Overview of the Collection
Arrangement of Materials:
Scope and Contents
Overview of the Collection
Collection Title: John and Jane Adams Ephemera Collection
Bulk Dates: 1880-1982
Adams Ephemera Collection, 1856-1996
Physical Description: 10.35 linear ft
Language of Materials:
Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
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.
This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject 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
Conditions Governing Use:
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.
Conditions Governing Access:
This collection is open for research.
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.
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
Arrangement of Materials:
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
Scope and Contents
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 1800’s through the late 1900’s. 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),
Games and Hobbies (ca. 1880’s-1942),
Religious (1856-1950), and
Business and Commerce
Inclusive Dates: 1880-1982
Predominant Dates: 1880-1939
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.
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 1960’s through the 1980’s. This large
series includes seven sub-series:
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.
Inclusive Dates: 1901-1981
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.
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.
Inclusive Dates: 1856-1950
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
Inclusive Dates: 1907-1935
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.