Trade Literature and Special Materials
Trade Literature Collection
Library American Trade Literature Collection includes 300,000 historical
trade catalogs, representing 30,000 companies, and features predominantly American-manufactured
products for industry, agriculture, business, and decorative arts. Primarily
from 1880-1945, our collection includes product catalogs, technical manuals,
advertising brochures, price lists, and company histories. Researchers use the
collection to understand America’s technological and business heritage, learn
about product manufacturers, the status of various manufactured items, their
intended uses, and to establish manufacture dates.
NMAH Library's Trade Literature Collection is available to the public by appointment
only. Because this collection is unique and irreplaceable, items do not circulate.
World's Fairs and Expositions Collection
This collection of published international exposition and world's fair materials
is strongest from the early fairs (mid-19th century) until the First World War.
The collection is microfilmed, and researchers can consult items onsite. Arranged
by fair name, access to individual fairs is found by consulting the SIL publication,
The Books of the Fairs, (1992) or searching the online
catalog. Additional information about World's Fairs can be found in Revisiting
the World's Fairs and International Expositions: A Selected Bibliography.
The NMAH Library subscribes to many serials, including scholarly journals
such as American Historical Review and Journal of Popular Culture.
Other serials include Antiques Monthly, and the Journal of the
American Medical Association. NMAH Library has many historical serials
from the nineteenth century. All serials are searchable on SIRIS,
and can be accessed by subject, title, or keyword. Records are clearly marked
SERIAL in the upper left-hand corner. To determine holdings, contact the branch
Microform collections include Sears and Roebuck's catalogs, The
Cox Library: County, State, & Local Histories, and The Trade Catalogs
at Winterthur. Microform collections are searchable on SIRIS,
and have unique call numbers. Outside researchers can review microforms in the
National Museum of American History Library.