This article focuses on the recent developments in business history as an academic discipline. Recently, the strategies used by commissioned, academic researchers are to make corporate history an institutional form of knowledge production. Corporate history is the more narrowed, often commissioned, brand of business history. Whereas in the past the commissioned activities of the business historians were looked down upon, with the increasing pressure towards valorization of knowledge, their work is connected with the importance of contract research from within the university. In this paper we use the actor network approach to show how the book - the most important output of the business historian - plays a role in the recognition of business history as a academic discipline.Throughout the article, the business history of the Royal Dutch Shell is used as an illustration.© The Author(s), 2011.