St. Louis Mercantile Library | UMSL

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Please note: during the week of May 16-May 20, reference appointments will be limited to Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday so the Mercantile staff and reference team can focus on a high-priority Digital Archives Project. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your understanding.
The Mercantile Library level 2 atrium is closed off while workers replace the glass skylight. Please note that docent-led tours are not being scheduled at this time. Your patience is appreciated during this period of construction.

Effective February 28, 2022 - Face masks are no longer required on the UMSL campus, including the Mercantile Library and Thomas Jefferson Library, as outlined by the University of Missouri System. However, in keeping with CDC recommendations, UMSL officials strongly recommend that all individuals wear a face mask while occupying indoor campus spaces – especially when social distancing is not possible – regardless of vaccination status.

See additional information regarding the Coronavirus Response and Updated Policies at UMSL: UMSL Coronavirus Updates

About the Library:

Established in 1846 by civic leaders and philanthropists, the Mercantile exists today as a vibrant community and cultural asset. It is the oldest library west of the Mississippi and the grandparent of St. Louis cultural institutions.

The task of the Mercantile Library as a research library is to make its collections, which have come to concentrate on Western Expansion and the history, development, and growth of the St. Louis region and of the American rail and river transportation experiences, available to the widest number of local and national users.

View the latest edition of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Newsletter here! 

Library Tours are unavailable at this time.

For more information, please call 314-516-7248 or email


For Research Inquiries:


Mercantile Library Research Request Form

Phone: 314-516-7240

The UMSL Digital Library

The UMSL Library Catalog, which includes items from the Mercantile and its collection.

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