The Howey Collection was established in 1978 in honor of the late Richard S. Howey, then Professor Emeritus of Economics, who was largely responsible for building the University's significant collections in economics and economic history. The Collection is made up of printed books and periodicals from the eighteenth century through 1850. The Collection broadens our long-standing interest in these subjects from Italy and Great Britain to include most major European countries and their overseas territories.
Spencer Library's holdings in economic history now include over 15,000 volumes of broadsides, acts, speeches, pamphlets, journals, and books. They include major works - for example, 53 editions and translations of Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations - and minor ones, famous writers and those so obscure that not even their names are known. Some indication of the remarkable strength of this collection can be gained by measuring it against the benchmark collection for this subject, the great Kress Library of Business and Economics at Harvard University; approximately 40% of the Howey holdings are not represented in that primary collection of economic history.