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Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. Collection of Small Business Ledgers

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: MB
Date: April 1980

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. Collection of Small Business Ledgers consists of ledgers and account books and a small amount of miscellaneous material.

Ledgers and account books comprise the majority of the collection. This series contains business accounts dating mostly from the late 1700's through the mid-1800's. All of the firms represented here were American, with the exception of Ledgers 133 and 134. Most of these firms were based in the North-east, stretching from Philadelphia to Old Town, Maine, and reaching as far inland as Utica and Phelps, New York. Many of the firms were based in New Jersey.

Since most (if not all) of these firms are no longer extant, the ledgers have been arranged not by name of business, but by type. Business types represented here are: Banking, Blacksmithing, Butcher, Brick-Making, Carting, Coal Dealer, Construction, Distiller, Druggist, Dyeing, Egg Dealer, Family Estate, Farms, Farm Products, Fertilizer, Fish, General Stores, Hat-Making, Importing, Insurance, Iron Works, Lawyers, Lumber Yard, Metals Dealer, Milling, Patent Office, Pedlar, Personal Expense Accounts, Post Office, Real Estate, Shipping, Shoe-Makers, Taverns, Taxes, Taylor, Town Records, Tug Boats, Wagon-Maker, Weather Diaries, Workmen's Time Books, and General.

Although some business records for all of these firms have survived here, the names and locations for many of them have been lost.

It is important to note the difference between "day books" and "journals" as opposed to "ledgers." Day books and journals are arranged from beginning to end chronologically. Ledgers, on the other hand, are arranged into separate business accounts, and chronologically only within each account. Many ledgers contain an alphabetical index for these separate accounts.

The Miscellaneous series contains three items: a facsimile of a 1765 non-importation resolution, an old undated map of the mid-western states, and the 1926 typescript of a history of an early railroad, with photographs of early steam engines.

Of particular interest are the news clippings pasted into Ledgers 10 and 21, and the Victorian-era cartoons and doodles in the back pages of Ledger 131.

Arrangement of the Collection

Books are arranged in alphabetical order by business area, and within that chronologically.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

Dun and Bradstreet, inc. -- Archives.


Accounting -- Books of account.
Agriculture -- Accounting.
Banks and banking -- Accounting.
Blacksmiths -- Accounting.
Brickmakers -- Accounting.
Butchers -- Accounting.
Coal trade -- Accounting.
Construction industry -- Accounting.
Distilleries -- Accounting.
Dye industry -- Accounting.
Egg trade -- Accounting.
Fertilizer industry -- Accounting.
Fish trade -- Accounting.
General stores -- Accounting.
Grain -- Milling.
Insurance companies -- Accounting.
Iron foundries -- Accounting.
Lumber trade -- Accounting.
Metal trade -- Accounting.
Millinery -- Accounting.
Peddlers and peddling -- Accounting.
Pharmacists -- Accounting.
Practice of law -- Accounting.
Real estate business -- Accounting.
Ship chandlers -- Accounting.
Shoemakers -- Accounting.
Small business -- Accounting.
Small business -- Atlantic States.
Small business -- New England.
Taverns (Inns) -- Accounting.

Genres and Forms

Account books.
Ledgers (account books)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. Collection of Small Business Ledgers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Acquired from Dun and Bradstreet, Inc. in 1955, plus purchases of similiar materials, to 1970.

Table of Contents

Ledgers and account books