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Researching Old Stocks

Learn the best resources and strategies for researching old stocks

Tracking Down Older Prices

Sometimes you don't have all the information or the information is not freely available on the web. At the BPL, we have a few resources to help you narrow down your search.

Using the New York Times to Find Historical Stock Prices

The Historic New York Times is a great way to find historical daily prices. Please work through the steps while conducting your search.

What you need:

  • Your library card and pin (if you are connecting remotely)
  • The date of the price you are looking for
  • The company name at that time period

In this example we will be looking up the Stock price for Aetna on October 13, 1958.

Step one:  On the main ProQuest Historical Newspapers page click on "Advanced search"

Step 2: Enter the publication Date and Document type

Under Publication date we have chosen the option of "On this date...."

We also chose the date of October 14, 1958.  We are using the 14th instead of the the 13th because because the prices were printed in the following day's paper. A note: Friday's prices will be printed in Saturday's paper.

Under Document Type scroll and check "Stock Quote"

Click Search

Step 3: Browse the document by clicking on the the titles.  

You may have to click on several titles before you find the stock price listings. 

Step: 4 Find your company.

Companies are listed in Alphabetical order by their name or the abbreviation of the name. Depending on the time period you may see tickers instead.

Typically you will need just the closing price but check with your tax professional.  For October 13th it was $28. 

Notice that some numbers in the cents are denoted 1/2's 1/4's and 1/8's instead of exact cents. 

Historical Stock Pricing Books

Pricing Books are located in the Kirstein Business Library & Innovation Center on the lower level of the Boylston Street Building, Central Library at Copley Square.

Coverage:

  • ASE Daily Stock Price Record 1962-2010
  • NYSE Daily Stock Price Record
  • OTC (NASDAQ 1993 on) Daily Stock Price Record 1968-2010

Note: Until recently many closing prices were given as fractions rather than in the exact cent amount.  You may come across prices like these:

  • 28-2
  • 36+11

Use the key in the front of the book to determine what the symbols mean.  In most books dashes mean eights and pluses mean sixteenths.  Thus the two examples above become:

  • 28 1/4
  • 36  11/16

There are other symbols and notations explained in the key. If you need further assistance ask a staff member for help.