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Using Business Records - 10 credits (HST816)

Business records are a primary source vital to understanding the history of different sectors of the economy. They need careful handling because surviving records are not always typical and they often contain technical material, jargon and accounting techniques that need attention and contextualisation. Business records include a variety of sorts of documents such as purchase and sales ledgers, personnel records, balance sheets and business correspondence. Business records from the 18th century and earlier tend to include much personal material and correspondence and accounts relating to private, family and household matters. Business records from all periods can be useful for addressing a variety of research topics in social and cultural, as well as economic and business history, providing they are interpreted, selected and handled with care.