Fall  2021                                            

News of the Mercantile Library

175 Years of Art at the Mercantile Library:
A Revised Second Edition of the Handbook to the Collection
 
In 2007 the Mercantile Library published 160 Years of Art at the St. Louis Mercantile Library: A Handbook to the Collections. Fifteen years later it is fitting that, as part of our 175th anniversary celebration, the Library likewise celebrates the growth and development of its fine art collection. 
This greatly enlarged edition was generously funded by a grant from the Henry Luce Foundation for both printing costs and digital photography of the collection. The grant also supported artwork conservation and new gallery lighting to assist in the preservation of the collection while on display. The new images will accompany the text from the original edition with an addition to the Preface by John Hoover and new pages at the end of each section highlighting works acquired since 2007. The process of reducing the list of acquisitions to a manageable number was agonizing, but it also revealed the ever-increasing strength of this collection and how it fulfills our mission to collect and preserve the works of Missouri artists. Thus, this edition of the handbook, however greatly enlarged, continues to serve as an overview of the collection and a record of its growth. It also reinforces the need for the parallel collection goal to significantly increase the art collection’s online presence by uploading the new digital images to the UMSL Digital Library, thereby making the artwork accessible to researchers and art lovers worldwide.

Attendees at the 175th Anniversary Society Dealers’ Showcase & Silent Auction on November 19 will be the first to see the new handbook, which is yet another reason not to miss this festive event that celebrates collecting and connoisseurship. More details are in the Showcase article in this newsletter and on the Library’s website, but invitations are coming soon, so watch your mailbox or email MercantileLibrary@umsl.edu to secure your tickets. Also watch your emails for details of an upcoming virtual book launch with curator Julie Dunn-Morton that will provide a deeper look at new acquisitions.


The Art Collection Keeps Growing
 
The new edition of the art handbook is needed precisely because, through the generosity of our donors and supporters, the art collection continues to grow. Several significant purchases and gifts have expanded the depth and breadth of the collection in fascinating ways.
Left: Roger Medearis (1908-2003), Hillside Farmer, Sketch Near Jefferson City Mo., 1950, oil on board. Library purchase. Right: Robert Tindall (1913-1983), Barge Worker, watercolor, 1939. Library purchase.
Roger Medearis and Robert Tindall were both students of Thomas Hart Benton, one of Missouri’s most famous artists. They both studied with Benton at the Kansas City Art Institute and were greatly influenced by his artistic techniques. In 1940, when Benton organized an exhibition in New York, Tindall and Medearis were the only students whose work was included in the show. Ten years later, Medearis was featured in the landmark exhibition American Painting Today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Tindall’s work was favored by President Harry Truman who hung several pieces in the White House during his tenure in office. Benton is quoted as saying that Robert Tindall took up where he left off. The acquisition of works by these two significant Missouri artists greatly enhances our ability to tell the story of the state’s art history. 
Left: Mark Horton (born 1953), Elevator on River with Barges, 2020, oil on panel
Right: Wallace Bassford (1900-1998), The New St. Louis – City of Progress – 1943, watercolor
Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum
Works by two other St. Louis artists – one historic and one contemporary – also joined the collection very recently by donation. Mark Horton’s subject matter celebrates the modern metropolis, especially scenes of St. Louis. His Elevator on River with Barges is an example of his approach to urban landscape painting, combining traditional mastery of the craft of painting with the loose brushwork and strong color sense of the Impressionists. His work continues the tradition of the 19th and 20th century painters who chose downtown as their subject, including Wallace Bassford. Although well known for portraits and illustrations, Bassford explored many subjects, and his watercolor of an idealized downtown and riverfront portrays St. Louis as a “City of Progress” – a common theme in politics of the time as the city and indeed the nation addressed economic concerns in the post-war period.

