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Note: Prices as of 2008.

Print Publications

Company directories are expensive and many are outside the financial reach of smaller libraries;
likewise expensive investment publications such as ValueLine Investment Survey and
Morningstar Mutual Funds. I'll list a few of the best general sources for business and
investment information, then offer a longer listing of web sites.

Hoover's Handbook of American Business. 2v. Annual. Hoover’s Business Press.
Each of the 7505 entries contains two pages of information about the company’s history,
products and/or services.

Hoover's Handbook of World Business. Hoover’s Business Press, 2006. [$185]
Profiles 300 multinational companies headquartered outside the United States, many of whom
own significant companies or brands in the U.S.

Hoover's Masterlist of Major U.S. Companies [annual, $285] is a directory listing 6,250
public and 2,300 private companies, 1,000 subsidiaries, and 300 non-commercial entities. A
more affordable alternative to the Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors &

Sourcebook of Zip Code Demographics, 2009 [annual, discontinued in 2009]
A nationwide directory that breaks down US demographics by zip code. Useful for choosing
business locations and marketing your business. offers basic directory information for over three million international companies for
free on their web site.

NOTE: quite a bit of information is online for free at (see Web Sites portion of
this bibliography.

Morningstar Mutual Funds. $549 for 24 issues (this is the individual price, call 866-
442-1121 for library pricing)
See reports for 1600 funds on an every-other week basis. Each fund’s report is revised several
times within the year. Morningstar reports give an overview of the fund, historical performance,
top holdings, risk evaluation, and the Morningstar rating. A lot of basic information is available
for free on the Morningstar web site. Online subscription also available.

ValueLine Investment Survey. $598 for 52 issues.
ValueLine offers stock information for nearly 1700 stocks as well as industry information.
Reports are issued weekly, and each stock report is issued on a rotating basis within a three-
month cycle. Receive historical performance, current performance and industry performance,
and future projections along with rankings and information about the company. Most of
ValueLine’s stock information is password protected (i.e., you have to subscribe), but many
other resources - including their Education section - are free. Online subscription also available.

State Business Directories

Several companies publish state business directories.

Hoovers publishes some regional and single state directories.

American Business Directories publishes state business directories updated on an annual
basis, such as the Wisconsin Business Directory.

In Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce organization publishes the
Wisconsin Manufacturers Directory and the Wisconsin Business Service Directory annually [$250
for both in 2007,] in conjunction with Harris InfoSource, which
publishes similar directories for nearly every state (

InfoUSA products include Polk City Directories (print, CD, or online: and ReferenceUSA, a
subscription database available to public libraries. Both good sources for mailing lists of people
or business

State associations, government agencies, regional business organizations or other sources often
produce state or regional company guides as well. Know which ones are used in your area.


In addition to online article coverage provided through databases like EBSCOhost, you'll want to
consider some of the following standard magazines and their special issues. Following is a list
you may want to consider keeping as reference for several years, even if you weed the rest of
the magazines.

AnnualFortune 500 issue (largest U.S. manufacturing corporations). (April)
AnnualForbes 500 issue. (April)
AnnualBusiness Week 1000 (America's most valuable companies). (April)
AnnualForbes issue on mutual, gold, and bond funds. (August)
AnnualEntrepreneur issue on franchises. (January)
Consumer Reports annual mutual fund issue. (March)
One year's worth of the Wall Street Journal.

Business Information Online

There’s a wealth of company and investment information online, though you’ll find a price tag
attached to much of it. Following are some free sites I often recommend on both subjects.
Associations and Non-profits

Associations on the Net
Direct links to organizations of many types (use to identify organizations in your business area).

BBB (Better Business Bureau) Wise Giving Alliance
Detailed reports on charitable giving (useful during the holidays). Compliments the Better
Business Bureau web site ( which business owners or entrepreneurs can
use to check out any complaints on a company before doing business with them.

Foundation Center
Includes hundreds of direct links to private, corporate, and public foundations, as well as
information about foundations and grant seeking.

GuideStar, the Donor's Guide to Charities and Nonprofits
Information on the programs and finances of more than 850,000 charities and nonprofits.

Idealist - Action Without Borders
Offers a searchable directory of nonprofit web sites from 165 countries.

Company Information

Hoovers' Online
Short, informative profiles of major businesses and major industries. Fee-based services are
usually clearly marked.

Researching Companies Online
A step-by-step process to finding free company information on the web. Good to recommend to
the public, great for librarians wanting an overview of the company research process. Older, but
some strategy still valid if not all sites are.

Securities and Exchange Commission
Find financial reports on all US public companies.

Search ThomasNet online by company name, brand name, product, or service. You’ll get a brief
profile for free.
General Business Resources

Consumer Price Index
"The Consumer Price Indexes (CPI) program produces monthly data on changes in the prices
paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services."

Enterprise - BusinessWeek Online
BusinessWeek’s resource center for small business owners, with many useful sites.

Library of Congress Business Reference Service's Indexes, Bibliographies and Guides
An amazing source for business information of all types, from the LOC's Business Reference
Service. Includes print books and internet sources on industry research, company research,
business topics, and more.

U.S. Business Advisor
One-stop shopping for federal government information and advice relating to business

U.S. Small Business Administration
Useful, official advice and resources for starting, financing, and managing a small business. The
start-up kit and the business plan outline are especially useful.

Wisconsin Business Information
A subset of business sites specific to Wisconsin, from Madison Public Library.

Personal Finance and Money

BigCharts - through MarketWatch and Wall Street Journal
Mutual fund and stock information, with historical stock quotes.

CNN/Money -
A collaboration between CNN, Fortune magazine, and Money magazine. Lots of ads, but great
for general financial news.

Yahoo! Finance Research Tools-Historical Quotes -
Provides historical stock quotes back to 1962. Click on "Historical Quotes" under the "Research
Tools" section) Invaluable at tax time.
Financial Education

Financial Education -'s University -
DailyStocks -

Morningstar's Investing Classroom - Morningstar's Real Life Finance -
Articles on various financial profiles (saving for college, saving for retirement, etc.) and all types
of investments, from "what is a stock" to more complex questions.

Value Line's Investment Tools -
Learn how to read the Value Line page, view sample reports, and read educational articles.

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