Guide to the Advertising Ephemera Collection, 1850s-1980s
The Advertising Ephemera Collection is composed of single advertisements, product and trade catalogs, advertising pamphlets, and broadsides. The advertisements are primarily American and from the late 19th and early to mid 20th century.
- Collection Number
- Advertising Ephemera collection
- Advertising Ephemera. Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
- 35.0 linear feet, 9,279 items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
- Advertising Ephemera Subject Files
- Advertising Ephemera Subject Files - Oversize Materials
- Accession (2001-0034), 1860-1999
- Accession (2002-0082), 1960s-1970s
- Accession (2004-0145), 1800s-1990s
- Accession (2008-0311), 1850-1950
- Accessions (2008-0317), (2008-0322), (2008-0323) and (8/2014)
- Accession (2014-0175)
The Advertising Ephemera Collection is composed of single advertisements, product and trade catalogs, advertising pamphlets, and broadsides. The advertisements are primarily American and from the late 19th and early to mid 20th century. The collection is divided into broad subject categories, based on the primary type of product or service being advertised, which are arranged in alphabetical order. Within each subject category material is divided based upon the form of the material; leaflets, letters, and sheets printed on both sides; trade cards (mechanical, metamorphic, see-thru, shape, fabric inserts, unusual feature, postcards and insert cards); booklets; special categories; and miscellaneous. A subseries of foreign advertising material consists predominately of travel related literature and is arrange alphabetically by country. The arrangement of oversize materials parallels the original arrangement.
The researcher should note that trade catalogs that are pamphlets may be found in several places in the Perkins Library: this collections; individually in the stacks as fully cataloged items; or as part of groups of old pamphlets for which the cataloging was by main entry only. Advertising broadsides may also be found in the Broadsides Collection and many collections of manuscripts also contain advertising materials.
Some useful reference sources for gathering further information on this type of material include:
Romaine, Lawrence B., "A Guide to American Trade Catalogs," 1944-1900 (New York, 1960).
Hammond, Dorothy, "Advertising Collectibles of Times Past," (Des Moines, Iowa, 1974).
Kaduck, John M., "Advertising Trade Cards," (Des Moines, Iowa, 1976).
McQuarry, Jim, "Collectors Guide to Advertising Cards," (Gas City, Indiana, 1975).
Additions to the collection have not been processed and therefore to do reflect the arrangement of the rest of the collection. Please refer to the detailed description below for more information about their content.
Collection is open for research.
Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.
All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.
Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Publisher and bookseller catalogs. Some magzine and subscription advertisements.
Building supplies, equipment, and services. Architectural ornaments and building matertials.
Catalogs and brochures for foreign travel and package tours. Includes museum and retaurant guides, shopping guides, and regional maps.
Chiefly catalogs for school, library, and office furniture. Some catalogs for home furniture. For rugs, lamps, fixtures, and other home related items see Home Furnishings. Additional oversize materials in Box 63.
Addition (2001-0034) (2,012 items; dated 1860-1999) contains examples of ephemera, including: House of Lights (Raleigh and Cary, N.C.) night light, Dalziel Supply Co. hanger, N. Donald Edwards Co. paper clip dispenser, FedEx golf tee, Emery Worldwide keychain, and Baird & Warner real estate jar opener.
This addition has been interfiled with the collection.
Addition (2002-0082) (250 items, 1.2 lin. ft.; dated 1960s-1970s) contains primarily catalogs for the flooring and carpeting retail industry, brochures, and business cards for diverse stores and services. Also includes advertising memorabilia such as rulers, sewing kits, and keychains.
This addition has not been processed.
Addition (2004-0145) (150 items, 0.6 lin. ft.; dated [1800s]-[1990s]) contains a wide variety of promotional items, most dating from the early to mid 20th century, including cookbooks, pamphlets, brochures, direct mailings, order forms, and other items. Also includes a can opener, a contact lens case, an LP record, and two CDRs.
This addition has not been processed.
Addition (2008-0311) (150 items, 0.2 lin. ft.; dated -) includes trade catalogs, booklets, brochures, and leaflets for a wide variety of industries, including books, machinery, and appliances.
This addition has not been processed.
Addition (2008-0317) (3 items, 0.1 lin. ft.; dated 1898) consists of a pamphlet advertising a Commercial Travelers' fair in New York.
Addition (2008-0322) (3 items, 0.1 lin. ft.; dated 1913) includes a letter from Regal Tailoring to J.T. Ryan asking him to represent the company as an agent.
Addition (2008-0323) (5 items, 0.1 lin. ft.; dated 1879) includes 5 pieces about becoming an agent for Sherman & Co.'s Centennial Illuminating Oil and Compound bar soap.
Addition (8/2014) (4 items, 0.1 lin. ft.; dated 1906-1907 and undated) comprises envelopes and printed items related to subscriptions for and advertisements in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
These additions have not been processed. They are interfiled with Accession (2008-0311).
Addition (2014-0175) (75 items, 0.3 lin. ft.; dated 1890s) includes 75 sachets and sample envelopes for perfumes, talcum, face powders, complexion powders, and soaps manufactured primarily in the United States, with a few from Canada. Almost all the packages are color-lithographed and feature images of women, children, and infants, and sizes range from 2 x 2 inches to 5.5 x 4 inches. Among the sample products are Tetlow's Gossamer for the Complexion, San Toy Talcum, Charles Meyer Black Mascarillo; La Maison Dorin Rouge Framboise, Qentin's Beauty Leaves, Purity Soap Leaves, and Xenobia Sachet. Manufacturers include Jergens, L. H. Pierson, Chapman & Rogers, F. R. Arnold & Co., Puritan Pharmaceutical, Freeman Perfume Co, Henry Tetlow Co., H. G. Schlueter, Bronson Chemical Co., Larkin Co., California Perfume Co, Lightbody & Co., Red Feather Perfume Co., Parfumer Tre-Vaux, Colgate & Co. and Canadian firms Sovereign Perfume Ltd., National Drug and Chemical Company. Acquired as part of the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture and the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.
- Advertising -- Tourist trade
- Advertising cards
- Advertising, American
- Automobiles -- Catalogs
- Building materials -- Catalogs
- Business cards
- Clothing and dress
- Commercial catalogs
- Equipment and Supplies -- Catalogs
- Furniture -- Catalogs
- Health products
- House furnishings industry and trade
- Household appliances
- John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History
- Machinery -- Catalogs
- Patent medicines -- Catalogs
- Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture
- Trade catalogs
- Women -- Health and hygiene
[Identification of item], Advertising Ephemera Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
Items were purchased by or transferred to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library in the 1970s, and 1990-2014.
Processed by Ginny Daley and Sarah Hamilton
Completed September 29, 1998
Encoded by Don Sechler
Updated by Meghan Lyon, December 2008
Updated to include accession 2014-0175 by Alice Poffinberger, October 2014
Updated to include accession 8/2014 by Alice Poffinberger, December 2014