Frederick Oakes Sylvester (1869-1915), watercolors from The Great River: Poems and Pictures, 1911. Gift of Jane & David Pfeifer. Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum

The Mercantile has a large collection of paintings by Frederick Oakes Sylvester, including copies of his 1911 publication The Great River: Poems and Pictures. Sylvester designed every aspect of this masterful example of the Arts & Crafts tradition, from the tooled leather cover of the deluxe edition to the selection of paper and designing the font. Photographs of his paintings accompany his poems, and in the deluxe edition an original watercolor painting is tipped in facing the title page. The two copies of The Great River recently donated to the Mercantile include watercolors that show the range of compositions Sylvester used and his ability to convey a sense of monumentality even in a painting measuring only 4 inches high by 2 ½ inches wide. In contrast, the Library received another work that is also a watercolor of a river scene, but it measures 30 feet long.
Lewis Rubenstein (1908-2003); Mid-Hudson Bridge, Time Painting, 1989, watercolor on linen, and Airplane Catapult, watercolor, 1936. Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum
Lewis Rubenstein (1908-2003) earned a degree in fine art from Harvard University and studied Renaissance mural painting techniques in Italy, which led to his first art commissions for murals in Boston and Detroit. Over his long career he was an art educator at Vassar, and painted ship camouflage during World War II. Rubenstein found inspiration traveling across the United States spending time in mining communities, farming towns, and shipyards. Labor themes and a deep respect for the worker were frequent themes in his work, and several examples of Rubenstein’s work are included in the Feldacker Labor Art Collection. This year the artist’s family donated this work entitled Mid-Hudson Bridge painted in 1989. The painting is 24 inches high by 30 feet long, and it shows the river from the location of the bridge at the beginning of the scroll along the river bank and through the seasons. The work is meant to be viewed by turning the spindles on a viewer so the scenes pass before you like a panorama. The time painting format was Rubenstein’s unique invention of a way to convey the story of a place in one work of art. 
José Guadalupe Posada Aguilar (1852–1913), Spring: Modern Song Collection for 1895, engraving. Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum
The Mercantile’s print collection has also expanded significantly. José Guadalupe Posada Aguilar (1852–1913), an important Mexican printer, produced engravings and etchings for broadsides, weekly newspapers, and journals.  One example from the large collection purchased by the Mercantile is Spring: Modern Song Collection for 1895, published by Antonio Vanegas Arroyo in Mexico City. Posada’s images were often satirical and always showed his innate understanding of his people, as well as his uncommon ability to communicate that knowledge visually in the 15,000 different prints he is said to have created during his career. Posada is a pivotal figure in Mexico’s rich graphic arts tradition, considered by many to be his country’s greatest printmaker, and his work connects to the Mercantile’s fine art, newspaper, and political collections.
Leonard Baskin (1922-2000), Tobias and the Angel, 1958, wood engraving. 
Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum
While Posada’s work was new to the Library, we have a large collection of work by Leonard Baskin but were pleased to accept the donation of a Baskin work that is both a very early piece and on a very different subject. Baskin was an American sculptor and graphic artist whose artwork, including drawings and prints like this one, most often focused on the human figure. In 1942, inspired by the works of William Blake, Baskin learned printing and founded the Gehenna Press, one of America’s first fine art presses. Baskin’s Jewish heritage influenced his choice of subject matter which often featured religious, biblical, or mythological stories. Tobias and the Angel is a story from the book of Tobit involving the angel Raphael who guides the young man Tobias on his quest to find a cure for his father’s blindness. Baskin’s figures frequently represent human frailty and mortality, created with animated – even aggressive – stark black lines, as seen here. Visitors can see two of Baskin’s portraits of Native Americans from the Mercantile’s collection featured in the Pratt Gallery in the Americana exhibition.

The Artwork of Charles Deas on View and on Loan
 
The Mercantile’s 175th anniversary exhibition offers the opportunity to view a myriad of unique cultural treasures, including the Library’s entire collection of artwork by Charles Deas currently featured in the Meier Gallery in the exhibition “The Artistic Legacy of Charles Deas for St. Louis and the Nation”. While these works were all seen at the Deas retrospective exhibition in Denver in 2010, this is the first time they have been displayed together in the Mercantile. Deas’ artwork was among the first exhibited at the Mercantile at the time of its founding, and it is fitting to celebrate its anniversary with this exhibition of Deas’ paintings and illustration work. This is also the first opportunity to see the Library’s most recent acquisition, purchased through the generous donations of a broad range of our members and friends, one of Deas’ western landscape paintings. 
Charles Deas (1818-1867), Western Landscape with Waterfall and Figure, 1847, oil on paper or board. Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum
Charles Deas turned to art as his career after failing to gain an appointment to West Point. Inspired by George Catlin’s success with a gallery of portraits of Native Americans, Deas dedicated his life to depicting scenes of the American West. Although Deas is known for his portraiture, like the eight oil paintings held by the Mercantile, even in these works landscape played a key role in the composition. In Western Landscape with Waterfall and Figure, a small painting only 6 by 9 inches, Deas has managed to capture the monumentality of western canyons that dwarf the human figure down to little more than a few brushstrokes. This work expands the Library’s ability to more broadly display the depth and breadth of this important artist’s body of work and to make his skill and his role in American art even better known.  

