Dyeing catalog collection
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
Although the manufacture of dyes can be traced back to thousands of years, until the nineteenth century, all colorants were of natural origin. The first synthetically made commercial dye, mauve, was developed from aniline, a coal tar derivative, by William Henry Perkin in 1856. His success led other chemists to experiment with aniline derivatives and soon there was a spirited competition among commercial chemists, particularly in England, France, and Germany, to develop new synthetic dyes and to obtain lucrative patents. In the decades prior to World War I, the German dyeing industry was arguably the world leader in the production of synthetic dyes and this collection serves as an important documentary artifact from this period.
The Dyeing catalog collection comprises 365 trade catalogs related to the European dyeing industry. The dates range from 1893 to 1960, although the largest part of the collection dates to before 1925. Most of the catalogs are in German, but the collection also includes materials in French, Dutch, and English. The catalogs represent a number of German companies, including Agfa, Bayer, Kalle & Co., and the Leopold Cassella Co. Industrial societies, such as the Gesellschaft für Chemische Industrie in Basel, are also represented. British companies include the British Celanese Co., the British Dyestuffs Corporation, and the Imperial Chemical Industries. Most of the catalogs include samples of dye on various types of material, including paper, wood, textiles, yarn, and fur.
The collection is organized alphabetically by the name of the company or society that published the catalog.
The text of this webpage is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Boxes 1-17: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons
Box 18: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (17 inches)
Processed by Kira Dietz and Laura Cochrane, 2001. Encoded by E. Evan Echols, 2007. Additional encoding by John Caldwell and Jaime Margalotti, 2022.
- University of Delaware Library Special Collections
- Finding Aid Author
- University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
- Finding Aid Date
- 2022 December 9
- 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, http://library.udel.edu/spec/askspec/