Since the revival of interest in the history of free banking begun by Hugh Rockoff's work in the 1970s on American "free banking" of the early 19th century and Larry White's 1984 book on the far freer Scottish system of the same period, economists have studied a number of other free banking episodes in some depth. New Zealand has not been among them, though it has received passing attention. We are fortunate, then, that Harry D. Bedford's 1916 dissertation "The History and Practice of Banking in New Zealand" is now available online. Until this year only paper copies were available at the University of Otago, where it was submitted for the doctorate, and a few other libraries in New Zealand. The university has digitized the dissertation and readers around the world can now find it here.The work was submitted for the higher doctoral degree Doctor of Letters at Otago in 1916. The Table of Contents reads:
Volume 1: Principles of English Banking current in the “Forties” – Commerce without Banks – Early Banking – Government Debentures as Currency in New Zealand – A State Bank of Issue – Several Banks – the Gold Discoveries – Years of Expanding Credit – Banks and CreditWho knew banking history was big back then?!
Volume 2: Movements towards Crisis – The Assets Realisation Board – The Colonial Bank – The National Bank – The Causes of the Crisis – Commercial Influences – Bank Notes – Exchange – The Government Account – Since 1895