DATE: ca. 1808 - 1945
SCOPE: The collection documents the printing history of St. Louis, from its beginnings in 1808, to the end of World War II in 1945. Formats include books, broadsides, pamphlets, serials, prints and maps. The collection covers the widest array of topics, from history and law, to art and literature, and includes important first printings, such as the first book printed in English west of the Mississippi, The Laws of the Louisiana Territory (1808), and long runs of rare periodicals and newspapers for this region.
EXTENT: Approximately 8000 printed pieces, including single issues of newspaper files and other serial publications.
HISTORY & PROVENANCE: This collection was assembled from the wealth of local printed material in the stacks and rare book vault of the Mercantile Library, and created as a springboard and a collection of record, especially, for an anticipated imprint bibliography for the city of St. Louis, an important nineteenth-century Midwestern printing center.
ACCESS: This collection is available for on-site use only in the Rare Book and Manuscripts Reading Room. Some of the material in Special Collection M-113 may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition. For collections marked limited access, researchers are advised to contact the library at least three business days in advance of their visit to submit a request to view the physical material.
A portion of the collection has been added to the OCLC database (search).
Researchers are advised to call ahead concerning changes in hours due to University intersessions and holidays. The St. Louis Mercantile Library is located on levels one and two of the Thomas Jefferson Library building.
In observance of security procedures, certain services may not be available shortly before the daily closing time.
Preferred Citation: When citing the material from this collection, the preferred citation is: From the Special Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri – St. Louis.