Seligman Collection at Columbia University

The Making of the Modern World, Part II contains close to 2,000 titles published between 1851 and 1914 from the Seligman Collection at Columbia University, opening a window onto the late 19th century world. The Seligman collection chronicles the transformation in the world’s economic situation covering such topics as:
  • National Banking Act of 1863 and the Internal Revenue Act of 1864
  • Introduction in Germany of a state sickness program by Otto Von Bismarck in 1883
  • Colonialist scramble to exploit resources more cheaply elsewhere that advanced the chartering of a new set of capital venture companies including the German East Africa Company (1885), the British Royal Niger Company (1886),  the British East Africa Company (1887), and the British South Africa Company (1889) of Cecil Rhodes.
The collection ranges far and wide with respect to the date, language, and type of the materials collected from local reports to broad overviews. Researchers will discover a number of titles on banking history, systems, and reform, including such titles as:                                                         
  • William John Lawson's History of Banking (London, 1850)
  • Reorganisation des Banques: Legalite et Urgence d'Une Reforme  (Paris, 1864)
  • Henry Felt Baker’s Banks and banking in the United States (Philadelphia, 1853)
  • David de Cholet’s  Regeneration Financiere: Ou, L'argent a Bon Marche. Nouveau Systeme de Banque Territoriale, Appelee a Remplacer le Credit Foncier de France…(Paris, 1855)
The collection also recognizes the importance of debates over currency format, the increased interest in theories of valuation, and the emerging issue of foreign exchange rates, all represented in such titles as:
  • John Ramsay McCulloch’s Essays on Interest, Exchange, Coins, Paper Money, and Banks (Philadelphia, 1851)
  • Henry Dunning Macleod’s The Theory and Practice of Banking; with the Elementary Principles of Currency; Prices; Credit; and Exchanges (London, 1855)
  • Jules Francois Jacquot-Rouhier Andelarre’s Finances de l'Empire (Paris, 1862)
Researchers can also trace the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the political and social conditions of nineteenth-century workers, factory owners and national economies. Researchers can gain access into the world of the late nineteenth century and the debate over the future of agriculture, the payment of workers, the rewriting of tax codes, the advancement of colonial interests, the reigning in of cartels and banks, thereby understanding the tragedies and triumphs of the economic past.