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Lippincott Library collection of corporate annual reports

Print Collection 38

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Wharton School. Lippincott Library.
Lippincott Library collection of corporate annual reports
Date [bulk]:
Date [inclusive]:
Call Number:
Print Collection 38
4.2 linear feet (5 boxes)
The Lippincott Library supports business related research at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Corporate annual reports were originally collected by the library as a resource for business students. These reports typically provide financial information and updates on operations. The collection includes reports of companies from a variety of industries including agriculture, energy, food, and transportation.
Cite as:
Lippincott Library collection of corporate annual reports, 1847-1981 (bulk: 1927-1978), Print Coll. 38, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Lippincott Library supports business related research and study at the Wharton School, the business school of the University of Pennsylvania. From the 1920s to the 1950s, the Lippincott Library collected corporate annual reports as a resource for Wharton students.

Filing annual reports has been a requirement for publicly held companies since the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Legislation has changed since the initial Act, and businesses are still required to file financial information with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), but many companies choose to produce larger annual reports that not only meet the legal requirements, but can simultaneously be deployed as marketing tools. Annual reports frequently include a “Letter to Shareholders” in which the company president, chairman of the board of directors, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), or Chief Operating Officer (COO) reflects on company’s operations through the past year. Beyond providing financial information and growth statements, many annual reports include sections highlighting new initiatives or significant achievements and events. Some companies include sections on departmental operations or spotlight the work of specific departments or divisions within the company. With upbeat language and purposeful design, annual reports intend to project a corporate message – generally one of profitability and growth.

Scope and Contents

The Lippincott Library collection of corporate annual reports consists of annual reports collected by the Lippincott Library as a resource for business students. The collection includes the reports of companies from a variety of industries including agriculture, energy, food, and transportation. These reports provide the financial information for represented years, but in many cases they also offer a view of the corporate values and mission during that time period.

The annual reports in this collection typically include a letter from the president or Chief Executive Officer (CEO); a list of directors, board members, and officers; a report from auditors/accountants; a summary of operations; and a consolidated balance sheet. Other financial information, manager reports, and highlights, as well as reports from subsidiary companies are also frequently included.

Reports in this collection date from 1847 to 1981, but the companies vary greatly in how many years are represented and in the completion of the run. For some companies, large date ranges with few or no gaps are available, while for others only specific years, but over a larger range are available. Dates for each company reflect holdings in the collection and researchers should consider one year to represent one report except in cases where dates are separated by a slash (ex: the NBC report for 1947/1948).

When companies have changed names, the name of the company at the time of the last report in the collection is what appears first in the folder title, with other names listed in a “previously” note in parenthesis.

This finding aid describes currently available corporate annual reports. In future, additional reports from the Lippincott Library collection will be made available via this finding aid.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2017 June 5

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Rayna Andrews

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

In 1975, the Hagley Museum and Library became a national hub for corporate annual reports.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Gulf States Utilities Company.
  • Halle Bros. Co.
  • Hershey Foods Corporation.
  • Hess Oil & Chemical Corporation.
  • Magma Copper Company.
  • National Food Products Corporation.
  • Annual reports
  • Business
  • Industries

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Bangor and Aroostook Railroad Company, 1924-1925, 1927-1934.

1 1

Del Monte Corporation (previously California Packing Corporation (Calpak)), 1952, 1957, 1959, 1961, 1963, 1965, 1967-1976, 1978.

1 2-3

General Electric, 1950.

1 4

General Mills, Inc., 1933.

1 5

General Motors Corporation, 1929-1942.

4 17-20

General Motors Corporation (annual report to employees), 1940-1945, 1947-1948.

1 6

General Public Utilities Corporation, 1960-1962, 1965.

1 7

General Refractories Company, 1950.

1 8

Glen Alden Coal Company, 1933-1936, 1938-1950.

1 9

Great Northern Railway Company, 1918.

1 10

Grinnell Corporation, 1961-1968.

1 11

Grocery Store Products Co., 1965-1969.

1 12

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, 1948-1953, 1955-1968, 1970-1972, 1976, 1978.

1 13-14

Gulf States Utilities Company, 1948-1957, 1959-1972, 1974-1978.

1 15-17

H. L. Green Company, Inc., 1941-1948, 1959.

1 18

The Halle Bros. Co., 1941-1967, 1969-1970.

1 19-20

Harper & Row, Publishers, Incorporated, 1962-1978.

2 1-2

Hartford Fire Insurance Company and Subsidiary Companies, 1955-1969.

2 3-6

Hat Corporation of America, 1941-1942, 1944-1950.

2 7

Helme Products, Inc. (previously George W. Helme Company), 1948-1974.

2 8-9

Hercules Incorporated, 1974-1976, 1978.

2 10

Hershey Foods Corporation (previously Hershey Chocolate Company, then Hershey Chocolate Corporation), 1925-1946, 1948-1955, 1957-1979.

2 11-13

Hess Oil & Chemical Corporation (previously Oliver Farm Equipment Company, then the Oliver Corporation, then Cletrac Corporation), 1930-1949, 1952-1956, 1958, 1960-1962, 1964-1968.

2 14-15

Heublein, Inc., 1965, 1967-1968, 1972-1974, 1976.

3 1

High Voltage Engineering Corporation, 1965, 1967-1978.

3 2-3

The Hill Corporation (previously Savage Arms Corporation), 1948-1962.

3 4-5

Hobart Manufacturing Company, 1960, 1962-1978.

3 6-7

Honda Motor Co., Ltd., 1965-1974, 1977, 1981.

3 8-9

Humble Oil & Refining Company, 1945, 1956, 1958.

3 10

Island Creek Coal Company, 1932-1933, 1936-1953.

3 11-12

Julius Kayser & Co., 1927-1946.

3 13

Lee Rubber & Tire Corporation, 1918, 1932-1954.

3 14-15

Magma Copper Company, 1930-1945, 1947-1968.

3 16-18

Martin Marietta Corporation, 1975.

3 19

Melville Shoe Corporation, 1962.

4 1

The Mengel Company, 1938-1955.

4 2-3

The National Broadcasting Corporation, 1929-1936, 1939-1961.

4 5-6

Pennsylvania Railroad Company, 1847-[1856].

4 21-22

Pennsylvania Railroad Company, 1897-1903.

5 1-2

Portland General Electric Company, 1938-1939, 1943, 1946.

4 7

Potash Company of America, [1939].

4 8

Puget Sound Power & Light Company, 1924.

4 9

Scovill Manufacturing Company, 1957.

4 10

South Carolina Electric & Gas Company (previously Broad River Power Company), 1928-1929, 1941-1943, 1946-1947, 1951, 1953, 1955-1956.

4 11-12

Standard Gas and Electric Company, 1938-1939.

4 13

United Carbon Company, 1931, 1946-1952.

4 14

United States Sugar Corporation, 1939-1948, 1950-1954.

4 15-16