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Economists' Papers Project   Tags: archives, economics, history_of_economics  

Description and list of archival collections related to economics in the Duke University David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Last Updated: Jul 2, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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New Collections

  • Charlotte D. Phelps
    Economist and Professor of Economics Emerita, Temple University. Phelps has been a Fulbright Senior Specialist, a member of the Board of the Society of the Advancement of Behavioral Economics, and Associate Editor of The Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization. The collection is primarily comprised of material relating to Phelps' academic work, including correspondence (1957-2010), teaching material, writings, and professional service. Published and unpublished works reflect her scholarly interests in the relationship between psychology and economic decision-making.
  • Robert E. Lucas, Jr.
    Lucas, John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago, won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1995 for developing and applying the theory of rational expectations, an econometric hypothesis which suggests that individuals may affect the expected results of national fiscal policy by making private economic decisions based on past experiences and anticipated results. His work, which gained prominence in the mid-1970s, questioned the influence of John Maynard Keynes in macroeconomics and the efficacy of government intervention in domestic affairs.

Collections in the Economists' Papers Project


Overview of the Collections

In the 1980s, with guidance from faculty in the Economics Department, Duke University’s David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library initiated an ongoing program to preserve the papers of distinguished economists.  To date, the papers of more than sixty significant economists, including eleven Nobel laureates, have been donated to the library.  These collections offer a valuable resource to researchers in the history of economic thought, particularly those interested in twentieth-century economic thought.

An annotated list of the collections in the Economists' Papers Project is located here.

Duke’s collections contain a wealth of research material on virtually every area of 20th century economic thought.  The sizes of the collections vary from very small collections of a few folders to hundreds of linear feet of material.  Each of the collections has distinctive research value. Some contain all professional correspondence as well as the notes, drafts, and manuscripts of major works. Others contain information on political involvement, records of professional involvement (e.g., editorial boards, conference participation, etc.), and personal biographical material.  Most of the collections are from economists working in America but include large aggregations of research material on areas worldwide. 

In addition to the papers of individual economists, the library also holds the records of several organizations and journals important for the history of economic thought.  Chief among them are the records of the American Economic Association, founded in 1885. This collection consists of more than 350 linear feet of materials and includes the records (correspondence and referee files, accepted articles, papers and proceedings) of the American Economic Review.

For further information on the history of the collections, see the article “Archiving the History of Economics” by E. Roy Weintraub et al. in the Journal of Economic Literature 36.3 (September 1998), pp. 1496-1501 (link functional for Duke users only).  

Associate Curator of Collections

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Sara Seten Berghausen
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David M. Rubenstein Library
315 Perkins Library
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