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Securities and Investments: Obsolete Stock Research

Guide to sources of information on investing in the securities markets

Obsolete Stock Research

Use these sources to establish the current status of old stock certificates and determine if they still retain any value other than as collectibles.


  1. Directory of Obsolete Securities
    Print serial:  HG4961 .D56 Hayden Reference 

    Lists banks and public companies since 1927 whose original identities have been lost due to mergers, bankruptcies, changes in names, etc. and shows the chronology of changes and current status of each. 
  2. Mergent Archives
    Database (ASU access only): http://library.lib.asu.edu/record=e1001312~S3

    Reproduces the annual print Mergent Manuals (formerly known as Moody's Manuals) back to the early 1900's under the Corporate Manuals Search tab. Covers U.S. companies and major foreign companies that were publicly traded. The company entries provide some background information, corporate chronology, summaries of financials, dividends, stock price data, and capitalization information as of that year.


  1. Goldsheet Mining Directory- Scripophily and Obsolete Securities
    Website: http://goldsheetlinks.com/obsolete.htm#ref

    Identifies reference books, U.S. and Canadian agencies for corporate registrations, search firms, dealers, and links to other online guides.
  2. Questioned Stock Manual
    Book: HG4927 .G37 Hayden Stacks

    Shows how to determine the worth of old securities, either as still active stocks or as collectibles.
  3. Robert D. Fisher Manual of Valuable and Worthless Securities
    Print serial: HG4055 .R6 Hayden Journal and High Density Collection

    Covers volumes 12 through 14 of the manual for the years 1957-1975.
  4. Scripophily: Collecting Bonds and Share Certificates
    Book: HG4633 .H64 1983 Hayden Stacks

    Introduces the hobby of Scripophily which focuses on acquiring old certificates for their value as collectibles.
  5. State of Arizona - Directory of Active Mines in Arizona
    Print serial: http://library.lib.asu.edu/record=b1636273~S3 (ended in 2007)

    Annually listed mining companies in Arizona and identified the mines they operated for anyone researching old Arizona mining company stock certificates and whether they may still be valid.  If the company was incorporated in Arizona, another way to determine if it is still active, was taken over, or ceased is to check the Arizona Corporation Commission corporate registrations database.

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