Visitors to the exhibition between now and mid-January will notice one work is absent. The Mercantile Library has loaned one of its greatest treasures, Charles Deas’ 1840s painting Wa-kon-cha-hi-re-ga in a Bark Lodge, to the Saint Louis Art Museum for the special exhibition “Art Along the Rivers: A Bicentennial Celebration.”
Charles Deas (1818-1867), Wa-kon-cha-hi-re-ga in a Bark Lodge, c. 1840, oil on canvas. 
Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum
The painting will be featured among the approximately 150 objects that reflect the rich artistic traditions of the region’s diverse settlements, from the ancient Woodlands and Mississippian cultures through the Osage, Spanish, French, African American, German, and British, among many others. This portrait is one of four the artist created of Ho-Chunk (formerly Winnebago) chiefs, and is a striking work of art for the drama and emotion the figure conveys. The painting will return to the Mercantile’s anniversary exhibition in January 2022.
The 175th Anniversary Society Dealers' Showcase & Silent Auction
 
The Mercantile Library is excited to hold its 3rd annual Autumn Fine Print Dealers' Showcase, and this year marks an extra special anniversary event. The Showcase is being combined with our popular silent auction - which you may recall from past Print Fairs - and we hope to see you there! We're nearly one month away until the showcase and silent auction open at the elegant Saint Louis Club and Ballroom in downtown Clayton, and a very special night is planned for all who attend. Not only will sponsors and donors receive recognition on the night of the showcase, but they also become automatic Anniversary Society Members--granting a direct invitation to attend the Mercantile's festive gala dinner in April of 2022 that will close out our 175th anniversary year. More information is forthcoming, so watch your inboxes (and mailboxes)!

The evening of November 19th begins with a chance for you to grab a drink, sample sumptuous hors d'oeuvres, and place your bid on several irresistible auction items and experiences--from Cardinals box seat tickets, to river boat rides on the Mississippi, a day spent touring multiple St. Louis historic museums, and much, much more. For this year’s Yeatman Lecture, our Executive Director John Hoover will give a special talk centered on "persuasive" pictorial maps, accompanied by a few physical examples that viewers will have the opportunity to see up-close and personal. This presentation will also be video recorded for those unable to attend in person. After the presentation concludes, guests will have the opportunity to browse the booths of visiting print dealers from all corners of the states. The Mercantile is thrilled to welcome back Kodner Gallery, Mark O. Howald Fine Art & Antiques, Philadelphia Print Shop West, Stevens Fine Art, Susan Teller Gallery, McBride Rare Books, McCaughen & Burr Fine Arts, and Arader Galleries

Invitations are on their way to your doorstep for Friday, November 19, 2021. We hope you will join us for this memorable 175th Anniversary experience!
Guests in the lounge of the Saint Louis Club browse the dealer displays at the first Autumn Fine Print Dealers' Showcase & Yeatman Lecture, November 2019.
Distinguished Jazz Pianist Pat Joyce, pictured here at the 2019 Autumn Fine Print Dealers' Showcase, will return to provide a tuneful backdrop for the November 19th evening. 
New Acquisitions in Americana
 
