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John and Jane Adams Ephemera Collection, 1856-1996 | Special Collections & University Archives

By Kira Hall

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Collection Overview

Title: John and Jane Adams Ephemera Collection, 1856-1996Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1880-1982

Primary Creator: Adams Ephemera Collection (1856-1996)

Extent: 10.35 Linear Feet


I. Business and Commerce, 1880-1982

II. Political, 1903-1996

      1. Campaign Mailers, 1903-1992

      2. Campaign Souvenirs, 1939-1996

      3. Campaign Newspapers, 1964-1980

      4. Events, 1909-1981

      5. Pamphlets, 1946-1966

      6. Propaganda, 1946

      7. Wartime, 1918-1964

III. Travel, 1901-1981

IV. Games and Hobbies, 1880-1942

V. Religious, 1856-1950

VI. Educational, 1907-1935

Date Acquired: 01/01/1989. More info below under Accruals.

Subjects: Advertising specialties--United States--Specimens, Campaign paraphernalia--United States--Specimens, Printed ephemera--Private collections--California--San Diego, Printed ephemera--United States--Specimens, Travel paraphernalia--United States--Specimens

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The John and Jane Adams Ephemera Collection (1856-1996) offers a glimpse into some of the ways printed materials were used to capture the interest of American culture from the late 1800s through the late 1900s.  Such a collection can be used to trace shifts in cultural norms, as these items of ephemera typically reflect the prevailing sentiments of the population for whom the materials were created.  The subject matter of the ephemera in this collection varies as wildly as the materials used to create it.  The collection has been divided into six series based on subject: Business and Commerce (1880-1982), Political (1903-1996), Travel (1901-1981), Games and Hobbies (ca. 1880’s-1942), Religious (1856-1950), and Educational (1907-1935).

I. Business and Commerce

Inclusive Dates: 1880-1982

Predominant Dates: 1880-1939

The Business and Commerce series predominantly features advertising materials in a variety of formats.  While the bulk of these items were manufactured in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, many of the formats found in this series remain commonplace to American consumer culture, such as brochures, flyers, and business cards.  The series also contains a wide variety of advertising novelties popular in the mid-nineteenth century.  Many of these novelties were manufactured with the intent of be useful to the consumer, thus creating incentive to retain the item for a longer period of time.  Items represented in the series include: calendars, cigarette silks, fans, matchbook ads, and orange wrappers.  This series focuses on American business and commerce and is particularly strong in local San Diego advertising.  The arrangement of the series is alphabetical by the format of the advertisement.

II. Political

Inclusive Dates: 1903-1996

Predominant Dates: 1960-1982

While the inclusive dates for the Political series encompass nearly a century, the bulk of the records span twenty years, from the 1960s through the 1980s.  This large series includes seven sub-series: Campaign Mailers, Campaign Souvenirs, Campaign Newspapers, Political Events, Propaganda, Pamphlets, and Wartime materials.  The majority of this series is comprised of Campaign Mailers seeking financial or election day support.  Republican, Democratic, and third party candidates are represented in this collection of campaign mailers.  Certain candidates hold larger proportions of the records, such as Congressman John Anderson, Senator Barry Goldwater, and former Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.  The series also includes many political action committees, such as the American Civil Liberties Union, the California Democratic Party, and the National Organization for Women.  A complete list of the campaign mailers included in this series is provided in the Box and Folder Listing.

