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Tobacco Industry: Sources of Historical Research

This guide includes resources looking at the business history of tobacco as a product and a trade good in the United States with additional attention on a few key states.


Carol Highsmith, photographer. Tobacco barns in Suffield, Connecticut, 2011. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

While tobacco predates the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, over the course of the history of the United States, tobacco and tobacco products have had considerable economic impact on this country.

This guide is intended to provide just some of the resources for those looking at the development, growth, and even decline of the tobacco industry in the United States, but not the agricultural or scientific aspects. While this guide does not cover anti-smoking activity or the Tobacco Settlement in any detail, some material related to both have been included because the material can be helpful in understanding the decline of the industry as well as what the discussion and related documents may reveal about the history of the industry and how it historically operated.

About the Business Section

Part of the Science & Business Reading Room at the Library of Congress, the Business Section is the starting point for conducting research at the Library of Congress in the subject areas of business and economics. Here, reference specialists in specific subject areas of business assist patrons in formulating search strategies and gaining access to the information and materials contained in the Library's rich collections of business and economics materials.