DATE: ca. 1760 - 1979, wtih predominate representation being of the nineteenth century
SCOPE: The collection visually documents the history of St. Louis though various printed media--photographs, lithographs, engravings, illustrated newspaper tear sheets from Leslie's and Harper's, maps, postcards, advertisements, broadsides, and posters, as well as some original drawings.
The physical collection is made up of six series, divided according to medium and then arranged chronologically within the series. Materials added after initial sorting are out of sequence. The series are as follows:
Series 1 Publications
Consists largely of tear sheets from nineteenth century illustrated newspapers such as Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper and Harper's Weekly, and a small number of other published images of St. Louis. The illustrated newspapers date from 1853-1891. The published engravings date from as early as 1840. Views of St. Louis in the early and mid twentieth century are included from other published sources.
Series 2 Photographs and Prints
A small series of photographs and original engravings and etchings, depict St. Louis and rural Missouri between the 1850s and the 1930s.
Series 3 Postcards
Contains a small number of postcards and postcard folders from the first half of the twentieth century.
Series 4 Edward Thias Drawings
Consists of a small collection of pencil drawings of St. Louis landmarks by Edward Thias completed in the 1980s.
Series 5 Advertising
Contains published advertising for St. Louis businesses and products as well as labels from products made by St. Louis businesses. The dates on the publications and products range from 1890-1915.
Series 6 Broadsides & Posters
Comprised of printed material announcing lectures, exhibits, house tours, and exhibitions in St. Louis in the 1980s and 1990s.
EXTENT: 7 boxes of materials.
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-171 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.
Copies of the finding aid for the physical collection are available for download
M-171 St. Louis Images Collection (.rtf)
M-171 St. Louis Images Collection (.pdf)
In 2004-2005 this collection was digitized through a collaboration with Missouri Digital Heritage Initiative
(formerly Virtually Missouri).
Search the database and on-line images of the
St. Louis Images Digital Collection.
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.