The remaining subdivisions are more sparsely represented.  The Campaign Souvenirs sub-series includes both paper and non-paper items, such as calendars, comic books, buttons, and vinyl records.  Campaign Newspapers contains publications by various campaign committees, such as newspapers from The Rockefeller Campaign Express published in 1964 and one from a 1980 The Republican Record covering the Bush/Reagan presidential election.  Political Events contains newspaper clippings from local San Diego presses and primarily contains campaign news, such as 1966 San Diego Union Tribune election coverage, as well as booklets and programs, such as transcripts of the Richard Nixon Watergate Tapes and the program from the 1964 Republican National Convention.  Propaganda contains newsletters and pamphlets from a variety of organizations, including Christian Crusade, MacArthur Freedom Association, and Constitutional Alliance.  The sub-series also includes several pamphlets published by American Opinion on a variety of subjects relating to American morality, including problems with sex education in schools and pornography.  Pamphlets includes informational materials, such as a history of the National Republican Congressional Committee and a series of excerpts printed by the Education and Public Welfare Division of the Library of Congress in 1963 regarding the federal government’s role in providing medical care to citizens.  The Wartime sub-series includes information pamphlets on various events, such as an undated publication by The Naval Weekly about the Destroyer Disaster at Honda Head, a pamphlet about war loans published by the U.S. Treasury, and battle maps of the 4th Division Aisne-Marne Offensive of 1918.  The sub-series also includes wartime propaganda, such anti-Japanese publications, and souvenirs, such as war insignia stamps from World War II and military songbooks.  The series primarily focuses on American politics, both local and national.  The arrangement of the series is alphabetical by subject.

III. Travel

Inclusive Dates: 1901-1981

The Travel series features information about travel destinations in a variety of formats, most not dated.  Souvenirs of various types from many locales comprise the bulk of this series.  Examples include a box of art cards from the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy, as well as photographic prints of national monuments, such as Mount Hood and Mount Rushmore.  The series also contains examples of hotel tariff cards, which list the amenities offered by the hotel, as well as hotel stationary.  Also included in this series are several visitor information guides from both national and international destinations, such as the Petrified Forest of Arizona, Carlsbad Caverns, and a guide to Singapore.  Transportation and admission ticket stubs from numerous destinations, both local and foreign, are also found in this series.  Languages included in this series are English, Italian, German, French, and Dutch.  The arrangement of the series is alphabetical by subject.

IV. Games and Hobbies

Inclusive Dates: ca. 1880’s-1942

Games and Hobbies materials in this series are often undated.  Items in this series include board games, puzzles, stamp collections, and cards of various types, such as magic and study cards.  The bulk of the series is comprised of scrapbooks. The subject matters of the majority of the fifteen scrapbooks included in this collection are representative of the interests of the later Victorian era, particularly Scrapbooks 1-7, which include cutouts and cards of women, children, flowers, and animals.  Scrapbooks 8 and 9 include news articles about society men and women, as well as fashion trends. Scrapbook 10 includes a collection of Opera House programs.  Scrapbook 11 details the construction of the Coulee Dam.  Scrapbooks 12 and 13 include pictures and articles about United States travel destinations, primarily National Parks.  Scrapbook 13 also includes hand written travel accounts.  Scrapbook 14 features prints of nature and architecture.  Scrapbook 15 includes advertising brochures.  This series is arranged alphabetically by subject.

V. Religious

Inclusive Dates: 1856-1950

The Religious series is a small collection that includes a variety of materials, from calendars with proverbs to religious lessons on cards.  Of particular note is a handwritten letter in a small notebook from a mother to her daughter, written in 1905.  The letter provides instruction on overcoming temptation.  This series only contains one folder of materials, arranged in a roughly chronological order.

VI. Educational

Inclusive Dates: 1907-1935

The Educational series is the smallest of the Adams Ephemera Collection.  The sparse content includes a pamphlet on keeping politics out of schools, an “American Education Week” stamp, and a fifth grade promotion card from 1907.  This series only contains one folder of materials arranged in rough chronological order.

Biographical Note

This collection of ephemera—defined as materials created for a particular, limited purpose designed to be thrown away after use—is the result of decades of collecting by John and Jane Adams.  Epehemera is one of many collecting areas the Adams dedicated themselves to, frequenting yard and estate sales as well as purchasing items through dealers and collectors.

