Company Research

This guide provides an overview of how to conduct detailed company research

Company Profles & History

There are many places you can find information about a company and its history. Try the following approaches:

  • Company's website
    • Websites often include an "about us" section that sometimes detail their history. Remember, the company will explain its history the way it wants to be seen.
  • Annual report
    • Public companies are required to file an annual report to the U.S. government, known as a 10-K. These reports will often include a section on the company's history. Again, remember this is a self-reported history.
  • Find books/ebooks that contain corporate histories
    • Books about a company often include historical background.
    • Do a keyword search in the library catalog to find any books which cover your company's history.
  • Search for articles
    • Newspaper, trade/magazine, and scholarly articles that mention or are about specific companies might provide some historical information.

Available through the Boston Public Library

All students in Massachusetts are eligible to sign up for a BPL ecard

The links below will bring you to the BPL list of resources. Scroll through the list to find individual titles.

Mergent Online is made up of company profiles.
1. In the Company Search bar, type in your company. (Note: if it is a private company, select the D&B Private Company Database box above).
2. To find the company history, start in the Company Details tab, and select the History sub-tab.

Mergent Archives is best for historical information on companies.
1. To enter the database, click the Search Mergent Archives link on the right.
2. Use the tabs on the top right to search for the company either in the corporate manuals, annual reports, industry reports, equity reports, or ratios sections of the database, depending on what you are after.
Note: To find company histories, you'll likely want to focus on the corporate manuals or the annual reports.

Although it might take some digging and persistence, searching for articles that refer to your company can prove helpful. Try the below databases, along with Google and Google Scholar.

1. Type in your company in the first search box. You can chose to narrow the search further by changing the drop-down menu to list CO Company Entity.
2. Depending on the results, you may wish to filter by SourceType, an option on the left of the results list

1. Enter your company in the first search box. The default drop-down menu will search for that company anywhere in the article or record of the article.
2. If you find you get too many irrelevant results, you can change the drop-down option so the database will only search for the company in the article title (Document Title - TI), or when the company is listed as a subject heading, which is a way databases try and describe and categorize items (Subject heading (all) - SU).