The 175th Anniversary of the Mercantile Library has become a year-long celebration in examining the holdings of this storied Americana collection, and a springboard for new, important acquisitions to build further in this age-old chosen collecting field of the institution. Items with a diverse array of topics have been added, covering the many peoples who make up the history of America. New to the Nash Africana collection has come a rare abolitionist account of a famous slave narrative taken down by John Greenleaf Whittier, that of James Williams in the Anti-Slavery Examiner from 1838.  
Jose Posada’s incredible graphic artistry has been appreciated since the great Mexico City journalist and illustrator worked in the late 19th century. Nearly one hundred rare broadsides of Mexican life, culture, activities and news have been added to the Mercantile Latin American holdings. 
See also: Spring: Modern Song Collection for 1895, engraving
The Mercantile recently collected the only recorded copy of one of the early city directories for San Francisco, as well as a century-old Chinese phone directory for San Francisco.
A rare example of latent, post-American-settlement French culture in early St. Louis came to the Mercantile in the form of a blank book that was sold in St. Louis in 1820. In this book is a lengthy French manuscript on apple pruning and culture; a fine meticulously hand-illustrated pomology reflecting the great French agricultural heritage of early farms and gardens along the old French country frontier of the Mississippi Valley.
Another fabulously rare item—one of only two known copies to survive-- is an invitation to a ball that was held by Colonial Prefect Pierre de Laussat in New Orleans to honor the Spanish Governor of Louisiana and marking the sale of the Louisiana Territory to the United States, dated December 11, 1803 - a very early document of a key historical event in American history. We thank the donors who made many of these items possible for the Mercantile to acquire and preserve for future generations of researchers.
Also coming this fall is one of the rarest and most important of the German travel narratives designed to encourage immigration from central Europe to Missouri. This extraordinary acquisition, made possible by one of our generous members, was written in the 1830s by Heinrich Martels and includes very useful descriptions of life here during that time, with a rare and highly detailed early map of Missouri. We hope to make a new English edition under the Mercantile’s imprint of this important narrative in due time.
New Acquisitions of the Herman T. Pott
National Inland Waterways Library

The Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library recently acquired a stunning vernacular photo album from 1907 depicting the lost town of Gayaso, Missouri. The 76 silver gelatin photographs document life in a declining river town at the turn of the century, a town that today lies buried deep beneath the silt of the Mississippi River. 
Gayaso was originally settled in 1799 and incorporated in 1851 as the Pemiscot County seat. By 1898 the ever-meandering Mississippi threatened to swallow the town whole, and the county seat was moved several miles south. Though the river changed course and briefly spared Gayaso, by 1900 its post office closed and today any remnants of the town are situated beneath the Gayaso Bend Conservation Area.
The images in the album show rising floodwaters overtaking the remnants of the dilapidated town, carving away at riverbanks and inundating the surrounding land. Townsfolk can be seen poling rafts through floodwaters, and in one striking image men and children wade through standing water to cut lumber, most likely to repair flood damage. Other views show riverbank erosion, a collapsed pier, boats traveling up and down the river, and intimate scenes of families in the community, including a woman and child in front of a clapboard house with a rotting porch and crumbling roof, a man giving a haircut to another outside a house, and a group of boys in front of a building, possibly the schoolhouse. Even in the most casual of pictures, ones where families pose together near their homes, the river is ever-present, creeping closer and closer from over their shoulders, a constant reminder of the town’s eventual fate. This amazing acquisition is an outstanding and visceral depiction of the hardships and challenges faced by many neglected river towns after the end of the steamboat era, and the commensurate loss of trade and a tax base for flood protection improvements.

Another recent acquisition of the Pott Waterways Library is Peter Nichols’ 1835 diary documenting his epic journey from the hamlet of Georgetown, in upstate New York, to Ohio to scout farmland for his family. The diary may seem small, but it packs a mighty historical punch. At roughly the size of a deck of cards, the pages tell a harrowing tale of Nichols’ voyage through the Erie Canal by boat, only ten years after the canal’s completion, then overland by horse drawn wagon from Buffalo to Ohio. On his return trip, Nichols took the steamer Columbus across Lake Erie to Buffalo, then back by wagon and the Erie Canal again. The travel diary is filled with highly detailed observations of the conditions he experienced aboard the boats, the landscape he passed, his experience going through the canal, a massive storm he barely survived on Lake Erie, and much more.
 
Personal correspondence from Nichols and his family members and descendants are also included with the diary, including an 1838 letter which mentions an anti-slavery meeting the writer attended.
The Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library
Presents the Donald T. Wright Award and James V. Swift Medal

 
On September 29th the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library presented the Donald T. Wright Award and James V. Swift Medal to two individuals who made recent contributions to the long and outstanding legacy of American river literature.  

The Wright award was first established in 1965 at Southern Illinois University by the Waterways Journal and transferred stewardship to the St. Louis Mercantile Library in the 1980s. Until that time, there was no formal recognition to encourage excellence in maritime journalism and literature. Since its creation, the Wright Award has been presented to many distinguished individuals including the New Orleans Times-Picayune Photography Staff for their work covering Hurricane Katrina; folk musician, author and riverboat pilot John Hartford; newspaper journalist and editorial cartoonist Dan Martin; and artist James Godwin Scott, for his adroit watercolor documentation of modern river life.

