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Popular Subjects Prints


Held at: Bryn Mawr College [Contact Us]Bryn Mawr College Library, 101 N. Merion Avenue, Bryn Mawr 19010

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Bryn Mawr College. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Seymour Adelman was a Philadelphia based collector of prints, letters, and ephemera. Although he worked in real-estate – a family business – he is most well known for his extensive collecting habits. Adelman has no direct relation to Bryn Mawr, but was invited to visit by James Tanis, the director Canaday Library. The then newly build library offered Adelman an office and a space to house his collection, and this formed the relationship between Bryn Mawr College and Adelman.

Adelman's extensive collection contained material on Thomas Eakins, John Keats, Claude Lovat Fraser, and Laurence Hausman, as well as a large collection of letters. In addition to this work, Adelman also collected fine art prints, material related to the history of the book and publishing, and architectural history, among other interests. Most of this collection of mass-produced and popular culture prints was originally part of Adelman's collection of historical prints.

This collection contains mass-produced prints that have some social or cultural interest. Included in this category are historical prints for popular audiences, caricature prints from newspapers or one-offs, and military diagrams that seem like they were cartoons. These prints do not fall into any clear scientific or art historical categories. They are representative of the popular and wide-reaching aspects of print culture in the 19th century.

Bryn Mawr College
Finding Aid Author
Elliot Krasnopoler
Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research. Records containing personal or confidential student information may be used subject to the discretion of the president of the college.

Use Restrictions

The Popular Subjects Prints collection is the physical property of the Special Collections Department, Bryn Mawr College Library.

Collection Inventory

Adelman - Folder 1 - Caricatures.
Scope and Contents

This folder contains prints on (mostly low-quality paper) of caricatures, making fun of Jews and other races/ethnicities. Most prints are German, but a few are French and one is English ("Life in Philadelphia"). 15 prints total.

Adelman - Folder 2 - History Prints.
Scope and Contents

Contain two series of prints. 1) 5 prints of biblical scenes and locales from R. Bowyer Historic Gallery in London. All dated 1803. Handcolored Etching and Aquatint. 2) 6 prints entitled "College of Physicians." Modern reprints of a series of aquatints of British hospitals, produced by Petrolagar Laborotories. Dated c. 1950s?

Adelman - Folder 3 - Military Cartoons.
Scope and Contents

Six military cartoons, mostly etchings printed on low-quality paper. These show scenes of war, fighting moves or motion studies, and costumes. Some seem to have been "unprofessionally" handcolored – these might have been toys or play objects. They do not seem like scientific or military diagrams. In German and French.

Print, Suggest