Home > Library > Collections > Subject Guides > Economic History
Your Academic Support Librarian 

Paul Horsler

Telephone: 020 7955 6354

Email: p.n.horsler@lse.ac.uk


Economic History

Our subject guide will help you find the best resources for your studies and research.

Books on your reading list

Use Library Search to access online resources and get classmarks for print material.

The Library is divided into a number of collections so make sure to note down the full location of the item you want. 

Course Collection

The Course Collection (ground floor) contains copies of essential texts from your reading list. These books can be borrowed for 3 days and renewed if no one else requests them. 

Many of these books will be available as ebooks on Library Search.  

Economic History collections

Some key classmarks for Economic History resources are: 

Subject areas within the Library
Subject  Classmark Floor

 Auxialiary sciences of history



 History: general and old world



 History: Americas



 History: economic


 History: social



Find the location of these classmarks on the building floor plans.


The Library has a growing number of ebooks. They are accessible to LSE staff and students by using their network username and password.  Major collections include:

Locating books outside the Library

  • Use COPAC to find books located in the major UK research libraries.
  • Use Search25 to find books located in the libraries of universities in the London area.
  • Use KVK and Worldcat to find virtually all the books published on your topic worldwide.

Finding journal articles

Most of the time you should be able to find and access the articles you need through Library Search. However, we also provide access to powerful databases that can help you discover articles that are not available through Library Search, or even search engines like Google.

Use these tools to discover journal articles to further support your research. When we don't provide access to the full text of the articles you need you can request them through the interlending service

Article databases for Economic History

Official publications

Official publications contain a range of historic information. Since its foundation, the Library has collected material published by governments on a global basis. This information comes in a variety of forms such as reports of working parties, departmental publications and parliamentary papers.

Government documents

The Library is strongest in publications published by the British government and the United States Federal government. Further information is available via the Government Publications page.

The main electronic resources for the above governments are:

Intergovernmental organisations

The Library holds specialist status as a European Documentation Centre and as a United Nations depository.

For documents relating to the above collections you may need to use specialist databases such as Europa and AccessUN. Further finding aids are available via the above pages.

The Library holds a large collection of materials published by IGOs. 


Newspapers form a valuable part of historical research as they provide a description of events at the time.  The main historical newspaper resources are:

  • Gale News Vault providing access to a range of newspapers from the 17th century including The Times, Financial Times, Economist and Daily Mail.  These can also be search individually.

For those researching more recent topics, LSE has access to Nexis UK and Factiva. 

  • Nexis UK provides full text access to newpapers and newswire services from around the world. It includes the full text of UK daily newspapers since 1980.
  • Factiva provides a similar service but with an emphasis on business and trade news.  Only 5 users can be logged in at any one time.

Archives and Special Collections 

Archives and special collections form a major part of historical research, with LSE Archives and the Women's Library @ LSE making a significant contribution.  Some of the key collections include: 

A selection of material from both collections is available via the LSE Digital Library 

Online resources

The Library has many online resources relating to Economic History.  Below are a few collections of particular note: 

  • Global Commodities documents the trade in 15 major commodities around the world from c1500 to the present day.
  • Empire Online is a collection of primary source materials including diaries and travel logs relating to Empire Studies.
  • Historic Annual Reports is a database comprising over 150 years worth of annual reports from North American companies.
  • Mergent Annual Reports holds similarities with Historic Annual Reports, with a broader international scope.

Data Library

The Data Library contains a wide range of data and statistics from across the globe.  Access is usually available online or in print.  In some cases it is only available from specific machines in the Library itself whilst other data is held offline and needs to be required from the Data Library.  The Moodle course called the Library Companion for Data Users provides a good introduction to our resources and will help you locate material. 

Online and offline data provided by the Data Library can only be used by current LSE staff and students in pursuit of LSE related academic research.  It cannot be used for commercial purposes.

Two of the most commonly used datasets within Economic History are shown below:

  • Global Financial Data provides access to long-term historic financial and economic data with some series going back to the 1200s.

The Data Library team is also available to assist with any queries you may have about finiding data or using individual resources.  The level of support depends on our knowledge of the resource.

Open Access

LSE Research Online is a collection of research produced by LSE staff.  It often contains contents which is full text and freely available. 

Two major collections of open access repositories around the world are OpenDOARand OAIster.


Theses are a valuable resource for researchers as they  provide an overview of previous research and provide access to cutting edge research.

  • LSE Theses online contains many full text LSE PhD theses. Older items that are not available online are available in the Library.

One heavily used resource for finding PhD theses is:

  • Dissertations & Theses Global an online database containing the full text of thousands of PhD from universities worldwide. It includes references to all UK and Irish doctoral theses produced since 1715 with full text content where available.

Special collections

The Library has a large collection of microfilm and microfiche.  Items held on this medium include the archives of the Trades Union Congress and the Labour Party.  Further information about this collection can be obtained directly from the Library contact for the Department of Economic History, Paul Horsler.

Coll ED is a specialist collection of historic trade union material dating from the 19th Century.  This includes material such as the rules of a particular trade union and monthly newsletter. 

Of specific interest to Economic Historians is a collection of books we received from the estate of Professor Epstein.  The books were collected in connection with a project on the role  of technology in the pre-industrial world.  Emphasis is on the history of technology in Europe but there is additional material on non-European topics and on the development of technology generally.  Much of the material is related to specific branches of interest such as building, ship construction, textiles, glass and metal working.