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Accountant's Office


This is a guide to assist those studying the history and development of the accounting profession and practice. While it is focused on the Library’s collection of print materials with some information about useful databases to which the Library subscribes, much of the information may also be of interest to others studying in this field who are not at the Library of Congress.

The History of Accounting

March 2015

Table of Contents

Manuals, Handbooks, & Encyclopedia
Periodicals & Other Serials
The People & Firms
Accounting Hall of Fame
LC Catalog Searches


Image (left): Accountant's Office
[between 1910 and 1920]
National Photo Company Collection
Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

The goal of this guide was not to be exhaustive while still being as comprehensive as possible. It focuses on the practices and history of accounting in the United States. However, some materials, particularly very early works, were chosen because of their impact on accounting in the world as well as to illustrate how practices in the United States developed. Some titles were chosen for their historical overview while others were chosen to provide a window into a particular period of time. While there was an effort to include materials over a large span of time, it was not possible to include everything. In many cases what is included may be information on a re-issued title of popular or seminal works. For those titles that had many editions, information about later editions was included when possible for those that are interested in tracking changes in practice by looking at the changes of a particular title.

This guide can be used to trace changes in practices and standards by looking at many of the titles included, but for those interested in more modern practices and standards, please see a related guide on Accounting & Auditing.

Ellen Terrell
Business Reference Specialist, Editor
Maria Moreno Santos
Montgomery College Paul Peck Humanities Intern, 2014

Last updated: 03/11/2015

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  March 11, 2015
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