St. Louis Mercantile Library Special Collections

The special collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library consist of over 400 individual collections with archival materials numbering in the millions, including over 100 historic newspaper titles, presidential letters, early travel diaries and civil war era letters, fur trade records and the newspaper and printing morgue of the St. Louis Globe Democrat, some of which is available digitally. The M-Series of collections represents the core of the Mercantile's holdings. Finding aids and descriptions can be accessed from the library's website through the Mercantile Special Collections Directory.
St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri-St. Louis
M-378: Eugene A. Atwater St. Louis Tornado Photographs
This collection consists of four photographs which document the damage inflicted by the 1896 tornado which hit Saint Louis, Missouri on May 27, 1896. Although the date listed on each of the photographs is consistent with the date of the storm, the photographs may have been taken at a later date. Other photographs documenting the storm damage show a greater amount of debris than is visible in this collection. These photographs were taken by St. Louis photographer Eugene A. Atwater. Two of the photographs document the damage on Lafayette Avenue and Mississippi Avenue in what is today St. Louis’ Lafayette Square neighborhood.
M-169: The Emil Boehl Collection
Emil Boehl was a St. Louis photographer who primarily focused his camera on St. Louis streets, buildings, and locales. Born in Calvoerde, Germany, in 1839, Boehl immigrated to St. Louis in 1854. After serving in the Union Army during the Civil War, Boehl returned to St. Louis in 1864 and opened a photography studio with Lawrence Koenig that spring. With Koenig focusing on portraiture, Boehl became one of the most prolific St. Louis scenic photographers active in the latter half of the 19th Century. The Boehl/Koenig partnership lasted until 1897. Boehl retired from photography in 1919 and died later that year on the 12th of December. The Emil Boehl Collection consists of three series. The collection contains images dating from 1850 to ca. 1906. The collection’s archival materials include photographic prints and negatives. According to historians Peter E. Palmquist and Thomas R. Kailbourn, Boehl’s career was from 1864 to 1919, and he was known to sell prints of Thomas Easterly’s daguerreotypes. In light of those facts, some dates in the Boehl Collection may be labelled incorrectly and/or some images may not be Boehl’s.

Mercantile Library Collections Directory

Mercantile Special Collections Directory

Barriger Library Collections Directory

Barriger Special Collections Directory

Pott Library Collections Directory

Pott Special Collections Directory