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Guide to the Sears Catalog Collection, 1910-1994

Summary

Department store chain founded in 1893 as a mail order business; one of the largest retailers in the United States. Collection consists of seasonal catalogs and wish books spanning the years 1910-1994. Catalogs featured the full range of items sold by Sears, from clothing to appliances and toys, and served as a bridge between the company's walk-in department stored and direct marketing mail order business. Initially featured unbranded products before adopting a number of Sears' house brands and eventually featuring nationally branded products. Acquired as part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.01161
Title
Sears Catalog collection
Date
1910-1994
Creator
Sears, Roebuck and Company
Extent
12 Linear Feet, 60 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Material in English

Collection Overview

Collection consists of seasonal catalogs and wish books spanning the years 1910-1994. Catalogs featured the full range of items sold by Sears, from clothing to appliances and toys, and served as a bridge between the company's walk-in department stored and direct marketing mail order business. Initially featured unbranded products before adopting a number of Sears' house brands and eventually featuring nationally branded products.

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

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. The library may require up to 48-hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use & Permissions

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.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], Sears Catalog Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Ca. 1910s Chicago
Box 1
1914 Chicago
Box 1
1915 Chicago #131
Box 2
1920 (spring) Dallas
Box 2
1920-1 (fall & winter) Philadelphia
Box 3
1925-6 (fall & winter) Chicago
Box 3
1928-9 (fall & winter) Philadelphia
Box 4
1930 (spring & summer) Philadelphia #160
Box 4
1933 (spring & summer) Chicago #168
Box 5
1935-6 (fall & winter) Dallas #171
Box 5
1937 (spring & summer) Dallas #174
Box 5
1940-1 (fall & winter) Minneapolis #181
Box 6
1942 (spring & summer) Chicago #184
Box 6
1943 (spring & summer) Chicago #186
Box 7
1944 (spring & summer) Chicago #188
Box 7
1945 (spring & summer) Philadelphia #190
Box 8
1946 (spring & summer) Philadelphia #192
Box 8
1948 (spring & summer) Philadelphia #196
Box 9
1950 (spring & summer) Philadelphia #200
Box 9
1950-1 (fall & winter) Philadelphia #201
Box 10
1951 (spring & summer) Greensboro, NC
Box 10
1951 (spring & summer) Philadelphia #202
Box 10
1953-4 (fall & winter) Philadelphia #207
Box 11
1954 (Christmas) Chicago
Box 11
1955 (spring & summer) Atlanta #210
Box 11
1957 (spring & summer) Philadelphia #214
Box 12
1958 (spring & summer) Boston #218
Box 12
1959-60 (fall & winter) Philadelphia #219
Box 13
1962 (spring & summer) Greensboro, NC 231F
Box 13
1962 (Christmas) Chicago
Box 13
1965-6 (fall & winter) Philadelphia #231
Box 14
1965-6 (fall & winter) Greensboro #231F
Box 14
1968 (spring & summer) Atlanta
Box 15
1968-9 (fall & winter) Greensboro, NC
Box 15
1971 (spring & summer) Atlanta #242A
Box 16
1971 (spring & summer) Greensboro, NC #242A
Box 16
1971-2 (fall & winter) Greensboro, NC #243G
Box 17
1974 (spring & summer) Eastern edition #248K
Box 17
1974-5 (fall & winter) Eastern edition
Box 18
1976-7 (fall & winter) Southern edition #253H
Box 18
1977 (spring & summer) Southern edition #254A
Box 19
1980 (spring & summer) Southern edition #260K
Box 19
1980-1 (fall & winter) Southern edition #261H
Box 20
1983 (spring & summer) Southern edition #266A
Box 20
1983-4 (fall & winter) Southern edition #267G
Box 21
1984 (spring & summer) Catalog of the Future, boxed edition
Box 21
1986 (spring & summer) Centennial edition
Box 22
1988 (spring & summer) “B” catalog
Box 22
1988 (Annual Home, Hardware, Auto and Leisure) “Y” catalog
Box 22
1988 (Wishbook)
Box 23
1991-2 (fall & winter) edition G/F/LY/YV #283
Box 23
1992 (Wishbook) edition E/N/AC
Box 23
1994 (Annual) edition W/R/AL/LH #286
Box 24
 

Historical Note

Founded 1893 by Richard Sears and Alva Roebuck as a mail order business. Sears opened its first department stores in 1925 and rose to become the largest retailer in the United States. Acquired by KMart in 2005.

Related Material


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Provenance

The Sears Catalog Collection were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a gift in 1999.

Processing Information

Processed by Richard Collier, March 2014

Encoded by Richard Collier, March 2014

Accession 1999-0237 is described in this collection guide.