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Monsanto Company Records

Identifier: LH-wua00131

Monsanto Chemical Works of Saint Louis, Missouri, was founded in 1901 by John Queeny and named for his wife, Olga Monsanto.

This collection consists of items that are of permanent historical value, including original manuscripts, typescripts, newspaper clippings, photocopies (when the original is unavailable), photographs, negatives, slides, films, videos, audio cassettes and various sound recordings, and artifacts.

In 2016 Monsanto was aquired by Bayer and renamed. For materials dating 2016 or after, please contact the Bayer Corporate Archives, Heritage Communications C 302, 51368 Leverkusen, Germany.


  • Creation: 1901-2018


Conditions Governing Access

Media portions of this collection (including all of series 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21) require advanced notice for access. Contact Special Collections at (314) 935-5495 or for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

Users of the collection must read and agree to abide by the rules and procedures set forth in the Materials Use Policies.

Providing access to materials does not constitute permission to publish or otherwise authorize use. All publication not covered by fair use or other exceptions is restricted to those who have permission of the copyright holder, which may or may not be Washington University.

If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)


652.00 linear feet

Historical Information

Monsanto Chemical Works of Saint Louis, Missouri, was founded in 1901 by John Queeny and named for his wife, Olga Monsanto. The company’s first commercially successful product was saccharin, followed shortly thereafter by refined caffeine, vanillin, and aspirin. Within thirty years, largely under the influence of Queeny’s son Edgar, Monsanto Chemical Works expanded its business and product portfolio to include a number of manufacturing facilities in both the United States and abroad. In 1933, the company was renamed Monsanto Chemical Company.

By the late 1940s and well into the 1960s Monsanto Chemical Company introduced to industry several highly innovative products. Great strides were made in the areas of oil drilling and refining, plastic, silicon, synthetic rubber, lacquers, resins, adhesives, explosives, fine pharmaceuticals, food preservatives, crop protection, and atomic energy research. A separate Agricultural Division was created in 1960. To reflect the company’s progression into areas other than chemical production, in 1964 the company was again renamed Monsanto Company.

By the end of the 1960s and throughout the 1970s, Monsanto – encouraged by the public’s demands for safe, sophisticated, and efficient consumer goods coupled with the Federal Governments’ increased involvement with ecological legislation – focused its attentions on environmentally acceptable products and manufacturing processes. Products introduced during this time included polyesters and nylon-derivative textiles, electronic components to monitor and control factory emissions, safety fluids for heat fatigue and fire-suppression, fuel additives, light-weight and inexpensive plastics, structural safety glass for automotive and architectural applications, soybean-based protein alternatives for the health conscious, and nonnutritive sweeteners.

In the early 1980s, the all-encompassing term biotechnology was eagerly embraced by Monsanto to describe its research activities and subsequent manufacturing advances in the plant and animal sciences for the purpose of increasing food production and developing pharmaceutical products.

Many changes occurred at Monsanto in the 1990s. The plant biotechnology assets of Agracetus and an interest in Calgene, another biotech research company, were acquired, and purchase of the DeKalb Genetics Corporation was completed. Products introduced included Roundup Ready soybeans, cotton, and corn, as well as Bollgard insect-protected cotton. In 1997 the Industrial Chemical and Fibers divisions became a separate company, Solutia Inc. Also in 1997, Monsanto purchased Holden’s Foundation Seeds L.L.C. and Corn States Hybrid Service L.L.C.

A merger with Pharmacia Corporation in 2000 placed agricultural work into a subsidiary known as Monsanto, which became a separate company in 2002. Pharmacutical work remained with the Pharmacia Corporation, which became a subsidiary of Pfizer in 2003. As of 2009, Monsanto focused exclusively on agricultural work, with two main divisions: Seeds and Genomics, and Agricultural Productivity.

In 2016 Monsato and Bayer enter into a binding merger agreement, leading to the purchase of the company by Bayer. The name "Monsanto" is discontinued in 2018, and opperations in St. Louis transition to using the Bayer name. (


The collection is ordered by series, shelf, drawer, and box numbers. Some series have been further divided into sub-series. Individual scope notes for these are listed with the series description.

The collection is divided into the following series:

Series 01: Organizational Units

Series 02: Operating Facilities

Series 03: Company Products (Common Name)

Series 04: Company Products (Trade Name)

Series 05: Company Publications (Internal Company Use)

Series 06: Company Publications (Unpublished)

Series 07: Company Publications (Published Monographs)

Series 08: Company Publications (Serials)

Series 09: Company Events

Series 10: Business Matters and Company History

    Sub-Series 01 Standard Sized Items

    Sub-Series 02 Oversized Items

    Sub-Series 03 Early Company History Display

    Sub-Series 04 Accruals, Company History

Series 11: Community Relations

Series 12: Employee Relations

Series 13: Company Awards and Honorary Groups

Series 14: Company Executive Biographies and Photographs

Series 15: Company Non-Executive Employee Photos

Series 16: Memorabilia and Artifacts

Series 17: Sound Recordings

    Sub-Series 01 Audio Cassette Tapes

    Sub-Series 02 Open Reel Tapes

    Sub-Series 03 Phonograph Records

    Sub-Series 04 Compact Discs

Series 18: Broadcast Video Reel

Series 19: Miscellaneous Media Formats

Series 20: 16mm Films

Series 21: Videos [VHS and other formats]

Series 22: Photos of Organizational Units

Series 23: Photos of Facilities

Series 24: Photos of Products

    Sub-Series 01 Prints and Negatives

    Sub-Series 02 Digital Media

Series 25: Photos Used in Publications

Series 26: Photos of Events

Series 27: Photos of Business Matter and Company History

    Sub-Series 01 Prints and Negatives

    Sub-Series 02 Digital Media

Series 28: Photos of Awards

Series 29: Photos of Equipment

Series 30: E.M. Queeny Photograph and Negative Collection

Series 31: E.M. Queeny Glass Negative and Slide Collection

Series 32: Dekalb Acquisition (Print Material)

Series 33: Dekalb Acquisition (Media)

    Sub-Series 01 Audio Cassette Tapes

    Sub-Series 02 VHS [VHS and other formats]

    Sub-Series 03 Films

Series 34: Dekalb Acquisition (Photos)

Series 35: Richard Mahoney Memorabilia

Series 36: William M. Rand Papers

Series 37: Texas City Disaster

Method of Acquisition

This material was placed at the University Archives by the Monsanto Company in 1998 and accruals from the company, and their successor, Bayer, continue to be added periodically. Additional materials are also donated by former Monsanto employees. Consult Archives staff for accession details.

Accruals and Additions

Accruals are interfiled or added as additional series / sub-series.

Processing Information

Processed by Jay Kempen in 1995 and updated with each addition of material. Updated February 2009 by Miranda Rectenwald. Updated July 2012 by Hadley Davis. VHS tapes updated by FMA student in Summer 2016. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in November 2016, February 2017, June 2017, and January 2020. Updated by Miranda Rectenwald in August and December 2023.

Processing Notes - Staff View

Series 12, Box 1 is overfull (noted 20221028 M. Rectenwald)


Monsanto Company Records
Description rules
Language of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021 March 11: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Sarah Schnuriger.
  • 2023 August 09: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Miranda Rectenwald.
  • 2023 December 05: Resource record updated in ArchiveSpace by Miranda Rectenwald.

Collecting Area Details

Part of the Local History Collecting Area

Miranda Rectenwald
Olin Library, 1 Brookings Drive
MSC 1061-141-B
St. Louis MO 63130 US
(314) 935-5495