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Nineteenth-century collecting card album


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

Many, if not all, of these collecting cards were part of sets produced by Louis Prang & Co. of Boston, Massachussetts. By the 1870s, it was possible to cheaply print full-color lithographs. Some cards were produced specifically for collectors, but many also served as advertising trade cards.

Trade cards were fiercely collected and stored in scrapbooks and albums like this one. Although these cards do not display any type of product advertisement, they are similar to contemporary trade cards highlighting leisure activities, places, and illustrations of wildlife.

“Trade Cards,” PBS, accessed April 24, 2018. "Trade Cards: A Short History," Trade Cards, An Illustrated History, Highlights from the Waxman Collection. Cornell University Library, accessed April 24, 2018. "Louis Prang, Father of the American Christmas Card." New-York Historical Society, accessed April 24, 2018.

This nineteenth-century album contains approximately 154 color illustrated collecting cards depicting various human-built or natural landscapes, places, activities, and wildlife.

The places include countries and regions in the Americas, Europe, and Asia. The natural landscapes, including mountains, beaches, lakes, and waterfalls are labeled by type or name, with no indication of geographical location. However, several come from the 1864 Louis Prang & Co. series, "Views of Central Park." The human activities include recreational sightseeing, sledding, and skating. Towards the back of the album, the wildlife cards depict algae, moss, butterflies and birds with scientific and/or common names.

The album has a blue cover and is held closed by two gold clasps. The word "Album" is embossed on the cover in gold. The thick paper pages have angled slits to keep the contents in place without adhesive and appear to be designed specifically to hold collectible cards of this style.

Item 0085: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0093 medium


Processed and encoded by Rivi Feinsilber, April 2018.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2018 April 24
Access Restrictions

This 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 Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Nineteenth-century collecting card album.
Item 0085

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