DATE: 1846 - present
CREATOR: Saint Louis Mercantile Library
SCOPE: The Archives includes historical records of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association, and of its subsequent history as an affiliated institution with the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Included are accession records, which run from 1846-1950; selected early circulation records and membership roles, letters, minutes and financial records, 1846-present.
EXTENT: Approximately 600 linear feet of papers, ledgers, and printed materials currently in 26 departmental or other record groups.
HISTORY: Founded in 1846, and chartered by the State of Missouri in that year, the St. Louis Mercantile Library is the oldest general library in continuous existence West of the Mississippi River. In 1986 the records of the institution were recognized to be of such deep cultural significance that the institution received a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to inventory and establish a modern archival arrangement for them, in order to facilitate researchers concerned with a wide array of topics. Materials continue to be added and retained in this functioning archive.
A Mercantile Library Timeline
Images of the Mercantile Through Time
Annual Reports of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association
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-100 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 finding aid to this collection is available for download:
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.