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Scrapbook of turn-of-the-twentieth century portraits of world leaders and international celebrities


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

The creator of this scrapbook is unknown, though the scrapbook may be American in origin.

The presence of a section of portraits of past presidents of the National Editorial Association suggests that this scrapbook may have been a sort of biographical reference source created by someone in the business of newspaper publishing. The National Editorial Association (now the National Newspaper Association) was founded in 1885 in New Orleans as a non-profit trade association to promote the common interests of newspapers.

Biographical information derived from the collection. "About the National Newspaper Association." National Newspaper Association website. (accessed October 2013).

This scrapbook, compiled by an unknown creator, is a collection of turn-of-the-twentieth century portraits of world leaders and international celebrities. From royalty to military and diplomatic leaders to men and women of science, arts, and letters to personalities of the stage and silent screen, the news clippings, engravings, and cut illustrations from popular reading sources found in this scrapbook present a glimpse of fame documented in another era.

This scrapbook of portraits is organized in eleven categories that, though not labeled, are apparent by content. The scrapbook seems to have been filled over time: some sections have space yet to be filled and other sections include tipped-in overlapping portraits because the entire section has been filled completely. The oversize volume is 49 cm with embossed and patterned paper board covers. The quarter leather corners and spine are worn away, and the sewing of the signatures is broken so that all signatures are now unsewn. There are 202 numbered pages in the volume.

There are very few color images in this scrapbook; nearly all are black-and-white portraits clipped from newspapers or illustrated periodicals on better quality paper. There are some engravings from better publications, at least one original graphite sketch, and a few images from collectible cigarette cards. The source material appears to be international in origin. One folder includes two removals:

Royal Wedding Supplement to the St. James Budget (July 24, 1896) with a cover image of Princess Maud in her wedding dress, and "Royalty on the Firing Line," an article by Winthrop Biddle torn from Munsey's Magazine (November 1914).

The eleven sections of the scrapbook are the following: royalty (p. 1); world leaders and statesmen (p. 21); American presidents and statesmen (p. 35); world military figures (p. 57); worldwide men and women of letters (playwrights, authors, poets, etc., p. 90); men and women of science (inventors, explorers, etc., p. 127); past presidents of the National Editorial Association (p. 135); artists (p. 137); composers, musicians, and opera stars (p. 153); celebrities of the stage (actors, actresses, stage beauties, p. 165); philanthropists and benefactors (with crusaders, reformers, and financiers, p. 199).

There are literally hundreds of portraits of worldwide celebrities in this scrapbook, most of whom are contemporary to the period between 1885-1920 when this volume was created. There are a few historical images, especially of classical artists, composers, and scientists. The scrapbook as a whole presents an interesting study of fame, celebrity, and the timeless attraction of biographical profiles in print media.

  1. Item 0053: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0093 folio+

Gift of anonymous, August 2013.

Processed by L. R. Johnson Melvin, October 2013. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti, October 2013.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2013 October 30
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

Scrapbook of turn-of-the-twentieth century portraits of world leaders and international celebrities, circa 1885-1920.
Item 0053
Physical Description

1 volume

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