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Events and Exhibitions



April 27, 2018 Celebration of Gutenberg Acquisition

Join us for a special reception at the St. Louis Mercantile Library on Friday April 27 from 6-8pm as we celebrate the acquisition of two leaves from the Gutenberg Bible.  View these for the first time along with other Gutenberg leaves from other great rare book libraries in St. Louis.  RSVP by phone to 314-516-7248 or email 



Give STL Day

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 research, 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. 




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

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.