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Texas. Dallas, 1917. Business section


Researching older companies can often take a lot of creativity. The answers to the initial questions like Where was the company located and what did the company do? can be found in directories. Most researchers seeking information about early or obsolete U.S. companies are well served by consulting the older volumes of the directories listed below as well as the titles in the Obsolete Securities section of this guide.

Guide to Business History Resources

Table of Contents

General Works
Obsolete Securities
Internet Resources
Master Company List
LC Subject Headings

Caption: Left:
Texas. Dallas, 1917. Business section.
Forms part of: Miscellaneous Items in High Demand Collection
U.S. GEOG FILE - Texas--Dallas
Library of Congress
Prints and Photographs Division
Reproduction Number: LC-USZ62-69194

Some directories focus on an industry some on a place, just keep in mind that depending on the time frame these can be limited. Most industries have directories or related material like Credit Reference titles that can be helpful. To locate them find the subject heading(s) for the industry and add the subject subdivision DIRECTORIES to your search. Examples are: Apparel trades book and Lyon Red Book, a directory of furniture industry and trade.

Geographic directories can be found by searching the online catalog for the place name and adding the DIRECTORIES subdivision. The Library of Congress also has a large collection of uncataloged directories that are indexed:
Reverse Directories in the Library of Congress
U.S. City Directories on Microfilm

The U.S. and foreign telephone books that are in the Library's collections can be requested by place name. You might have to consult them when researching private companies as the directories listed below deal with publicly trade companies in most cases. Another source of information for private companies is local nespapers and trade literature. Newspapers would include stories on, or mentions of, the business but there are also advertisements which can also be very informative. Please see historical newspaper sources listed in the Databases section.

Annual guide to stocks: Directory of active stocks. Jersey City, NJ : Financial Information Inc. [1997? - ]
LC Call Number: HG4512.R4
LC Catalog Record: 97644571

Formerly a section of the Financial stock guide service, this title provides information, as available, on outstanding foreign and domestic listed and unlisted stocks, including the place of incorporation, par value, CUSIP number, transfer agent, transfer charge, dividend disbursing agent, recent changes in capital structure and recent dividend information. Information regarding corporations which are no longer in existence is cumulated annually in the Directory of obsolete securities: annual guide to stocks, also published by Financial Information, Inc.

The Dun & Bradstreet reference book of American business. Murray Hill, N.J. : Dun & Bradstreet, Inc. Bimonthly.
LC Call Number: HF5573.D7
LC Catalog Record: 91649890
Pre-1966 editions are folios and are stored offsite at Ft. Meade.

Began publication in 1859 under the title Reference Book. The Library's holdings begin with the 1864-65 edition. This multi-volume work is arranged by state and community within the state. It provides an alphabetical listing of establishments doing credit based business. The applicable SIC code, telephone number, year established and Dun's credit rating are listed.

Mergent's manuals. (formerly Moody's Manuals) New York. Mergent, Inc.

Moody's manuals, (now published as the Mergent Manuals, following the acquisition of Moody's by Mergent in 1998), are standard reference sources covering the last century. The manuals provide information on company history, mergers and acquisitions, subsidiaries, principle plants and properties, as well as basic financial data. Only the most recent volumes of the Mergent Manuals are kept on reference in the Business Reading Room. Mergent Archives database offers full collection of digitized Manuals going back to 1909. Data from recent volumes are also available through the Mergent Online database. Both of these databases are by Mergent, Inc. and are available by subscription only. Researchers onsite may use them in the Business Reading Room. Onsite researchers may also request non-current print volumes from the Library's stacks or microfiche copies in the Microform & Electronic Resources Center (MERC). For information on earlier titles published by Moody, see the online catalog. The series currently includes the following titles. The dates listed are the beginning dates for the current titles.

