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Joseph Willett 1856 eclectic scrapbook of engravings


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

Based on the content of this album, it is very likely that Joseph Willett, whose name appears on the front endpaper and who is assumed to be the creator of this scrapbook, is an American.

Biographical information derived from collection.

This American scrapbook bears the name Joseph Willett, along with the date 1856, on the inside cover and is predominantly comprised of monochromatic engravings, printed images, and illustrated verses.

Many images appear to have been clipped from articles or a book written by Paul Du Chaillu (1835-1903), a French-American anthropologist and renowned world traveler, and depict the author's encounters with African society and wildlife.

Several illustrated verses are from famous literary works or are illustrations with literary context, such as "Miss Edgeworth's house" or an image from

Mortimer's College Life (1856). Many images are possibly from publishers' sample books presenting illustration styles for titles in their catalogues. The eclectic images in this scrapbook range from the opening image of a musical quartet (one man with a guitar, one with a violin, and two women) to images from Babyland or travel literature. One image shows the U.S. Capitol before its central dome was constructed and at least two images relate to the Civil War ("Confederate stragglers" and "Christmas in camp"). One particular illustrated article in this scrapbook details a covered life-saving raft system called "the life car" and several images suggest the author's proximity to the city of Boston. One engraving depicts Gleason Publishing Hall in Boston and was featured on the cover of Gleason's Pictorial in 1857. Other notable Boston landmarks that are depicted in printed illustrations are Faneuil Hall, the Customs House, and Long Wharf. The scrapbook also includes an image of Louis Prang's publishing house in Roxbury, Boston. There are three Christmas images printed in color on crepe paper. This pages of this scrapbook are in good condition but the leather spine of the volume is decayed.

  1. Item 0043: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0093 medium

Anonymous gift, February 1989.

Processed by Processed by Tim Pouch, March 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

Joseph Willett 1856 eclectic scrapbook of engravings, 1856-1880.
Item 0043
Physical Description

1 volume

Print, Suggest