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Date: June 10, 2011
Contact: Anne Strong
Telephone: (301) 279-9697

History Associates Announces Launch of New Virtual Exhibit Highlighting Self Regulation in the U.S. Securities Industry

History Associates Incorporated, the leading historical research firm, is pleased to announce the launch of The Institution of Experience: Self-Regulatory Organization in the Securities Industry, 1791-2010, a new permanent gallery for, the virtual museum and archive on the history of financial regulation.  This site is built and administered by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Historical Society.  History Associates serves as curator for the new gallery, which illuminates the 200-year evolution of self-regulatory organizations within the American securities industry.

“To understand the debates today on financial reform it is important to understand the role of self regulation in America’s financial history,” said Carla Rosati, executive director of the SEC Historical Society.  “The Institution of Experience offers an unprecedented and comprehensive look at two centuries of self regulation in the securities industry that will serve policy makers, scholars, financial industry professionals, and the general public.”

The Gallery opened December 1 on-line at, where it has been well received by early visitors.  “Durr and Colby have done an excellent job,” said Professor David A. Lipton, director of the Securities Law Program at Catholic University of America School of Law, adding “there are few individuals who have the scope of background and depth of understanding that would enable them to pull together a comparable history.”

The gallery highlights the development of self-regulation-from the early member-owned stock exchanges created in the wake of the first Wall Street crash in 1792, to the New Deal legislation that led to the creation of the SEC, to the rise of computer and Internet technology that effectively transformed the industry faster than government regulators could keep up.

Dr. Kenneth Durr and Robert Colby of History Associates created the new virtual gallery, beginning with background research and a series of oral history interviews with nearly a dozen key figures to develop the gallery’s overall themes.  Primary research to obtain documents, images, audio, and video artifacts for the virtual gallery was conducted in the museum collection at, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the archives of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, FINRA, and the New York Stock Exchange.

Dr. Durr is executive vice president of History Associates and author of a number of works of business, labor, and organizational history.  Since 2005 he has conducted over seventy oral history interviews for the virtual museum and archive at and was co-curator for 431 Days: Joseph P. Kennedy and the Creation of the SEC Gallery, which opened in 2005.  Research historian Robert Colby has prior experience in historical research for the financial services industry, including work with the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.

About the SEC Historical Society
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Historical Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing, preserving, and advancing the knowledge of the history of financial regulation.  It is independent of and separate from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and receives no funding from the public sector.  The society’s unique virtual museum and archive at provides firsthand information on the regulation of the capital markets in the United States and the world.  The museum is free and accessible worldwide at all times and welcomed more than 300,000 visitors in 2010, including law, accounting, auditing, and financial services practitioners; regulators from federal, state, municipal, and international agencies; academics; and the press.

About History Associates
For more than thirty years the historians and archivists at History Associates have demonstrated that history is valuable in the market as well as the marketplace of ideas. They provide professional corporate histories, exhibit content, interpretive planning, historical research, archival services, and collections management services to clients throughout the United States and around the world. History Associates strives to be The Best Company in History®, serving corporate, government, legal, and nonprofit clients from its headquarters in Rockville, Maryland. For more information, call (301) 279-9697 or visit

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