Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Kelsey Company Records

Collection ID:
Kelsey Press Co.
Physical Description:
15 Cubic feet
54 boxes
Archival materials documenting the business history of the Kelsey Press Company, amateur newspapers, and publications of owners of Kelsey presses.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Mail Orders, Press Orders, Stock Orders, Testimonials
All these bundles have a uniform format blue cover sheet, typed information. Penciled dates on some bundles indicate that they were bundled up in this format in 1923. Note that there are no orders from post 1923. Consecutive numbering of the press orders also indicates that pre existing categories were probably bundled up at a later date. The dates on the blue cover sheets are of the date the order was filled, not the date the letter was written. All are filed by date filled.
The "Press Orders Misc." seem to be a group of orders for presses that were not interfiled with the others. While many of these are orders placed by "professionals," i.e., type foundries and the offices of magazines, there is not really anything else to set them apart from the regular run of press orders. Perhaps they were kept separately because of who was ordering them?
Press Orders
Are numbered consecutively by hand, and filed by number. Some are out of sequence. Later they are stamped "order filled" and filed by date filled. These are all orders for presses; they include those orders for presses and accessories.
Stock orders
These are not numbered. They are orders for accessories only no presses ordered on these orders.
Mail Orders
These are primarily orders for blank cards (for use as business or calling cards) and for paper stock. But not always there are some orders for accessories included, on the same order as that for cards.
William A. Kelsey to "Frank" 1905 . These are Frank's copies, i.e., they are the originals. Frank was evidently the Office Manager. Kelsey on road quite a bit, mainly based in New York City writes of "will try to get to Meriden" on such and such a day. Also includes 1905 1906 trip to England, France, Italy & Turkey. In Europe again in 1909.

Collection divided into seven series.
Series 1: Testimonial Letters
Series 2: Mail Orders
Series 3: Press Orders
Series 4: Stok Orders
Series 5: Ledgers
Series 6: Amateur Journalism/Amatuer Press Journals
Series 7: National Mateur Press Association (NAPA)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
One of the first, and the longest surviving company to produce amateur printing presses, started in the 1870s.

NMAH Staff
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.
Processing Information
This collection was processed by NMAH staff.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
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.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
Kelsey Company Records and Amateur Journalism Collection, 1873-1964, Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Business records -- 1850-1900 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Journalism Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newspapers Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Printing -- Newspapers Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Publications Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business records -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
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