The 2021 Wright Award was presented to the honorable Thomas C. Grady for his groundbreaking work The Lost St. Louis Riverfront. Mr. Grady was a judge of the Circuit Court of St. Louis for 38 years and has been an active member of the Chatillon-DeMenil House Foundation, the Society of Architecture Historians, and the St. Louis Mercantile Library. Mr. Grady’s publication makes a worthy addition to the long list of incredible award recipients. His book was the first study to document the full history of the area that is now the Gateway Arch National Park. Through photographic and archival research, Mr. Grady explored the individuals and businesses that occupied the buildings destroyed to make way for the park, and the impact this loss had on the city’s riverfront and sense of identity. 
Library Director John Hoover presents the Wright Award to
Thomas C. Grady for his book The Lost St. Louis Riverfront.
The James V. Swift Medal was first established in 2006 by the Pott Library at the Mercantile. Previous award winners have included Captain Charles E. Lehman for his lifetime of work aboard boats in capacities ranging from deckhand to master-pilot, as well as his publication A Riverman’s Lexicon; Ann Amantea Blum for her publication The Steamer Admiral and Streckfus Steamers; Dan and Connie Burkhardt, who authored Growing Up with the River: Nine Generations on the Missouri; and Gregory Thorp for his outstanding photography capturing the life, workers, and industry of America’s inland waterways, including his publication Rivers Run Past.

The 2021 Swift medal was presented to David Lobbig for his text panels and wall labels in the Missouri Historical Society’s popular exhibition Mighty Mississippi, a program on which the Pott Library at the Mercantile advised and collaborated. Mr. Lobbig currently serves as the Curator of Environmental Life at the Missouri Historical Society and he also served as board president of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment from 2008 to 2016. The large exhibition was filled with Mr. Lobbig’s research exploring the regional heritage of the Middle Mississippi. Using a mix of historic objects, photographs, and media, Mr. Lobbig took the grandeur of North America’s greatest river, and placed it in the context of the cultures that have grown and thrived around it.
John Hoover presents the Swift Medal to David Lobbig for his work
in the Missouri Historical Society’s exhibition Mighty Mississippi.
In addition to the award presentations, introductory remarks were provided by Nelson Spencer, chairman of the Waterways Journal and president of the Pott advisory board. Mr. Spencer was followed by a presentation from Pott Library Curator Sara Hodge on the long history of American river literature, and Donald Wright’s enormous contributions to maritime journalism, literature, and waterways advocacy. Each award recipient also spoke briefly about their work and all attendees were treated to a tour of the library’s anniversary exhibition A Nation, A City, and Its First Library: Americana as a Way of Life at the St. Louis Mercantile Library for 175 Years.
Event attendees listen to a tribute to Donald Wright from Pott Library Curator Sara Hodge.
Event attendees enjoy a tour of the library’s 175th anniversary
exhibition with library Curator of Art Julie Dunn-Morton.
Recent Acquisition of the Bel-Nor Archival Collection
 
The Mercantile Library recently acquired the start of the Bel-Nor Archival Collection thanks to Mayor Bill Hook, with more components of the collection to come. This collection is vitally important in recording the history of the City of Bel-Nor, which was established as the Village of Bel-Nor in 1937. It spans the 1920s to 1990s, chronicling the first meetings about the creation of the Village and up through its 50th anniversary. Included are board minutes, ordinances, maps, correspondence, newspaper clippings, awards, photographs, and more. Of distinct interest are the newspaper clippings and correspondence which document Bel-Nor’s desegregation and subsequent white flight, particularly in its schools, and the Bel-Nor Board of Trustees endeavor to shape a more inclusive, integrated community. The collection as a whole tells the story of changes our area communities have faced over time, encompassing their successes and struggles.
Surveyors Map of the Village of Bel-Nor, 1930s.
Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library
Just after acquisition of the Bel-Nor Archival Collection, the reference staff had the pleasure of hosting Dr. Robert Wilson’s Honors 3030 class. The students have already begun digging into the collection as part of their community engagement course; they will find it to be an invaluable resource as they create their historical documentation projects for the communities of Bel-Nor and Wellston.
Residents clearing trees as part of the Cooperative Public Works Program, 1970s.
Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library
The finding aid for the Bel-Nor Archival Collection can be found here on the Mercantile’s website, and patrons can request appointments to view the collection for research by filling out this form.
Program commemorating the Village of Bel-Nor’s 50th Anniversary, 1987 & Village of Bel-Nor stationary head, designed by Joanne Stremsterfer. Collection of the St. Louis Mercantile Library
New Acquisitions of the John W. Barriger III
National Railroad Library

