HISTORY: This collection was assembled from the wealth of local printed material in the stacks and rare book vault of the Mercantile Library, and created as a springboard and a collection of record, especially, for an anticipated imprint bibliography for the city of St. Louis, an important nineteenth-century Midwestern printing center.
SCOPE: The collection documents the printing history of St. Louis, from its beginnings in 1808, to the end of World War II in 1945. Formats include books, broadsides, pamphlets, serials, prints and maps. The collection covers the widest array of topics, from history and law, to art and literature, and includes important first printings, such as the first book printed in English west of the Mississippi, The Laws of the Louisiana Territory (1808), and long runs of rare periodicals and newspapers for this region.
Approximately 8000 printed pieces, including single issues of newspaper files and other serial publications.
Special Collection M-113 is catalogued and accessible through a card catalog and a special card file. A portion of the collection has been added to the OCLC database (search). Portions of the material may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition.