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Mercantile Library Special Collections
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In 2004-2005 this collection was digitized
through a collaboration with Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative
(formerly Virtually Missouri).
Search the database and on-line images of the
St. Louis Images Digital Collection.
HISTORY: This collection was assembled from materials accumulated by the Mercantile Library throughout its long history.
SCOPE: The collection visually documents the history of St. Louis though various printed media--photographs, lithographs, engravings, illustrated newspaper tear sheets from Leslie's and Harper's, maps, postcards, advertisements, broadsides, and posters, as well as some original drawings. The materials provide images of St. Louis from the 1760s to the 1970s, however the largest amount of material in the collection dates from the nineteenth century.
The physical collection is made up of six series, divided according to medium and then arranged chronologically within the series. Materials added after initial sorting are out of sequence. The series are as follows:
Series 1 Publications
Consists largely of tear sheets from nineteenth century illustrated newspapers such as Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper and Harper's Weekly, and a small number of other published images of St. Louis. The illustrated newspapers date from 1853-1891. The published engravings date from as early as 1840. Views of St. Louis in the early and mid twentieth century are included from other published sources.
Series 2 Photographs and Prints
A small series of photographs and original engravings and etchings, depict St. Louis and rural Missouri between the 1850s and the 1930s.
Series 3 Postcards
Contains a small number of postcards and postcard folders from the first half of the twentieth century.
Series 4 Edward Thias Drawings
Consists of a small collection of pencil drawings of St. Louis landmarks by Edward Thias completed in the 1980s.
Series 5 Advertising
Contains published advertising for St. Louis businesses and products as well as labels from products made by St. Louis businesses. The dates on the publications and products range from 1890-1915.
Series 6 Broadsides & Posters
Comprised of printed material announcing lectures, exhibits, house tours, and exhibitions in St. Louis in the 1980s and 1990s.
HOLDINGS: 7 boxes of materials.
ACCESS: Some of the material in Special Collection M-171 may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition.
Copies of the finding aid for the physical collection are available for download