Business catalogs (also called trade catalogs) are a good place to search for information about specific products for sale by a company at a particular time. Some catalogs also include information about the company's history and images of its buildings. The Missouri History Museum's library has over 3,300 trade catalogs.
Prior to 2004, the only way to search for business catalogs was in an old-style card catalog. As of 2012, all of these business catalogs are listed in the Online Library Catalog.
To do a broad search on a specific company (which would include any company histories, employee newsletters, etc., that we may have, as well as trade catalogs), type the company name in the Online Library Catalog.
You can also search for types of products such as stoves, toys, or hardware in the Online Library Catalog.
If you do not have a particular company in mind, but want to browse the trade catalogs collection, click here.
Starting in 1996, donor Tom Weil, a fourth-generation St. Louisan, established a fund in memory of his late father, a longtime local businessman, to purchase materials for the Paul Kalter Weil Business and Trade Catalogs Collection. Most of these are trade catalogs, but the fund also purchases other regional business-related library materials. As of 2013, the Library had acquired over 800 items, 700 of which are trade catalogs, through this fund.
Click here to browse items purchased with this fund.
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