Skip to main content

Events and Exhibitions

Bixby Valentine's Day Dinner

February 16, 2018 Valentines and Funnies: The Newspaper's Love Affair with St. Valentine

Join us on Friday February 16th from 6-9pm at the St. Louis Mercantile Library when Executive Director John N. Hoover will present "Valentines and Funnies: The Newspaper's Love Affair with St. Valentine", in conjunction with the Headlines of History special exhibition, with special guest Dan Martin, "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" Weatherbird Artist. Tickets are $35 each or two for $65, and include a delicious Valentine's Day dinner. Don't miss this great opportunity to meet the Panelists of the National Newspaper Symposium, "From Franklin to Pulitzer: Pioneer Newspapers and News Pioneers", presented at the Mercantile the following Saturday. Please RSVP to Amanda Schneider at 314-516-7248 or



Headlines of History

February 17, 2018 "From Franklin to Pulitzer: Pioneer Newspapers and News Pioneers" National Newspaper Symposium

Join us on Saturday February 17 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the St. Louis Mercantile Library, for an all day conference of Newspaper history with national authorities, in conjunction with the special exhibition "Headlines of History." Presenters include Dr. Priscilla Dowden-White, UMSL Associate Professor of History; UMSL Founders Professor Dr. Steven Rowan; Winthrop University Professor of Mass Communication Dr. Guy Reel; Hugh Reilly, Director of the School of Communication at the University of Nebraska-Omaha; Vincent Golden, Curator of Newspapers and Periodicals at the American Antiquarian Society; Anne Juneau Craver, JD, PhD, Historian; and Keynote speaker James McGrath Morris, author of New York Times best seller Eye on the Struggle: Ethel Payne, The First Lady of the Black Press. Tickets are $95 and include lunch. Seating is limited. Please RSVP to Amanda Schneider at 314-516-7248 or



Headlines of History

March 22, 2018 New Mercantile Member Reception

Are you a new member of the Library?  Join us on March 22nd from 4-6pm for refreshments and a formal introduction and tour of the Mercantile collections! Please RSVP to Amanda Schneider at 314-516-7248 or



Headlines of History

April 6, 2018 An Evening of Celebration and Thanks

Join us on Friday April 6th from 6-9pm for An Evening of Celebration and Thanks, when we will recognize our generous donors and friends of the Library who have made a promised gift to the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum, including most recently The Light that Makes the Heart Glad by Frederick Oakes Sylvester.  This acquisition is a watershed moment in our mission to preserve regional art at the Mercantile Library Art Museum, and the support of our generous donors reassures us of the broad community commitment to this important mission.  We look forward to welcoming you to a special exhibition to showcase this and other promised gifts to the Art Museum collection. Please RSVP to Amanda Schneider at 314-516-7248 or



Headlines of History

May 2, 2018 Give STL Day 

On Wednesday May 2nd the St. Louis Mercantile Library will once again be participating in Give STL Day, a 24-hour online giving event organized by the St. Louis Community Foundation to rally financial support for deserving non-profit organizations in the region.  A donation at any level will help to maintain the Library's famed collections and aid in our staff's reseach, teaching, and curatorial services as we all protect and preserve the great St. Louis cultural asset that is the Mercantile.  We hope that you will help us celebrate Give STL Day by visiting on May 2nd between 12:00am and 11:59pm, to show your support for the Mercantile Library.  Thank you always for your generosity. 



Headlines of History

May 4-6, 2018  St. Louis Fine Print, Rare Book & Paper Arts Fair 

The St. Louis Fine Print, Rare Book & Paper Arts Fair brings together thirty local and national fine print and rare book dealers to present a broad array of exceptional materials appealing to collectors at all levels of experience. From finely illustrated books to prints by Audubon, WPA artists and Old Masters, original watercolors and historic photographs, the thousands of treasures available to view and purchase include something for every taste and budget. The Fair is presented annually the first weekend in May to benefit the Mercantile Library's collection and conservation funds.  Visit for more information.  




Headlines of History: Historic Newspapers of St. Louis and the World Through the Centuries at the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association 

On Level One through 2019

This is the third in a planned tetralogy of exhibitions building to the 175th anniversary of the St. Louis Mercantile Library, and marks the growth and special nature of the collections of the Mercantile by focusing on one of the most used and important holdings at this research center, its newspapers.  This important exhibition features such items as the first known issue of the Missouri Gazette, the oldest newspaper printed west of the Mississippi; and an issue of the Pennsylvania Ledger from July 13, 1776 marking the first printing of the Declaration of Independence in a newspaper.   Future programming will include a Family Day and Director’s and Curators’ Colloquia.

100 Million Buttons

Missouri History in Bronze: The Sculpture of R.H. Dick

In the Level Two Entrance Gallery

It is a special honor for the St. Louis Mercantile Library to present the work of a fine narrative artist, one whose uncompromised vision has been a pleasure for us to celebrate, to collect, and to pass down to future generations.  Working in the tradition of many iconic American sculptors, R.H. Dick has created a series of bronze sculptures that commemorate significant individuals in Missouri's frontier history, such as Jesse James, Wild Bill Hickok, Sacajawea, Daniel Boone, and Black Hawk. These and other subjects whose stories are revealed in this series document the role that Missouri played in our nation's westward expansion. Works such as these that unfold and enrich the stories of our state's history are, indeed, a gift to the citizens of Missouri.    

100 Million Buttons

100 Million Buttons Can't Be Wrong

In the Shopmaker American Political Collection Gallery 

The Shopmaker Political Collection contains over five thousand items used by candidates in the election process.  Although the collection includes some materials from state and local elections, the vast majority of the collection relates to presidential campaigns.  Similarly, while the collection include bumper stickers, posters, hats, cigars, paper dolls, coffee mugs, and so much more, by far the largest number of objects are buttons.  This exhibition draws its inspiration and its name from the button Wendell Willkie made famous in his 1940 bid for president, “100 million buttons can’t be wrong” and explores the fascinating history of the ubiquitous campaign button.  This focused exhibition examines the range of sizes, the degree of seriousness, and the use of text and images that have been used over the years.    

Lincoln Exhibition

Lincoln: The Changing Face of an American President

In the Shopmaker Political Print Gallery

The changes in Lincoln’s appearance that were manifested over the period of his presidency reflect the rigors of the Civil War and the personal tragedies he suffered with the death of his son, Tad.  This exhibition traces these changes through a selection of images of Lincoln across several media, including prints, photographs, sculpture and textiles.  The portraits tell the story of Lincoln’s rise from young circuit lawyer to inspiring president to icon of American democracy.