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Historical Business Sources: Getting Started

This guide lists resources that may be of assistance to researchers seeking historical data on businesses. The list is not complete, so if you don't find what you need, please contact a business librarian.


Historical Business Resources Holdings

This guide lists resources that may be of assistance to researchers seeking historical data on businesses.  The list is not complete, so if you don't find what you need, please contact a business librarian.

Source Dates
Almanac of Business & Industrial Ratios (Troy) Provides financial ratios for companies in various asset ranges by SIC code. Data reported are based on aggregate numbers from IRS records. 1975 – present (incomplete run)

Annual Statement Studies (RMA) Contains composite financial data on manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, service, and contracting lines of business

1977 – present (incomplete run)
Barron’s The Dow Jones business and financial weekly.

1975 – present

Business Statistics of the United States Covers historical and current statistics on all aspects of business including GDP by state and region. 1973 - present (incomplete run)
Business Week Business news, stock market and financial advice. 1933 – present
Consumer Reports Unbiased tests, ratings and reviews on the top and worst rated products. 1964 – present
CRB Commodity Yearbook Commodity and futures market information available from the Commodity Research Bureau that reports from governments, private industries, and trade and industrial associations. 1974 – present
Direction of Trade Statistics Contains data on the value of merchandise exports and imports between each country and all its trading partners. 1958 – present
Dun & Bradstreet Industry Norms & Key Business Ratios Uses information from public and private companies in to calculate key business ratios and norms for a wide range of industry segments, enabling users to compare a company with others in its industry. 2000 – present
Forbes A source for the latest business and financial news and analysis. Covering personal finance, lifestyle, technology and stock markets. 1917 – present
Fortune Provides expert reporting on modern business ideas, in-depth strategies and analysis, practical advice on personal and annual lists like the "Most Powerful Women" and "Fortune 500." 1930 – present
International Financial Statistics Provides a complete library of continuously updated international statistics on all aspects of international and domestic finance 1963 – present
Lifestyle Market Analyst Market Profiles, Lifestyle Profiles, Consumer Segment Profiles that analyze the characteristics of households that fit certain demographic and economic criteria

2000 – present

Market Share Reporter  Presents market share data on over four thousand companies, and 2,500 products, facilities, and brands. 1996 – present

National Accounts Statistics
National accounts statistics. Analysis of main aggregates.  1982-1989, 1998/1999
National accounts statistics. Main aggregates and detailed tables. 1982-present
National accounts statistics. Statistique des comptes nationaux,1958-1967
National accounts statistics : study of input-output tables. 1970-1980

1984 – present
Standard & Poor’s Industry Surveys Overviews of 50+ "big picture" industries. Print volumes for pre-1998 data. 1977 – present
Statistical Abstract of the United States A comprehensive summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States.
Online Edition
1921 – 2012
Stocks, Bonds, Bills & Inflation (Ibbotson) Industry standard source for determining the appropriate cost of capital to use for the most accurate business valuations of US-based businesses. 1985 – present
U.S. Industrial Outlook Provides coverage and analysis of United States business and industry. 1978 - 1999
Wall Street Journal Covers U.S. and international business and financial news and issues. 1955 – present
Wall Street Transcript An investment research publication interviewing well known analysts, money managers and CEOs who recommend stocks and analyze market trends 1981 – 1997
Ward’s Automotive Yearbook Articles summarizing events that shaped the automotive industry for the year.
1977 – present
World Economic Outlook Provides economists' analyses of global economic developments, gives an overview as well as more detailed analysis of the world economy; consider issues affecting industrial countries, developing countries, and economies in transition to market; and address topics of pressing current interest.
Online Edition
1960 – present
Year-book of Labour Statistics 1976 - present

Business Librarians

Marianne Hageman (St. Paul)

John Heintz (Mpls. & St. Paul)

Andrea Koeppe (Mpls.)