Business: Archives, Libraries, and Museums

Archives, libraries, and museums are sources of useful information in the business. While some materials are available online, it may be useful to contact the institution directly for specific questions.

Library of Congress

Check out common business reference questions from the Library of Congress. Explore Business Reference Services from Library of Congress.

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Explore Business Reference Services from Library of Congress.
Share three information sources of use in business.


The Business Archives Section of the Society for American Archivists website provides information about business archives. Their directory provides a list of archives to give you a feel for the different types of organizations and the materials they maintain. The list indicates if the archive is open or closed to the public. Explore a few examples:

The Managing Business Archives from the UK has lots of examples of business archives.

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Begin by exploring the example archives above. Then, visit the directory of the Business Archives Section. Scan the list of archives and notice which are open and closed. Think about the types of information particular grey literature that might be available. List the name of an archive, what it include, and how it is accessed.

Read Evans, Kelly J. & Welch, Jeanie M. (2014). Measuring the past: free digitized sources of historical international economic information. Journal of Business & Finance Librarianship, 19(4), 287-305.


Tousey, Becky Haglund & Adkins, Elizabeth W. (2007). Access to Business Archives: U.S. Access Philosophies. Japan-U.S. Archives Seminar.

Digital Collections

Useful digital collections can be found at archives, libraries, and museums.

Government Media Library Collections

Library Collections


You may not think of museums as being related to business information sources. However, you'll be surprised at the connections. Examples include:

Corporate and industry museums are often overlooked, but they're excellent sources of information about specific businesses. Museums generally focus on corporate citizenship, leadership, uniqueness, and brand (Wong, 2014). In many cases, archives and libraries are found within the museum that provide useful business information.

Read Seligson, Joelle (November-December 2010). Corporate, Culture? One Part Education, One Part Sales. Museum.

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You'll be surprise how many of the largest companies maintain museums. Do a Google search for the company and the word museum to see if there's a museum. Also, explore some of the examples above. Do they have a library or archives? Is it open to the public? Can requests be made? List the museum, the URL, and your findings.


Wong, Chi-Pong (July 1, 2014). What's the Point of Having a Corporate Museum? MarketingProfs.

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