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John Neal Hoover, the Executive Director of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association, has worked at the Mercantile since 1983. He has directed the institution for over twenty years. In celebration of his distinguished career with the Library, The John Neal Hoover Endowed Mercantile Library Executive Directorship was established to support the position of the Library’s Executive Director, the key staff position at the library for 170 years and the oldest executive position at any cultural institution in St. Louis. John has been a member of the History faculty at UM-St. Louis, and has taught classes in early American topical readings and seminars, and museum and historical society methods of curatorship.
He holds advanced degrees from the University of Missouri—Columbia, and Southern Illinois University, and his alma mater is Northwestern University. He is the author of articles on regional cultural studies as well as other publications, including Cultural Cornerstone; the Earliest Catalogues of the St. Louis Mercantile Library; St. Louis and the Art of the Frontier; and Adventures and Sufferings; the Indian Captivity Narrative through the Centuries. He is engaged in curating a series of major exhibitions at the Mercantile, forming a collecting history of the organization, and has written to date, Mapping St. Louis History, Commemorating the 250th Anniversary of the Founding of St. Louis; and Audubon and Beyond: Five Centuries of Natural History at the Mercantile Library.
He is a former President of the Bibliographical Society of America and is a member of the American Antiquarian Society, and he has sat on the Council of the Missouri Center for the Book and is an accomplished speaker.