This data release presents the Yale stocks and flows database (YSTAFDB). Its data describe the use of 102 materials from the early 1800s to circa 2017 through anthropogenic cycles, their recycling and criticality properties, and on spatial scales ranging from suburbs to global. This data collection was previously scattered across multiple non-uniformly formatted files such as journal papers, reports, and unpublished spreadsheets. These data have been synthesized into YSTAFDB, which is presented as individual comma-separated text files and also in MySQL and PostgreSQL database formats. Consolidation of these data into a single database can increase their accessibility and reusability, which is relevant to diverse stakeholders ranging from researchers in sustainability science to government employees involved in national emergency planning.