Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Sex

Collection ID:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969
circa 1750-1943
Physical Description:
0.47 Cubic feet
consisting of 1 box, 1 folder.
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Sex forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 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. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This material consists primarily of books, clippings, advertisements, and images relating to sex for the general public. Though the materials span nearly two hundred years, the bulk of the material is from the late 19th century.
Series 1, Sex Health, 1892–1943, includes some books on sex health and heredity. There are also materials pertaining to contraception and sexual hygiene. These materials pertain to both women and men's health and range from scholarly treatises to advertisements for contraceptive methods and feminine hygiene products.
Series 2, Images, undated, contains advertisements, lithographs, and photographic images relating to sex. The bulk of the images are depictions of nude women, including two different postcards. There are no nude pictures of men included in this series.
Series 3, Prostitution, 1938; undated, contains mostly undated materials relating to prostitution. Most of the materials are advertisements from establishments offering prostitution services. There is also an article written by a prostitute for Ken magazine (1938).
Series 4, Sex and the Law, 1836–1867, contains materials relating to sex and the law. There are pamphlets addressing blue laws and prostitution. Woman and homosexual suffrage are also topics addressed in these materials.
Series 5, Transexuals, 1750–1829, contains one image and one newspaper clipping about men transforming themselves into women. There is also a small story about a woman who masqueraded as a man and married another woman and a drawing of this woman.
Series 6, Sex Humor, 1940; undated, contains some jokes and humorous stories relating to sex. Most of the material appears to date from the late 19th century to the early 20th century. Some of these materials may be considered risqué or offensive.

Vanessa Broussard-Simmons and Nicole Blechynden
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
Sex is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 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.
Processing Information
In 2016, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund, 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.
A large portion of stored material from the original acquisition received minimal level processing, which resulted in additions to this Subject category. This effort included basic arrangement and replacement of non-archival housing for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed. Revisions to the encoded finding aid were made to reflect the added content in context to the previously processed material.
Minimal level processing and enhancement of the machine-readable finding aid completed by Nicole Blechynden, September 2017.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Preferred Citation note
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Sex, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
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

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Business ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ephemera Genre Form 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