This month the Barriger Library received a wonderful new map for the Union Pacific Railroad. This circa 1875-1880 piece is titled “Skeleton Map of the Union Pacific Railway” and shows the route of both the Union Pacific and Kansas Pacific Railroads from Omaha, NE and Kansas City, MO respectively to San Francisco, CA and Portland, OR. 
The map is liberally illustrated with vignettes showing activities along the route such as farming, cattle ranching, mining and fruit growing.
This new map, along with many other items from the Barriger Collection will be on display in our exhibition “Travelers, Tracks and Tycoons: The Railroad in American Legend and Life” that will be opening at the Grolier Club in New York, NY in May of 2022.
The Mercantile Library Holds Its First Post-Pandemic Book Fair 
 
On Saturday, October 2nd, book lovers were pleased to be welcomed to the Mercantile's first public book fair since spring of 2019 - right inside of the West Drive Garage on UMSL's North Campus. The book sale began at 10:00 in the morning, but already had a line of eager bibliophiles waiting in advance to peruse the book carts. We were thrilled to see a consistently mixed crowd of Mercantile members and Board of Direction members; book traders and book store owners; nearby neighbors; friends, family, UMSL faculty, staff, and--most impressively--dozens of students. We are proud to know that we helped build the libraries of the students and campus community, and could not have made the book fair possible without the hard work of our volunteers, staff members, docents, and the endless support of our members. Thanks to all for making this book fair a fun day AND a great success!
Waiting for the sale to begin. There were two dozen carts of books filled top to bottom with a variety of subjects spanning railroads and waterways, art and literature, local, regional and national history, and general interest, among others.
Manning the check-out station, L to R: Charles Brown, Curator of Reference;
Sarah Fehlig, Mercantile Docent; Julie Dunn-Morton, Curator of Fine Art;
and Sam Monroe, Graduate Student and Volunteer.
Although Mercantile staff had boxes and bags available for book transporting, many seasoned book sale customers were prepared with their own carts and totes for extra heavy hauling.
From 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the Mercantile saw a consistent crowd of customers.
The Mercantile Library plans to hold two more small, pop-up book sales this fall: the first of these on Wednesday, October 20, 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., and the next in November with a date and time soon to be determined. Another full-day book fair is also planned for the spring of 2022, so watch for more updates coming soon!
Updates from the Library’s Anniversary Educational Series

The library’s Anniversary Educational Series launched a year ago today. It has been a year of tremendous growth and success, far outstripping any of our initial expectations. As the library has celebrated its 175th anniversary, we have honored its long legacy of community service by supporting educators and learners throughout the region with innovative and engaging educational resources. During what was undeniably a difficult year for learning communities set back by the ongoing pandemic, we created a program that invited learners on a virtual field trip to explore our library and discover the joys and wonders of history. We gave them tools and resources we hope carry them far into their academic careers and beyond, tools of inquiry and discovery to better understand and appreciate our shared past, present, and future.
This fall we reached out to 35 new schools throughout the St. Louis area, in addition to the 40 schools we contacted last academic year. We enjoyed tremendous success. We spoke with a variety of staff, from librarians to teachers to principals and administrative assistants. All of them responded enthusiastically, many remarking on how sorely needed resources like these are. Several schools committed to use the program and everyone we spoke with promised to share the information with their colleagues. We also received invitations to speak at educator workshops, which will expand engagement even further. Since the start of our fall outreach, we have seen our number of video views spike, showing teachers are exploring our resources after we contact them. Some of the views may even already represent classroom use.
For the remainder of the semester, we plan to expand our outreach to grades 3-5. We will then focus on content creation and growth of the program through the winter months, turning back to outreach in the spring semester when we hope to present at educator workshops and conferences. It is hard to believe the program began only a year ago, but with the trajectory we are on, we can expect great things from the year to come.
Board Spotlight: Anne Juneau Craver
Anne Juneau Craver, a St. Louis native, has held a variety of positions over the years as a U.S. Department of Defense translator, professor of French and Comparative Literature, and attorney. Her degrees include a BA, cum laude, in French/Chinese from St. Louis University, an MA in French/Chinese from St. Louis University, a PhD in Comparative Literature with French, Persian and Arabic languages from Washington University in St. Louis and a JD from St. Louis University School of Law.  In 2001, the French government awarded her the Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques.

