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Accounting: Company History

Databases to Find Company History

Check the company's web site for information on its history. Also, consult the company's annual report for a brief history--usually accompanied by the company's mission statement.

Two library databases to find company history are

FIS Mergent Online: To get a list of important events in a company's history, do a company search and then select the History link under the Company Details tab.

EBSCO Business Source Elite: Select the Company Profiles link at the top of the page, enter a company name, select the appropriate Datamonitor link and then the Hisory link on the left side of the screen under the table of contents.

Reference Books Providing Company History

  •  International Directory of Company Histories (1988-2011) REF HD2721 .I63.

    This multi-volume reference work brings together histories of leading companies. Currently there are 121 volumes. Check the index volume of the last reference book to get the volume numbers you need for the company you are researching.

“Each three- to five-page entry is meticulously detailed with facts gathered from popular magazines, academic periodicals, books, annual reports and the archives of the companies themselves. Entries provide information on founders, expansions and losses, labor/management actions, NAICS codes, key dates, ticker symbol, principal subsidiaries, principal divisions, principal operating units, principle competitors and other significant milestones -- all peppered with statistics, dates and names of key players.”

Source: (

— Notable Corporate Chronologies (2 volumes) REF HD 2721. N68 2001

This edition is a collection of chronologies for over 1,800 of the most significant corporations operating in the U.S. and abroad. Each timeline lists and describes key dates that mark the major events in the corporation’s history.  Included are dates for founding, major product introductions, tenures of pivotal executive officers, major scandals, mergers and significant acquisitions, financial milestones, major stock offerings, and other important events.

— Company Profiles for Students (3 vols.)  REF HC 102.2 .C66

Each report has a general overview, analysts’ opinion, brief history which includes fast facts and key dates important to the company’s story, information about strategy, influences, products, corporate citizenship, global presence, and a bibliography.