University of Chicago Library

Guide to the Crerar, Adams & Co. Collection 1922-1957

© 2008 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Crerar, Adams & Co. Collection




.75 linear feet (2 boxes)


Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Founded by John Crerar and J. McGregor Adams ca. 1868, Crerar, Adams & Co. was a leading supplier to the railroad industry. This small collection contains trade catalogs from the early and mid-twentieth century, as well as documents relating to the estates of one of the firm's partners, Edward S. Shepherd, and his wife Julia M. Shepherd.

Information on Use


The collection is open for research.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Crerar, Adams & Co. Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Historical Note

Founded by John Crerar and J. McGregor Adams ca. 1868, Crerar, Adams & Co. was a leading supplier to the railroad industry. Crerar and Adams soon brought in a third partner, Edward S. Shepherd, and the firm enjoyed enormous financial success as Chicago became the primary railway hub of the United States.

As an active philanthropist, John Crerar gave the city of Chicago a large sum of money in his will to found a public library. The Crerar Library was developed as a collection of science and medicine, and expanded throughout the twentieth century. In the 1980s, the Crerar Library was consolidated with the University of Chicago’s science collections, re-opening to the public in 1984.

Scope Note

This collection contains Crerar, Adams & Co. trade catalogs from 1922 and 1938, as well as a ca. 1957 reprint of a 1948 catalog. Also found in this collection is a variety of correspondence and other documentation of the management of the estates of Edward S. and Julia M. Shepherd.

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:


Crerar Library. Records

Crerar Manuscripts. Collection

Subject Headings


Box 1   Folder 1

Trade catalog, 1922

Box 1   Folder 2

Trade catalog, ca. 1957

Box 1   Folder 3

Estates of Edward S. and Julia M. Shepherd, correspondence and financial material, 1929-1931

Box 1   Folder 4

Proposed construction on Shepherd property, correspondence and contractors' drawings, 1929

Box 2   Folder 1

Trade catalog, 1938