Subject/Index Terms

Advertising specialties--United States--Specimens
Campaign paraphernalia--United States--Specimens
Printed ephemera--Private collections--California--San Diego
Printed ephemera--United States--Specimens
Travel paraphernalia--United States--Specimens

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Accruals: 1989-003

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: John and Jane Adams

Related Materials:

John and Jane Adams Autograph Albums Collection

John and Jane Adams Artwork Collection

John and Jane Adams Greeting Card Collection

John and Jane Adams Menu Collection

John and Jane Adams Photograph Collection

John and Jane Adams Postcard Collection

John and Jane Adams Postcard Periodicals Collection

Jane Adams Recipe Collection

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, John and Jane Adams Ephemera Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Business and Commerce, 1880-1982],
[Series 2: Political, 1903-1996],
[Series 3: Travel, 1901-1981],
[Series 4: Games and Hobbies, 1880-1942],
[Series 5: Religious, 1856-1950],
[Series 6: Educational, 1907-1935],

Series 2: Political, 1903-1996Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: Campaign Mailers, 1903-1992Add to your cart.
Box 4Add to your cart.
Folder 1: A, 1965-1980Add to your cart.
Alert America Association; Dede Alpert; American Cancer Society; American Civil Liberties Union (4); American Committee on Immigration Policies; American Conservative Union; American Educational League (3); American Friends Service Committee; American Speaker's Bureau; Americans for Freedom; The Anvil; John Anderson (11); John Ashbrook; Assembly Republican Political Action Committee
Folder 2: B, 1915, 1963-1981Add to your cart.
Sample Ballot Special Municipal Election; Ed Barr; William Beasley; John Birch; Rose Bird; Henry Boney; Jamie Brierton (2); Emmanuel Braude (3); Jerry Brown (2); Claire Burgener; Vice President Bush;
Folder 3: C, 1964-1982Add to your cart.
California Christian Campaign Committee; California State Employee's Association; Jimmy Carter; The Cause; Center for Law in the Public Interest; Cesar Chavez (3); R. "Christy" Christianson; Citizen's Foreign Aid Committee; Ed Clark; Barry Commoner; Congressional Record; Convention Center Proposition A; Conservative Book Club; Council for Statehood (4); Al Coupee; Alan Cranston (11)
Folder 4: C, 1964-1982Add to your cart.
California Committee to Eliminate Railroad Featherbedding; California Committee to Preserve Railroad Safety; California League of Senior Citizens; California Republican Assembly; California Republican Party (12); California Republican Senate Committee (2); Jimmy Carter; Christian Anti-Communism Crusade; County of San Diego Budget Report 1963-1964
Folder 5: D, 1955-1982Add to your cart.
Charles Dail (2); Ed Davis; Democratic Congressional Committee (7); Democratic National Committee President's Club; Bob Dent; Robert Dorman
Folder 6: E, 1980-1981Add to your cart.
Jim Ellis (3)
Box 5Add to your cart.
Folder 1: F, 1963-1983Add to your cart.
The Fact Finder; Federation for Constitutional Government; Harold Fields (2); Bob Filner (2); Robert Finch (2); First National Directory; Gerald Ford (5); Glen Ford; Freedom Bulletin; Freedom Fellowship Church; Fund to Protect Scholars From Defamation
Folder 2: G, 1968-1981Add to your cart.
Leslie Gehres; Susan Golding; Barry Goldwater (19); Good Government
Folder 3: H, 1960-1982Add to your cart.
Fred Hall (3); Carol Hallett (2); George Hansen; Jim Hatcher; S.I. Hayakawa; Jesse Helms (2); The Herald of Freedom; Human Events; Humphrey for President Committee; Willard M. Huyck
Folder 4: I, 1965Add to your cart.
The Independent American; The Indianapolis News; International Youth Federation For Freedom; Investor's League Inc.; Ed V. Izac
Folder 5: J, 1979Add to your cart.
Howard Jarvis (3); Lyndon B. Johnson
Folder 6: K, 1960-1980Add to your cart.
Lee Kaiser (2); Larry Kapiloff (7); John F. Kennedy (3); William Knight; William F. Knowland
Folder 7: L, 1936, 1972-1980Add to your cart.
Labor Educational Association (2); Alfred Landon; League of Women Voters (4); Jack Lemmon; The Libertarian; Libertarian Alternative (2); Libertarian Alternative (3); Libertarian Party (4); Jim Lorenz; Bill Lowery (4)
Folder 8: M, 1960-1992Add to your cart.
Roger MacBride (2); Eugene McCarthy; George McGovern; Dan McKinnon; George McLain (3); The Manion Forum; Jeff Marston (2); Anthony J. "Joe" Mastriana; Lee Metcalf; William Miller;  Ed Millican (2); Minutemen; Michael Montgomery; Geoge Murphy; Walter Mondale (2); Edmund Muskie; Jerry Muth
