Collections > Library Collections > Graphic Arts > Ephemera

Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition Collection

This collection contains printed material distributed at the Centennial Exhibition held in Philadelphia in 1876. At this celebration of the founding of the nation, manufacturers of all types of machinery and equipment from around the country and abroad displayed their wares and distributed advertisements, many of which are illustrated. In a sense this collection is a "snapshot" of the technological development of the nation in 1876. It was this level of technological development that made the industrialization of the United States feasible. Products for household consumption also were on display.

Most of these ephemeral documents are illustrated with crisp, carefully delineated and engraved vignettes. These illustrations provide information visually that should be of interest to many students and scholars. The text on each document makes claims about each piece of equipment and provides information about where it was manufactured, its utility, and importance.

There are about 616 items in the collection, ranging from 1 to 8 pages in length.

- Terri Tremblay, Assistant Curator Graphic Arts


This collection was described in a database by Michael Cohen and reproduced in a digital format by Derek Lundquist in the summer of 2002 through a grant from the Research Libraries Group.

For current information on the cataloging status of this and other AAS collections, choose "Collection Access" below. Access