Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series 4: Photographic Reference Material


Collection ID:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969
Physical Description:
0.5 Cubic feet
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. Series 4 consists of photographs, slides and transparencies of items found in the collection. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana .

Scope and Contents note

Scope and Contents note
Over the years the Museum has created a number of photographic copies of items in the Warshaw Collection. These photographs were taken for many purposes. Some photographs were created in response to requests by researchers for images to be used in publications, exhibitions, and for other purposes. Other photographs were taken to create a file of photographic slides and prints that serves as a quick reference source for researchers. Several thousand photographic images from the Warshaw Collection were transferred to an experimental videodisc by the Institution's Office of Photographic and Printing Services (OPPS). The videodisc is available for viewing on equipment in the Archives Center.
Use of the prints, slides, and videodisc reduces wear and tear on the collection, permits rapid searching through many images, and assures the researcher--in most cases--that a photographic negative or transparency already exists and that copies can be reproduced relatively quickly and inexpensively. Searching the collection's photographic reproductions is especially appropriate for researchers who want to see general images of subjects such as "women in advertising" or an advertisement from a particular year.
SERIES 1 consists of photo prints arranged alphabetically by the same subject categories as the business ephemera vertical files. They are housed in three-ring notebook binders and may be used on a self-service basis in the Archives Center reference room. The prints generally bear a negative or transparency number on the reverse side. This permits researchers to order copies for their own use through OPPS. The reference archivist will assist with procedures for ordering copies.
SERIES 2 contains 35mm color slides arranged in the order in which they were photographed and carry a serial number that links them to the duplicate transparency. They are also housed in three-ring notebook binders and may be used on a self-service basis.
SERIES 3 includes color transparencies and some black and white photonegatives arranged in the order in which they were photographed. A listing of captions for these transparencies is available to researchers. This listing provides a subject heading, the name of the creator of the item, the type of item, and, often, its date. The listing also includes the transparency number and the frame numbers for transparencies that have been placed on the videodisc. These materials are housed in shoe boxes and may be used upon request.
SERIES 4 consists of one videodisc with random selections of images from the Warshaw Collection, along with images of objects from other museums prepared by OPPS. The Warshaw Collection images are found on the disk between frames 40,770 and 41,864 and between frames 43,168 and 44,890. OPPS prepared two volumes of an inventory of color transparencies (see series three), found in the Archives Center reference room. The frame numbers of transparencies which that on the videodisc are marked in pencil beneath the transparency number. The transparency number always is preceded by the notation "CBA." The inventory listing also indicates the subject area of the image (but not necessarily the same subject category as the list of Warshaw Collection headings), a brief caption, and sometimes the size and color of the original item.

Arrangement note

Arrangement note
Arranged in 4 subseries.
  • 4.1: Photoprints
  • 4.2: 35mm color slides
  • 4.3: Color transparencies
  • 4.4: Videodisc


Vanessa Broussard-Simmons
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.

Using the Collection

Preferred Citation note
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Access note
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

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012