Guide to Archives Center Shopping Bag Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0570
Creators:
Archives Center, NMAH, SI.
Dates:
circa 1980-2004
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
4 Cubic feet
9 boxes
Repository:
Shopping bags from a variety of businesses, including department stores, museums, book stores, libraries, hotels, banks, and specialty shops. Additional material will be added to this collection periodically.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The shopping bags in this collection represent a number of department stores, book stores, antique stores, banks, libraries, museums, art institutes, toy stores, hotels, etc. and were gathered from a number of sources since it is difficult to get a wide regional selection. The Archives Center maintains these bags however in one collection to show the breadth and the range of the collection. The research value of these bags is as an advertising approach. It presents a view of how certain businesses choose to represent themselves. The designs of the bags, however, are not taken lightly. The graphics and designs on the bags can represent three months of work.
The shopping bags are arranged in alphabetical order by name of business since they were collected to relate to advertising more so than their relationship to art or graphic design. Researchers interested in a particular type of art style or technique or one artist should consult the shopping bag collection at the Cooper Hewitt Museum where they are collected as art forms.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Many businesses have opted to use shopping bags as a less expensive form of advertisement rather than print ads or televisions commercials. These advertisements reflect the creative aspects of the businesses and can often convey the message of a brand. The bags are made of a variety of materials including cloth, heavy paper, and plastic. In addition, retail stores, restaurants, book stores, museums, libraries, coffee houses, grocery stores, and social groups create the shopping bag with the hope that the consumer will reuse it.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection processed by Vanessa Broussard Simmons, December 12, 1996.
Author
Vanessa Broussard Simmons
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Collection open for research.
Preferred Citation
Archives Center Shopping Bag Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
Fees for commercial reproduction. However, there are copyright and trademark restrictions.

Custodial History
Custodial History
This collection was artificially created.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Trademarks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
advertising -- Business ephemera Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Libraries and museums Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Department stores Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shopping bags Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museums Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Taverns (Inns) 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
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives