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American Trade Card Collection

 Collection
Call Number: AOB 3

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of illustrated 19th century trade cards (small printed cards, bearing tradesmen’s advertisements and including an illustration); early 20th century advertising cards which were distributed by merchants or manufacturers to advertise or promote their business or product; and a small number of collecting cards. The colorful illustrations depict scenes of city and rural life; celebrities; animals; flowers; household products; and numerous other subjects. The cards reflect the social, economic, political, and cultural climate of the periods during which they were produced.

Dates

  • circa 1870-1950

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright has not been transferred to Yale University.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The American Trade Card Collection is part of the Arts of the Book Collection, which was formerly housed in Sterling Memorial Library, Room 177, until its transfer to the Robert B. Haas Family Arts Library in 2008.

Arrangement

The cards are arranged alphabetically by subject of each card’s illustration, which often is unrelated to the product advertised. For example, a card advertising soap may have an illustration of a bouquet of flowers, and that card is filed under the category Plants--Flowers. Oversize cards are listed at the end of the following list. The cards are filed into fifteen card file boxes (numbered 1A through 4C), which are then housed in four larger boxes numbered Box 1 through Box 4.

Extent

14.5 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/arts.aob.0003

Overview

The collection consists of illustrated 19th century trade cards (small printed cards, bearing tradesmen’s advertisements and including an illustration); early 20th century advertising cards which were distributed by merchants or manufacturers to advertise or promote their business or product; and a small number of collecting cards.
Title
Guide to the American Trade Card Collection
Author
Compiled by Susan Brady and Eva Wrightson
Date
July 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Yale University Arts Library Repository

Contact:
Arts Library Special Collections
180 York Street
New Haven CT 06511
203-432-1712

Opening Hours