About the Digital Collection
The "Advertising Trade Cards" is a digital collection featuring over 150 advertising trade and business cards from the Alice Marshall Women's History Collection (AMC), located in Archives and Special Collections at the Penn State Harrisburg Library. The original, paper trade cards were digitized using an Epson scanner in-house and saved at a resolution of 600 dpi as TIFF files. Working with the Digitization and Preservation Department and Cataloging and Metadata Services Departments at University Park, the digital images were described using Dublin Core and loaded into CONTENTdm. All original items are housed in Archives and Special Collections at the Penn State Harrisburg Library.
About the Advertising Trade Cards
The cards showcase the 19th- and 20th-century woman as an entrepreneur and were used as early forms of advertising in America to promote not only goods but also services. They are diverse in content and feature women working as dressmakers, hairdressers, shop and storekeepers, photographers, wine and liquor dealers, and even spiritual mediums! Many of the cards are embossed and brightly-colored examples of chromolithography, a printing technology developed and made popular during the mid-nineteenth century. During the late 1880s, advertising trade cards were extremely collectible and remain popular among paper and ephemera enthusiasts today. The trade cards in this collection are useful primary resources for students and researchers in numerous fields including American Studies, women's studies, advertising and business history, and the visual arts.
About the Alice Marshall Women's History Collection
The advertising trade cards in this digital collection represent only a small portion of the women's history collection. For more information about other items in the Alice Marshall Women's History Collection, please visit the website at http://www.libraries.psu.edu/psul/harrisburg/asc/amwhc.html . An exhaustive finding aid for the collection, in PDF format, is also available online at http://www.personal.psu.edu/hna2/archives/amcfa09152014.pdf .
To view more images of items in the Alice Marshall Women's History Collection, please visit the online image gallery on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/pennstate_harrisburg_archives/collections/72157628824742053/ .
Links to Other Digital Collections of Advertising Trade Cards
There are several other collections of advertising trade cards available online. Below is a selection of other digital collections:
- "The 19th-Century American Trade Card" Collection at the Baker Library, Harvard School of Business
- Bella C. Landauer Collection of Business and Advertising Ephemera at the New York Historical Society Museum & Library
- Fulton Street Trade Card Collection at the Brooklyn Public Library
- Warshaw Collection of Business Americana at the Smithsonian Institution
Courtesy of the Alice Marshall Women’s History Collection, AKM 91/1.1, Series VI: Ephemera and Artifacts, Subseries 1, Binder 1. Archives and Special Collections at the Penn State Harrisburg Library, Pennsylvania State University Libraries.