Albert Heard, the head of a prominent American trading house in China, once remarked that "Business is too important and interesting not to be chronicled somehow." As it turns out, his own firm, Augustine Heard & Co., chronicled its own activities extensively via a massive collection of descriptive letters and diaries. The company archives are part of the Baker Library collection at the Harvard Business School, and it remains one of the largest collections of business records relating to the nineteenth century China trade. All told, there are 800 volumes, 272 boxes, and 103 cartons in the collection. On this site, visitors can learn about the company's operations through eleven sections, which include "Clippers & Steamships" and "Influence of the China Trade." Each section contains thoughtful narrative essays, along with primary documents like trade agreements and other items that document these business relationships.
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