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Photograph album of African American women posing in a department store


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 department store depicted in these photographs used model rooms to display its wares and prompt customers to imagine the goods in their own home. The model room was established as the premier method of advertising store merchandise in the 1930s and remained a common display tactic by department stores until the end of the twentieth century.

Information derived from the collection.

This album features sixty photographs of young African American women posing with department store displays and working in the store's offices.

The photographs in this album were taken between December 1969 and September 1970 and show a small group of African American women posing amongst home interior displays. The women lounge on furniture and interact with various household goods, including tableware, throw pillows, clocks, and lighting fixtures. The displays feature the highly saturated colors, geometric shapes and lines, and bold patterns characteristic of interior design of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The shots are relaxed and informal, suggesting the photographs were taken by a co-worker and were not for public display or advertisements. Several photographs show the women working at desks in the store's offices. The store is not identified, but it was possibly a Shoppers Fair department store.

The album has bold, pictorial floral covers and is internally bound with steel rings. It contains ten mylar-covered leaves, with sixty color photographs inserted into the first ten pages. The photos measure 3 ½" x 3 ½". Many of the photos are slightly overexposed.

Item 0170: Shelved in SPEC MSS 0093 CMI boxes

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Purchase, November 2017

Processed and encoded by Elizabeth Jones-Minsinger, December 2017.

This collection was originally processed and cataloged with the call number PPI 0093 Item 0005.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2017 December 8
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,

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