St. Louis Mercantile Library | UMSL

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The UMSL Thomas Jefferson Library Building and St. Louis Mercantile Library are open.

In order to help protect patrons and staff, The Thomas Jefferson Library Building, along with the rest of the buildings at UMSL are operating under an occupancy restriction of 25% of each building's capacity. Face mask use and maintaining a physical distance of 6 feet between individuals is also required inside the building. The St. Louis Mercantile Library and the UMSL library staff encourage our patrons to utilize our interlibrary loan, distance reference services via phone and email and Digital Library services when requesting material for use.

Information Regarding the Coronavirus Response at UMSL: UMSL Coronavirus Updates

Community Updates are posted on the right hand side of the page. Please check for updates.

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.

View the latest edition of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Newsletter here!



Exhibition catalogues are available for purchase in the Gift Shop 
for a limited time offer. Get yours now before they are gone!

Library Tours:

To help insure the safety of our docents, patrons and staff during the pandemic, we are limiting group tours to four people-per-group. To schedule a tour, please call 314-516-7248 or email


For Research Inquiries:


Mercantile Library Research Request Form

Phone: 314-516-7240

The UMSL Digital Library

The UMSL Library Catalog, which includes items from the Mercantile and its collection.