Archives Center, National Museum of American History

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


Collection ID:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969
Physical Description:
1.51 Cubic feet
consisting of 2.5 boxes, 9 folders, 4 oversize folders.
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Autographs 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 note

Scope and Contents note
This subject category- Autographs consist of hand-written letters, documents, business papers and manuscripts. There are almost no "autographs" in the sense of signatures collected from famous persons. The signatures of Theodore Dreiser and Theodore Roosevelt appear on typewritten letters. Letters from such notables as William McAdoo (United States Secretary of the Treasury), Chauncey DePew (United States Senator) and Schuyler Colfax (United States Vice President) are present. These, and the great majority of letters and documents, concern business and/or political affairs. Apart from the historical interest of the subject matter found in the letters and manuscripts the researcher may learn much about the legal and epistolary styles of the late eighteenth through the early twentieth centuries. Almost all of the letters are entirely handwritten; the many styles of penmanship range from the elegant to the virtually unreadable. The manner of folding and addressing the earliest correspondence is very much in evidence in letters written before the general use of envelopes; many of these carry evidence of sealing-wax.

Arrangement note

Arrangement note
The arrangement scheme for the material has been created by the Archives Center.
  • 1, Letters and Signatures circa 1725-1920
  • 1a, Robert Beverley Papers, circa 1795-1811
  • 1b, Robert DePeyster Outgoing Correspondence, 1828-1829
  • 1c, Thomas F. Foster Outgoing Correspondence, 1831-1837; undated
  • 1d, Mary L. McMurman Outgoing Correspondence, 1867-1868
  • 2, General Subjects, circa 1725-1850
  • 3, Dealers in Autographs, circa 1858-1966
  • 4, Collector's Societies and Publications, circa 1889-1953


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
Autographs 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.

Using the Collection

Preferred Citation note
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Autographs, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
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
Ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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