She is currently working on a book on La Revue de l’Ouest, the most successful French newspaper in St. Louis, published in 1854 and its editor and publisher, Louis Cortambert. Her article entitled, Revue de l’Ouest: Louis Cortambert and l’Esprit français in St. Louis in 1854 was recently published in French St. Louis: Landscape, Contexts, and Legacy by the University of Nebraska Press in 2021.

Anne has been on the Mercantile Library Board of Direction since 2020, and we look forward to another two years of her great service and support. 
Recent Giving and Support
 
The Mercantile Library gratefully acknowledges the crucial financial support it continues to receive in its Anniversary Year. Recently, an anonymous donor contributed $100,000 toward the Art Collection fund. Additionally, an anonymous donation of $100,000 came in support of renovations for the art gallery and better visibility of the collection, as well as a $65,000 grant in support of collections and acquisitions. Another friend of the Library has bequeathed $250,000 to the Library and The Herman T. and Phenie R.  Pott Foundation has generously contributed an $85,000 grant towards library operations support. In support of the Oliver M. Langenberg Curator of Reference Services, the Pershing Trust has made a generous contribution of a gift of $75,000 to support one of the oldest and most important services offered by the Mercantile in research and reference. James Schiele has contributed a grant of $20,000 to help defray costs associated with the Library’s fall fundraiser, the 175th Anniversary Society Dealers' Showcase, for which the Mercantile Library is tremendously grateful as well as to Jim for his tireless support throughout each year.

In the last two tumultuous and uncertain years the Mercantile also notes the tremendous support of its members’ loyalty. Renewals and new memberships have steadily increased by sizable percentages. Donations and membership support make the difference to the Mercantile and makes it possible for its distinguished research collection to grow. We can all share great pride in that for our scholarly community. 
This important document, one of the earliest obtainable mentions of the sale of the Louisiana Territory by Napoleon, written on December 9, 1803 by the French Colonial Prefect Pierre Clement de Laussat, was made possible by recent giving to the acquisitions fund, with deepest thanks from the Library.
Upcoming Events

Mercantile Library Pop-Up Book Sale
Wednesday, October 20, 2021
11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
St. Louis Mercantile Library - West Drive Garage sidewalk


Bixby Book Club Halloween Dinner
Friday, October 29, 2021 
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

St. Louis Mercantile Library


Americana "Coffee in the Gallery" Curator Series:
Thursday November 4, 2021
10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
St. Louis Mercantile Library

Passing Trains That Have No Name:
John Barriger's Railroad Scrapbooks

(Hybrid)
Presented by Nick Fry, Curator of the John W. Barriger III National Railroad Library
View ticketing and registration information on this printable flyer.


175th Anniversary Society
Print Dealers' Showcase & Silent Auction 

Friday, November 19, 2021
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
St. Louis Club Ballroom

7701 Forsyth Blvd, Clayton, MO 63105


Mercantile Library All Boards, Staff & Volunteer
Recognition Breakfast; Special Presentation of the Sons of the Revolution Historic Preservation Award to Charles Brown

Friday, December 3, 2021
9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
(Hybrid)
LIMITED COPIES LEFT!
 
A Nation, A City, & Its First Library: Americana As a Way of Life at the St. Louis Mercantile Library for 175 Years
by John N. Hoover

Exhibition Catalogue, Hard Bound

$45 for non-Mercantile Members
$40 for Mercantile Members

Visit the Mercantile Gift Shop to purchase your copy today!
 

COMING THIS FALL!
 
175 Years of Art at the St. Louis Mercantile Library: 
A Revised Second Edition of the Handbook to the Collection
by Dr. Julie Dunn-Morton

 
Watch for more information on this publication coming in November!

Stay connected to us on social media or
visit our
website for the most up-to-date information.

If you have any questions regarding specific programming please email mercantilelibrary@umsl.edu or call 314-516-7248.

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