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American Life collection

Call Number: MS 748

Scope and Contents

This collection is made up of miscellaneous manuscript and printed items which, although ephemeral, illuminate in unexpected ways corners of American life. The letters, generally from unidentified writers, reveal something about business methods, education, and the life of the times. Farming, mining, land speculation, and the opening up of new territories are some of the subjects discussed in these letters.

Also included are legal and financial documents that record the transfer of offices, the price of land, and the cost of goods and services. Printed matter, such as land offerings, trade cards, advertisements of various sorts, campaign literature, and other ephemera are also included and add to the flavor of the periods covered. Both 19th and 20th century material is included in this collection.

Since the items are arranged by accession in numbered folders, there is no chronological or alphabetical order. Wherever possible, however, the material is grouped by subject. By scanning the subject headings in the register, the researcher can readily locate the topics covered.


  • 1824-1952

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown, though much of the material in this collection is likely in the public domain. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes, 2 folios)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


An artificial collection of correspondence, advertisements, brochures, broadsides, newspapers, magazines, posters, programs, printed material, and miscellanea relating to American life and culture, ca.1824-1952.

Separated Materials

The following materials were removed from the collection: exhibition materials transferred to the Exhibitions Collection (MS 893); "Military education in American Colleges," by Colonel Henry B. Carrinton, transferred to the Carrington Family Papers (MS 130); E. Ingraham Co. materials transferred to the University of Connecticut Library.

Guide to the American Life Collection
Under Revision
compiled by Staff of Manuscripts and Archives
February 1975
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
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Sterling Memorial Library
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