The Inquire Capitalism database is a curated, searchable index of corporate archives. It is a free catalog of archives created to assist students, scholars, archivists, and any other interested partners to find company archives in the United States. The database aims to help users create relations among archives of the same industry and to document what archives have digital content available and have or have not created history websites as part of their company website.

Creating Inquire Capitalism

During the first phase of this digital humanities project, the makers of the Inquire Capitalism concentrated their efforts on existing lists in the United States. The Hagley Museum and Library and the German Historical Institute have kindly supported this initiative and their lists of company archives are part of the database.

Inquire Capitalism is a living database that expects to continue to grow. It is not meant to be an authoritative source and we welcome partnerships with scholars, companies, and archives that want to include their information in the database. Each of the entries contains information about physical and digital archives, basic biographic information on each company, scholarship related to the companies and, most importantly, keywords and tags that help the user find what they need. The keywords have been collected and assigned according to Library of Congress and OCLC Research authorities.

Searching in Inquire Capitalism

The Inquire Capitalism database is fully searchable. All the content of the database, and not only keywords, can be located.

To search the entire database, make sure that the option 'Boolean' is selected in the searching settings. To search within the keywords, mark the 'Keyword' option; and to search exact terms, or words that contain less than four characters, like IBM, select the option 'Exact match'.

To facilitate sorting, tags and subject terms are also added. But people search in a variety of ways--a user looking for nineteenth-century material may use "19th" "19c" "nineteenth-century" or "XIX". Seeking for consistency and to support greater discoverability, we constantly compile a controlled vocabulary list containing all terms used as tags and keywords. 

View the IC-Controlled Vocabulary.

Contribute to Inquire Capitalism

We encourage users to email us with scholarship references to add to each entry and we welcome archivists and curators to send us information on their corporate records if they don’t see them in the index. Also, we welcome any feedback or terminology suggestions.

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