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Business Reference Services (Science, Technology, and Business Division)
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The Collections

Jefferson's Library recreated for the Thomas Jefferson Exhibition - Photo by Toby KinnahanBusiness Reference Collection

Reference Desk Collection

Industrial Directories


Abstracts and Indexes

Selected Current Journals

Technical Reports and Standards Collections

Microfiche Collections

Online Subscription Services


The Business Reference Collection consists of approximately 20,000 volumes that are shelved in the Science and Business Reading Room. The collection includes directories, handbooks and encyclopedias, dictionaries, biographical materials, current journals, a microfiche collection of company reports, abstracts and indexes in both paper and online form, and other types of material.

The business and economics collection encompasses subject areas such as:

  • accounting
  • advertising
  • business history
  • entrepreneurship
  • exports and imports
  • finance
  • international business
  • labor
  • management
  • market research
  • personnel relations
  • stocks and bonds

In addition, other Library of Congress reading rooms may have materials on reference of interest to the business researcher, including guides to collections relating to various geographic areas, and guides to special format, microform, law, government, and technical reports and standards collections.

To identify specific materials in the reference collection, you may search the online catalog by title or subject. Choose any of the keyword search methods and setting the search limits to Collection Location: "Business Reference Collection." Business-related materials in all reference collections of the Library of Congress may be identified by choosing any of the keyword search methods and setting the search limits to Collection Location: "Reference Collections (ALL)."

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The Business Reference Desk Collection is located in the Business Reference Services Alcove on the west side of the Science and Business Reading Room. It includes frequently requested reference books, directories, statistical compendiums, and handbooks, such as:

  • Dun and Bradstreet's Million Dollar Directory
  • Statistical Abstract of the United States
  • Gale's Encyclopedia of Associations
  • Encyclopedia of Associations
  • Value Line
  • Selected business ratio studies
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Two special collections--state business directories and foreign business directories--are located at opposite ends of the aisle just outside the entrance to the business wing. They are shelved alphabetically by state and country and are identified by green dots on their labels.

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The biographical reference collection is located against the back wall of the patron seating area shared by Business and Science reference services and is identified by red dots. Included in this collection are such titles as:

  • Who's Who In Finance And Industry (HF3023.A2W5)
  • Dun's Reference Book of Corporate Managements (HD2745.D85)

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Researchers using Business Reference Services have access to an extensive collection of print and online services.

The Library of Congress subscribes to many online abstracts, indexes and full-text products, including many especially applicable to business and economics research. Please note that you must be on the Library of Congress premises to use them.

Subscription Databases for Business and Economic Research

In addition, a comprehensive collection of paper and indexes supplement the online products. Examples include:

  • American Statistics Index, Index to International Statistics, and Statistical Reference Index, (Congressional Information Service)
  • Wall Street Journal Index
  • Index of Economic Articles
  • Accountants Index
  • Predicasts F&S Indexes to Corporations

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The Business Reference Services Current Business and Economics Journal Collection is located on the shelves across from the Business Reference Collection. The titles are shelved alphabetically. They usually include the most recent twelve months. Examples include:

  • Business Week
  • The Banker
  • Forbes
  • OECD Observer
  • Quarterly Journal of Economics
  • US Economic Outlook

Current journals in western languages that are not in the Current Business and Economics Journal Collection may be available through the Newspaper and Current Periodicals Reading Room. Journals in non-western languages are available in several other Library reading rooms depending on the language and geographic area.

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The microfiche collection is located in the middle room of the business wing. This collection includes corporate annual reports from the .SEC. and the .Q-FILE. (1980- ) as well as two earlier series covering the pre-1974 period and the period, 1974-1983. Annual reports in microopaque and microfiche issued by Microcard and NCR (1957-1965) are available in the Microform Reading Room. Other microfiche collections available in business reference include:

  • Dun's Business Identification Service.
  • CIRR: Corporate & Industry Research Reports .(1982-1985)
  • International Annual Reports Collection. (1983-1987)
  • National Union Catalog. (1983-April 1993)
  • Library of Congress Shelflist. (1976).

A number of journals are available full text in microformat in the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room. Legal titles in microformat are available from the Law Library on the second floor of the Madison building.

Other microform titles of interest to the business researcher may be identified from A Guide to the Microform Collections in the Library of Congress.

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  May 30, 2004
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