Guide to the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series 1: Business Ephemera

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0060.S01
Creators:
Warshaw, Isadore, d. 1969
Dates:
circa 1544-1988
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1,108 cubic feet
consisting of approximately 2,050 of boxes, approximately 336 oversize boxes, map case material.
Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. Series 1 is organized into two sub-groups. The first is divided into 468 subject categories. The second sub-group is divided into 68 geographical categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana.

VERTICAL FILES
VERTICAL FILES
This material makes up the largest portion of the collection currently contained in approximately 2,050 vertical document boxes. It consists of bills, receipts, scattered correspondence on letterhead stationery, advertising cards, trade catalogues, calendars, greeting cards, business cards, timetables, labels, handbills, photographs, lithographs, certificates, fans, newspaper clippings, envelopes, bookmarks, cigarette cards, stock cards, election literature, menus, sheet music, postcards, playing cards, posters, scraps, stickers, rewards of merit, maps, printed advertisements, application forms, and an assortment of other types of business ephemera. The material dates from the late eighteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries.
The material is organized into two sub-groups. The first is divided into 468 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. Within the subject categories, the material is organized by company where applicable or type of material. Subject categories which have been fully organized, re-housed, and described are followed by an asterisk (*). A scope and content note, folder list, and a list of subject terms for the processed subject categories is available. Many of the subjects also have brand-name indexes that are available in the Archives Center.
The second sub-group is divided into 68 categories and consists of materials arranged by geographical areas. The geographical areas include regions, states, cities and countries. Materials consists of bills and receipts, printed advertisements, maps, tourist handbooks and guides, photographs, etc. These materials remain largely unprocessed and written descriptions are not available.

OVERSIZE
OVERSIZE
This material makes up a substantial portion of the collection currently contained in approximately 336 oversize boxes and 34 map case drawers. It consists primarily of posters, newspapers, point of purchase displays, packaging, printed advertisements, illustrations from periodicals, lithographs, labels, shipping documents, promotional items, trade catalogs, pattern sheets, maps, art reproductions, fashion design drawings, membership certificates, photographs, broadsides, price lists and an assortment of other types of business ephemera. The material dates from the mid-nineteenth through the mid-twentieth centuries.
The material is arranged in alphabetical order in the same subject and geographical categories as materials in the Business Ephemera Vertical Files. Within a few of the subject categories, the material is organized by company if there was enough material to warrant it. These materials are housed in map case drawers, and 20x24 and 14x18 flat oversize boxes. Further descriptions and container lists for the oversize materials are available in the reference room.
Many of the materials are extremely fragile and require careful handling. Assistance from the reference archivist is highly recommended. Photocopies may not be made of the oversize materials due to size and condition. It is advisable to consult the notebooks containing black and white prints of collection materials. Photocopies of these prints can be made instead of the original materials. Researchers may request photographs, slides or transparencies from the Office of Printing and Photographic Services using existing negative numbers.

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
Arranged in 2 subseries.

Administration
Processing Information note
Revised: September 30, 2010
In 2016, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF), the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History implemented the use of minimal level processing standards to increase information about and facilitate access to more of our collections.
The CCPF Collaborative Project resulted in approximately one-third of the collection receiving minimal processing which included arrangement to the folder level, based on prior processing and preservation action, with retention of the pre-existing arrangement when possible, if applicable. Otherwise, an order was imposed by the Processing Archivist. Some materials were consolidated to eliminate excess bulk but items within folders were not arranged further. The guides may or may not include a more refined list of folder contents. Nonarchival housing was replaced for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners were not removed.
Minimal level processing and machine-readable finding aids were completed by Nicole Blechynden from July 2016 thru September 2017, and Kendra Jae from November 2016 thru May 2017.
Author
Vanessa Broussard-Simmons and Nicole Blechynden
Sponsor
Funding for partial processing of the collection was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF).
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060, was purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.

General note
General note
(*) Categories organized and described in Scope Content Notes and Container Lists available in the Archive Center.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Access note
Select Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogs restricted due to fragile condition. Researchers should consult microfilm in NMAH library for 1880-1983 editions, drawer 692.
Conditions Governing Use note
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Materials in the Archives Center
Materials in the Archives Center
Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)

Forms Part Of
Forms Part Of
Series 1: Business Ephemera forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana .

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Business ephemera Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business records Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ephemera Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ephemera -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ephemera -- 19th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printed ephemera Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
advertising -- Business ephemera Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business -- History Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu