Crash Course in Business Research: Annual reports and SEC filings

Based on a workshop presented on October 28, 2015

Corporations Filings with the SEC

There are numerous forms that companies must file with the SEC. A complete list of SEC filings is available at the Securities Exchange Commission website. Please also see the US Corporate Filings and Annual Reports: SEC Filings.

  • Bloomberg [available in Watson library and Digital Social Science Center]
    Bloomberg provides access to SEC filings such as 10Ks, 10Qs, Proxies.  Includes scanned annual reports
  • Capital IQ [Watson Library/DSSC use only; Business School students can request accounts]
    Extensive financial database covering publicly traded companies around the world. Also includes private equities.
  • Company Home Pages
    One of the best places to find a company's annual reports and filings is that company's home page. Most public companies have an "investor relations" page on their website that provides annual report(s) and/or SEC filings.
  • EDGAR [from]
    SEC filings from publicly registered companies. 
  • Thomson One [must use Internet Explorer browser]
    Thomson One contains real-time and historical SEC EDGAR filings, scanned images of company annual reports and foreign exchange filings.

Historical Annual Reports & SEC Filings

Please also see the US Corporate Filings and Annual Reports.

► ProQuest Historical Annual Reports
Database offers corporate annual reports for U.S. companies from 1884 to the present. Key data (financial, Fortune 500 ranking, industry classification, key people, geographic location, auditor, and related companies) are indexed in the citation and can be searched. Reports can be browsed by company name, industry or date.

► Historical SEC Filings at Columbia University
The Columbia University Libraries have on microfiche Annual Reports to Stockholders, 10Ks, Prospectuses and Proxies for NYSE and ASE companies.  They are shelved in the Periodicals & Microforms Reading Room, 401 Butler Library. Both microfiche readers and reader/printers are located in this area. Annual reports and 10Ks generally are from 1969 - 1994.

Please consult the Excel finding aid for a list of companies and available reports.

For annual reports before 1934, consult the library's collection of Historical Corporate Annual Reports.  Columbia University's Watson Library of Business and Economics owns a unique collection of historical annual reports. 

The 4,482 corporations whose reports comprise the collection represent most of the industries that were instrumental in the creation of early industrialized America.

All reports are housed in Columbia University Libraries' off-site facility. To request a report:

1. Open Excel finding aid and find the company in the list
2. Write down the barcode associated with the company
3. Call or visit the Business and Economics Library to request the report from off-site [barcode is needed]* Telephone: (212) 854-7804 or e-mail.

*Reports must be requested in advance and be used in the library.

Please note that access policies for Columbia University Libraries differ for non-affiliates.