Earl J. Hamilton Collection on the History of Economics

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The Earl J. Hamilton Collection on the History of Economics contains over 3,000 rare and scholarly titles, with particular strengths in the economy of Spain and the life of John Law of Lauriston. Also included are works on commerce and manufacturing in England, Italy, and the Mediterranean.

Earl J. Hamilton (1899-1989) was Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago (1947-1967) and held academic appointments at Duke University, Northwestern University, and the State University of New York at Binghamton. He was Editor of The Journal of Political Economy from 1948 to 1954 and President of the Economic History Association from 1951 to 1952.

Hamilton's interest in economic history began when he was a graduate student at Harvard, where he completed his doctoral dissertation on "A History of Money and Prices in Andalusia, 1503-1660." His books include American Treasure and the Price Revolution in Spain, 1501-1650 (1934), Money, Prices, and Wages in Valencia, Aragon and Navarre, 1351-1500 (1936), War and Prices in Spain, 1651-1800 (1947), and Landmarks in Political Economy (1962). Late in his career Hamilton developed an interest in the work of John Law of Lauriston.

Hamilton's personal library formed the basis for the Earl J. Hamilton Collection on the History of Economics. The University of Chicago Library continues to add to the collection via an endowed fund in Hamilton's name.


A small number of Hamilton's books have been identified in the Library Catalog. For a more detailed list of the collection's holdings, please contact Special Collections.

This collection was the subject of a 1995 exhibit, Banks and Bubbles: The Earl J. Hamilton Collection on the History of Economics.

See also the Earl J. Hamilton Papers in the University Archives.