St. Louis Mercantile Library

From Chouteau to Scharf

From Chouteau to Scharf

The Early Histories of St. Louis. An Exhibition in Honor of the 250th Anniversary of the Founding of St. Louis.

Now on Exhibition»

John W. Barriger National Railroad Library

John W. Barriger National Railroad Library

From the ACF Industries Archival Collection at the St. Louis Mercantile Library

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Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library

Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library

From the Ruth Ferris Collection at the St. Louis Mercantile Library

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St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum

St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum

Beatrice Cenci by Harriet Hosmer

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About the Library 

Established in 1846 by civic leaders and philanthropists, the Mercantile exists today as a vibrant community and cultural asset. It is the oldest library west of the Mississippi and the grandparent of St. Louis cultural institutions.

The task of the Mercantile Library as a research library is to make its collections, which have come to concentrate on Western Expansion and the history, development, and growth of the St. Louis region and of the American rail and river transportation experiences, available to the widest number of local and national users.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more, call 314-516-7240.

Tours of the Mercantile Library

Free public tours are available on Sundays from 2pm to 3pm during the summer. Group tours can also be arranged for other times. Please call 314-516-7248 or email for details. The Thomas Jefferson Library building may be closed at certain times of the year.  Please check our hours page.