Bank and Finance Manual. 1955 --
LC Call Number: HG4961.M65 Bus Ref (latest edition only)
Microfiche: (o) 86/4 Request in Microform & Electronic Resources Center
LC Catalog Record: 56014722
Industrial Manual. 1954 --
LC Call Number: HG4961.M67 Bus RR (latest edition only)
LC Catalog Record: 86090729 (print edition)
Microfiche: (o) 86/4 Request in MERC
LC Catalog Record: sf 86090729 (microfiche edition)
International Manual. 1981 --
LC Call Number: HG4009.M66 BusRR (latest edition only)
LC Catalog Record: 82641212 (print edition)
Microfiche: (o) 86/4 Request in MERC
LC Catalog Record: sf 86090741 (microfiche edition)
OTC Industrial Manual. 1970 --
LC Call Number: HG4961.M7237 BusRR (latest edition only)
LC Catalog Record: 77649772 (print edition)
Microfiche (o) 86/4 Request in MERC
LC Catalog Record: sf 86090740 (microfiche edition)
Public Utility Manual. 1954 --
LC Call Number: HG4961.M7245 BusRR (latest edition only)
LC Catalog Record: 56003927 (print edition)
Microfiche: (o) 86/4 Request in MERC
LC Catalog Record: sf 86090739 (microfiche edition)
Transportation Manual. 1954 --
LC Call Number: HG4971.M74 BusRR (latest edition only)
LC Catalog Record: 57015176 (print edition)
Microfiche: (o) 86/4 Request in MERC
LC Catalog Record: sf 86090723 (microfiche edition)
OTC Unlisted Manual. 1986 --
LC Call Number: HG4907.M68 BusRR (latest edition only)
LC Catalog Record: 87641174

The National stock summary. New York, N.Y. : National Quotation Bureau. Semiannual. 1994-2004.
LC Call Number: HG4907.N34
LC Catalog Record: 95657025

Lists mergers, acquisitions and detailed stock transaction summaries. Includes foreign securities sold in the United States. Continued by OTC Semi-annual Stock Summary.

OTC semi-annual stock summary. New York, NY : Pink Sheets LLC, c2004- July 1, 2004-
LC Call Number: HG4907 .N34
LC Catalog Record: 2004255409

Continues The National Stock Summary.

Poor's manual of railroads. New York, H.V. & H.W. Poor; [etc., etc.] 1868-c1924.
LC Call Number: HE2721 .P8
Microfilm 85185 HE Request in MERC
LC Catalog Record: 01024959
Digitized volumes available from Hathi Trust Digital Library External Link

Provides information on all railroads of the United States including line of road, financial operations, stock of equipment, cost of road, executives, and principal office address.

Poor's ... 1925-41. New York, Poor's publishing company [etc.] 1925-41.
LC Call Number: HG4905 .P5
LC Catalog Record: 26017623

Continuation of Poor's Manual of Railroads.

Poor's industrial companies. Advance sheets.
LC Call Number: HG4905.P514
LC Catalog Record: sv92082908

Poor's daily reports. Wellesley, Mass., Poor's publishing company [193- ]
LC Call Number: HG4905 .P518
LC Catalog Record: unk82085318

Standard & Poor's register of corporations, directors and executives. Standard and Poor's Corporation. New York, Standard & Poor's Corp. 1973-2016
LC Call Number: HG4057 .A4
LC Catalog Record: 76642986

A three-volume set, updated annually, listing over 55,000 public and private companies located primarily in the United States. Listings provide addresses, names of officers, directors, the corporate accounting firm, the primary bank, and legal representative It identifies the exchange in which company stock is traded (if a public company), and the SIC code. It provides annual sales figures and the number of employees.

Thomas register of American manufacturers and Thomas register catalog file. [1st] ed. New York: Thomas Pub. Co., [1906-2006]
LC Call Number: T12.T6
LC Catalog Record: 06043937 (1905/06-2003 eds)
LC Catalog Record: 2004238527 (2004-2006 eds.)
LC Catalog Record: 2011210619 (Microfilm 1905-2006)

Title varies slightly. This basic source for identification of U.S manufacturers is arranged by product in a large (folio) sized multi-volume set, including the Thomas Register Catalog File. The products range from abacuses to yardsticks with thousands of household and industrial items in between. The print edition ceased in 2006 and is currently continued as an online database External Link freely available on the internet with an option of free registration to use advanced features. Also available in microfilm (1905-2006) in the Technical Reports and Standards Section of the Science, Technology & Business Division. See reference librarian for assistance.

Last Updated: 06/30/2017

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  June 30, 2017
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