining Company of Bolivia was sent to a professional conservator for treatment. The conservator removed the album’s severely deteriorated binding, cleaned the photographic prints, placed the album pages were in Mylar sleeves, and created a new post binding cover for the album.
Link to catalog
Title
Business Historical Society. Pan-American Photograph Collection, 1913-1934: A Finding Aid
Author
Baker Library
EAD ID
bak00101

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

Contact:
Baker Library | Bloomberg Center
Soldiers Field Road
Boston MA 01263 USA
(617) 495-6411