Special Collections Department
Hugh M. Morris Library
University of Delaware Library
- PRINTING, PUBLISHING AND THE BOOK TRADES
- HORTICULTURE, GARDENING, AND AGRICULTURE
- HOUSE CONSTRUCTION AND FURNISHINGS
- DAILY LIFE
- SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
- DELAWARE BUSINESSES
IN THE UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE LIBRARY
The University of Delaware Library Special Collections Department houses an extensive collection of trade catalogs and advertising ephemera produced in the United States from the middle of the eighteenth century until the present day. The collection's strength is in its diversity. Rather than focusing on one type of product or industry, the Library's goal has been to acquire broadly and develop a wide range of catalogs that support research and teaching in a variety of disciplines. The trade catalog collection also complements the Special Collections Department's traditional strengths in the history of horticulture, science and technology, printing and publishing, and the book arts. Companies selling printing supplies, agricultural implements and nursery stock, type founders, publishing companies, and booksellers are particularly well-represented as are the catalogs of Delaware businesses.
"Trade Catalogs in the University of Delaware Library" offers highlights of the Library's extensive collection. Well known regional companies like DuPont, Burpee Seed Company, and John Wanamakers are represented as are obscure nineteenth century sellers of stuffed animal heads, patent medicines, water-closets, and buggy whips. The exhibit also includes a fascinating selection of early trade publications from internationally-known businesses of today such as Harley-Davidson, Eastman-Kodak, Anheuser-Busch, and Coca-Cola.
The publications themselves range widely in style and format. Many of the catalogs use lavish, brightly colored illustrations and well-known advertising images to present their wares. Of particular note are the nineteenth-century American seed and nursery books with their striking chromolithographed covers and plates designed to convey the appeal of freshly-harvested fruits and vegetables. Other catalogs take a more simplistic approach, often out of economic necessity, and sometimes consist only of a few pages of listed products; yet they too are of historic importance. The exhibition also includes a selection of the Library's strong collection of trade cards, posters, salesmen's sample books, and other advertising ephemera. These also range from brightly-illustrated, exotic presentations to crude printed lists with hand-written corrections.
|Printing & Book Trade||Horticulture & Agriculture||Home Furnishings||Daily Life||Trans- portation||Science & Technology||Delaware Businesses|
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