Local Company Research Resources

Annual Reports

If the local company that you are researching is publicly traded, it must issue annual reports. Annual Reports explain where you can find such reports in paper, microfilm, or online.

Local and State Business Directories

Business Directories

  • Dun's Regional Business Directory

  • Harris InfoSource directories:

    • California Manufacturers Register

    • Directory of California Wholesalers & Service Companies

    • Directory of California Technology Companies

    • Northern California Business Directory & Buyer's Guide

  • Northern California High Technology Directory

Regional Trade & Industry Directories

  • California Agricultural Directory

  • Consultants and Consulting Organizations Directory

  • Directory of California Technology Companies

  • O'Dwyers Directory of Public Relations Firms

You will also find relevant sources in the  Industry and Trade Collection.

Books of Lists

This annual issue lists top ranking local companies by industry or service. Ask for these lists at the Business, Science & Technology information desk.

Local Newspapers

Many of these newspapers are also indexed with full text of the articles in the library's online databases.

Company & Industry Directory Databases

  • Reference Solutions

  • Mergent Online

  • Business and Company Resource Center (Gale)

Government Databases

Company Web Sites

A company's home page is an excellent source of information about its history, current projects, products, services and officers.

Researching Older Local Companies

San Francisco History Center files on local businesses – 6th Floor, Main Library

Local newspapers – 5th Floor, Main Library Magazine and Newspapers Center. Many of these newspapers are also indexed with full text of the articles in the library's online databases.

San Francisco City Directories and Phone books are also valuable resources. By scanning these directories year by year it is often easy to pinpoint when a company operated in a given location.

Business directories for public companies - You may be able to find basic information about older companies. See the 'Researching old stocks' section of our Stock Research page.

Business directories for private companies