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Economic History

A Modest Proposal for Preventing the Children of Poor People from being a Burden to their Parents, or the Country, and for Making them Beneficial to the Publick

Titlepage of Swift’s A Modest Proposal..., Dublin, 1729. P.pp.15 no. 9

There are substantial holdings of materials for the study of economic history in the collection. Foremost in this area are various government publications of which the British House of Commons Papers are the best example. The writings of the major European economists are held, usually in several editions.

Pamphlet collections contain much exciting material on particular topics such as the debate on the gold standard, the South Sea Bubble, and the concept of bi-metallism. Irish concerns are well documented in the collections especially in the case of arguments over Wood’s Halfpence in the 1720s and the economic case for Irish independence in the early decades of the 20th century.

There is an abundant material dealing with the Mississippi scheme and its effects on France and on inflation during the French Revolution. Dutch economic history is well covered, particularly in relation to colonies and overseas trade.