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Finding aid to the California lettersheet collection, circa 1850-1870
Kemble Spec Col 09  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Restrictions on Reproduction
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • System of Arrangement
  • Scope and Contents
  • Indexing Terms

  • Title: California lettersheet collection
    Date: circa 1850-1870
    Collection Identifier: Kemble Spec Col 09
    Extent: 4 flat boxes (2.75 linear feet)
    Contributing Institution: California Historical Society
    678 Mission Street
    San Francisco, CA, 94105-4014
    (415) 357-1848
    reference@calhist.org
    URL: http://www.californiahistoricalsociety.org/
    Physical Location: Collection is stored onsite.
    Language of Materials: Collection materials are in English, with a few lettersheets in German and French.
    Digital reproductions of selected lettersheets are available on the Flickr Commons.
    Abstract: Consists of California lettersheets, mostly pictorial, created approximately between the years 1850 and 1870, with the bulk dating from the 1850s. Pictorial lettersheets are illustrated with lithographs or wood engravings depicting California and Western themes. Intended to be used as stationery during and after the California Gold Rush, these lettersheets served as a kind of reportage, depicting important events and popular stories of the day. Common illustrated topics and scenes include: murders and executions; the San Francisco Vigilance Committee; natural disasters, especially fires (San Francisco) and floods (Sacramento); the Gold Rush; mining life (from perspectives sentimental, cautionary, and comic); festivals, holidays, and parades; buildings and street scenes; and views of San Francisco, Sacramento, and towns throughout the state's mining region.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Director of Library and Archives, North Baker Research Library, California Historical Society, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA 94105. Consent is given on behalf of the California Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Restrictions on Reproduction

    Photocopying is prohibited.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], California lettersheet collection, Kemble Spec Col 9, California Historical Society.

    Acquisition Information

    The California lettersheet collection is an artificial collection composed of lettersheets given to the California Historical Society by various donors, including Lowell J. Hardy, Charles Templeton Crocker, Harry T. Peters, the Wiltsee estate, Mrs. David Potter, and Mrs. Rankin P. Rickard. Some lettersheets are on indefinite loan from the M.H. De Young Memorial Museum.

    Processing Information

    Lettersheets were removed the California Historical Society's Fine Arts Collection, integrated into the Kemble Collection on Western Printing and Publishing, and processed by Marie Silva in 2013.
    Lettersheets that had been separated from manuscript collections were reunited with their original collections, whenever possible. Lettersheets on which manuscript letters were written were also removed from the California Lettersheet Collection and cataloged as manuscripts. These manuscripts are listed in the finding aid for the California Lettersheet Collection, with separated materials notes indicating their manuscript call numbers.

    System of Arrangement

    Arranged in two series: 1) Pictorial lettersheets; and 2) Non-pictorial lettersheets. Pictorial lettersheets are arranged in alphabetical order by Baird catalogue number, based on Joseph Baird's California pictorial letter sheets, 1849-1869 (San Francisco: David Magee, 1967). Descriptive conventions have been adapted from the same book.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection consists of California lettersheets, mostly pictorial, created approximately between the years 1850 and 1870, with the bulk dating from the 1850s. Pictorial lettersheets are illustrated with lithographs or wood engravings depicting California and Western themes. Intended to be used as stationery during and after the California Gold Rush, these lettersheets served as a kind of reportage, depicting important events and popular stories of the day. Common illustrated topics and scenes include: murders and executions; the San Francisco Vigilance Committee; natural disasters, especially fires (San Francisco) and floods (Sacramento); the Gold Rush; mining life (from perspectives sentimental, cautionary, and comic); festivals, holidays, and parades; buildings and street scenes; and views of San Francisco, Sacramento, and towns throughout the state's mining region.
    The lettersheets in the collection were created by numerous California artists, engravers, lithographers, and publishers, notably: Charles Nahl; Britton & Rey and Pollard & Britton (San Francisco); Quirot & Co., Justh & Co., and Justh, Quirot & Co. (San Francisco); James M. Hutchings and Hutchings & Rosenfield (San Francisco); Anthony & Baker (San Francisco); Kuchel & Dresel (San Francisco); Cooke & LeCount (San Francisco); Charles P. Kimball and the Noisy Carrier's Publishing Hall (San Francisco); and Barber & Baker (Sacramento).

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    California--Gold discoveries--Pictorial works.
    California--Pictorial works.
    Executions and executioners--California--Pictorial works.
    Fires--California--San Francisco--Pictorial works.
    Floods--California--Sacramento--Pictorial works.
    Gold miners--California--Pictorial works.
    Gold mines and mining--California--Pictorial works.
    Lithography--California.
    Pictorial lettersheets.
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Pictorial works.
    Vigilance committees--California--San Francisco--Pictorial works.
    Wood-engraving--California.