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 1: N, 1965-1992Add to your cart.
National Coalition of American Patriots; The National Economic Council; The National Program Letter; The National Republican Congressional Committee;The National Right to Work Committee; The National Statesman; Peter Navarro; Richard Nixon (8)
Folder 2: N, 1965-1992Add to your cart.
NAACP Legal Defense Fund (2); Ralph Nader; National Abortion Rights Action League; National Advisory Board; National Economic Council; National Organization for Women (3); National Republican Congressional Committee; National Tax Limitation Committee; National Tax Payers Union; Nestle Products Boycott; The New Right
Folder 3: O, 1965Add to your cart.
John O' Connor; Omni Publications
Folder 4: P, 1933-1980Add to your cart.
Bob Packwood; Peace Information Center; Roy R. Pearson; People's Bicentennial Commission; People for the American Way; People's Advocate (2); Prince Edward School Foundation; Prisoner's Relief Fund; Pro-Choice Voter's Guide; Prohibition National Committee (3)
Folder 5: R, 1965-1982Add to your cart.
Max Rafferty; Ronald Reagan (12); Realtor's Constitutional Amendment; Republican Presidential Task Force; Lou Ridgeway (2); Republican National Committee (4); Nelson Rockefeller; Teddy Roosevelt (2); John Rousselot
Folder 6: R, 1965-1982Add to your cart.
The Republican (8); Republican Associates of San Diego County; Republican Party (2); Republican Record; Republican Roundtable
Box 7Add to your cart.
Folder 1: S, 1964-1980Add to your cart.
Pierre Salinger; San Diego Public Library; Fred Schnaubelt; School Bonds; Jack Schrade; Patricia Schroeder; Southern Poverty Law Center (3); The Spolight (2); State Personnel Board
Folder 2: T, 1948, 1964-1982Add to your cart.
Virginia Taylor;  Ross Tharp (3); Think! (2); Dan Thomas; Edward L. Thompson; Leo Thorsness; Homer Tomlinson; Harry Truman; John Tunney (3)
Folder 3: U, 1965-1980Add to your cart.
Morris Udall; United Republicans of America (2); United States Anti-Communist Congress
Folder 4: V, 1967-1976Add to your cart.
Lionel Van Deerlin (3); Voter Education Project
Folder 5: W, 1903, 1948, 1970-1980Add to your cart.
James Edward Wadham; George C. Wallace (3); Herb Watson; Albert Wedemeyer; Bob Wilson (7); Dick Wilson (3); Women's Club
Folder 6: Z, 1976Add to your cart.
Frank Zeidler
Folder 7: Political Collector Advertisements, 1964-1981Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: Campaign Souvenirs, 1939-1996Add to your cart.
Box 8Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Campaign Souvenirs, 1962-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Campaign Souvenirs: Paper, 1939, 1944, 1964-1996Add to your cart.
Box 16Add to your cart.
Item 5: "The First Family" Vinyl Album, 1962Add to your cart.
Item 6: Richard Nixon Inaugural Address Vinyl Album, 1969Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 3: Campaign Newspapers, 1964-1980Add to your cart.
Box 8Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Campaign Newspapers, 1964, 1980Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 4: Events, 1909-1981Add to your cart.
Box 8Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Events, 1909-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Events: Newspaper, 1960-1981Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 5: Pamphlets, 1946-1966Add to your cart.
Box 9Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Pamphlets, 1946-1966Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 6: Propaganda, 1929-1974Add to your cart.
Box 9Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Propaganda, 1966-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Propaganda, 1958-1965Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Propaganda, 1929-1942Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 7: Wartime, 1918-1964Add to your cart.
Box 10Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Military Information, 1918, 1938-1946, 1959, 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Propaganda, 1942Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Songbooks, 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Souvenirs, 1942Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Business and Commerce, 1880-1982],
[Series 2: Political, 1903-1996],
[Series 3: Travel, 1901-1981],
[Series 4: Games and Hobbies, 1880-1942],
[Series 5: Religious, 1856-1950],
[Series 6: Educational, 1907-1935],

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