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The Centennial scrap book


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

This American scrapbook was created by an unknown individual, likely a young lady. Souvenir images in this volume originate from the International Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. The copyright from a prayer card in this collection also indicates the date of 1876.

Biographical information derived from collection.

This late nineteenth century American scrapbook bears the title "The Centennial Scrap Book" and its contents suggest that it may have been made by an adolescent female: scraps and images depict courtship, infants, fashionable ladies, flowers, and religious sentiments. The album features a series of Centennial exhibition cards that show the buildings in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, that were constructed for the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876. The album also includes prayer cards; die-cut images of flowers, fruit, birds, children, and fashionable ladies; and two fine examples of original artwork.

The cover of this album, which is fairly good condition, bears the title "The Centennial Scrap Book" in gold letters. A die-cut color image of George Washington is centered on the red cloth cover framed by decorative black embossing in the 1870s Aesthetic style. There are a total of nine souvenir cards printed by M. Burt (Cleveland, Ohio) from the International Exhibition in Philadelphia and one from the same series which depicts Independence Hall and is titled "First U.S. Congress." A souvenir card from Saratoga Lake, likely in Saratoga, New York, depicts a rural scene centered on a large lake with a railroad track.

Other frequent ephemera in this collection are die-cut scraps of flowers, fruit, birds, children, and fashionable ladies. Several of the prayer cards are in neat arrangements with other cards. Among these small arrangements of cards is a trade card for "Mme Demorest's Reliable Patterns Centennial Award." Another prayer card indicates a copyright date of 1876 from "I. Prang & Co., publishers of Prang's American Chromo's, Boston." There are a few sentimental images that depict young adults in romantic settings, suggestive of courtship and devotion.

Original artwork in this scrapbook includes a watercolor botanical illustration of a fuschia painted directly onto an album page and an exquisite mixed media (pen and ink, gouache, watercolor) illustration that depicts a baby bird emerging from an egg shell with a nature scene in the background, also rendered directly onto the album page.

  1. Item 0042: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0093 medium


Processed by Processed by Tim Pouch, February 2013. Encoded by Caitlin Farthing, March 2013.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2013 March 20
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

The Centennial scrap book, 1876.
Item 0042
Physical Description

1 volume

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