Wednesday, 18 January 2012

American Antiquarian Society

The American Antiquarian Society is a major repository for American ephemera, notably early material, outlined in the excellent online Guide to ephemera.  A major digitial resource is only available by subscription: American Broadsides and Ephemera, Series I, 1760-1900 (Readex Division of NewsBank).

There is much else to explore in the AAS website.

. t
(C) American Antiquarian Society
The Guide to the Collections gives an overview in two columns: one by subject grouping, the other alphabetical, with icons showing which have been digitised. Links lead to a series of web pages introducing the category and outlining the resources at the AAS.

There is a very useful genre listing, which gives the cataloguing and listing status of each category.  From this, those which are of most interest to ephemerists are: Almanacs, Billheads, Bookplates and booksellers' labels, Booksellers' catalogues, Broadsides, Calendars, Calling card, Canadiana, Cartes de visite, Civil war cartoons, Civil war envelopes, Clipper ship cards, Election ballots, Ephemera, Games, Invitations, Lottery tickets, Menus, Paul Revere Collection, Postcards, Printing and publishing history, Rewards of merit, Sentiment cards, Songsters, Textile printing, Trade cards, Trade catalogues, although there is clearly more ephemera kept under subject.   Of these, almanacs, booksellers' catalogues, broadsides, Canadiana, printing and publishing history, songsters, and trade catalogues are partially catalogued.  Priority has been given to early material.  The online catalogue, which includes many records for ephemera, can be searched by genre as well as keyword, subject, name, etc.

Some collections have been digitised and are available online in the form of Illustrated inventories. The important  Paul Revere Collection contains 18th century trade cards, certificates, masonic ephemera, prints and much else, all described and digitsed in an Illustrated Inventory.  There are also subject tags, a searchable pdf, list of resources and thumbnail gallery (shown in screen shot).

(C) American Antiquarian Society

The Charles Peirce Collection of Social and Political Caricatures and Ballads is also fully digitised and is also notable for its interractive view of the album before it was disassembled. These political cartoons are supplemented by The European Political Print Collection.  Ambrotypes and daguerrotypes also have fully illustrated inventories.

The AAS holds an important archive of McLoughlin Bros. catalogues, price lists and order forms, available as full-colour pdfs, and also some 50 volumes of Louis Prang's salesmen's books featuring greetings cards.

There is also an invaluable 19th century American Children's Book Trade Directory.

Online exhibitions include Big Business Food Production, Making Valentines, Visions of Christmas, and A Woman's Work is Never Done, all of which feature ephemera.

No comments:

Post a Comment