Business instruments collection, 1600-1969

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Content Notes

The collection contains a wide variety of business instruments such as accounts receivable, bills, checks, notes, stock certificates, warranties, and samples of business letterhead. The documents date from the seventeenth century to the twentieth century. The business instruments are variously arranged by form, by business type, and by date.

Biographical Notes

Business instruments are written statements of fact that have sufficient authority to serve as evidence or proof in legal proceedings. At a minimum, business instruments provide evidence of specific transactions, obligations, or intentions that comprise commercial activity. The form and function of these documents evolved with changes in business law and information technology, but many of the more common types have their roots deep in European commercial traditions.