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The R.G. Dun & Company Credit Reports consists of 2,522 volumes of handwritten credit reports on individuals and firms from the United States, its western territories, Canada, and a few foreign countries, dating from the 1840s to the 1890s. Entries include information on the duration of the business, net worth, sources of wealth, and, at times, commentary on the reputation of the owners, their partners, and successors. The collection is an invaluable resource for understanding the business, social, and cultural world of 19th century America and is the most heavily used collection in Special Collections.
The reports are available to all researchers who are engaged in scholarly research. The collection has an alphabetical index of business and personal names for each county or major city of each state or territory. To search the collection, you'll need names and locations by state and county. A complete listing of the volumes available can be found at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HBS.Baker.EAD:bak00110.
For researchers who qualify for access but can't visit, Special Collections reference archivists can conduct name searches for business and/or individual names in the R.G. Dun & Co. index volumes for a fee. Search results include the Dun volumes and page numbers for the credit reports, not transcriptions of the credit reports.
To initiate a search request, please contact Special Collections and provide the following information:
1). Your research topic and its intended result (dissertation, article, book, etc.).
2). A list of names and index volumes to be searched from the guide to the R.G. Dun & Co. Credit Report Volumes.
3). An indication of your acceptance of research service fees.
4). A signed copy of the R.G. Dun & Company Credit Report Volumes application.