Guide to the John and Jane Adams Ephemera Collection

Finding Aid Authors: Kira Hall.
© Copyright 2013 Special Collections & University Archives. All rights reserved.
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Guide to the John and Jane Adams Ephemera Collection

Special Collections & University Archives

Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: John and Jane Adams Ephemera Collection
Dates: 1856-1996
Bulk Dates: 1880-1982
Identification: MS-0384
Creator: Adams Ephemera Collection, 1856-1996
Physical Description: 10.35 linear ft
Language of Materials: English
Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Biographical Information:

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.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Topical Term:

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



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.

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.

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

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

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 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), 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 1960’s through the 1980’s.  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.

Detailed List of Contents


Business and Commerce 1880-1982

Box 1, Folder 1

Advertising 1882-1909, 1936-1945, 1977

Box 1, Folder 2

Advertising: Cards 1880-1933

Box 1, Folder 3

Booklets 1926-1937, 1949

Box 1, Folder 4

Business Cards n.d.

Box 1, Folder 5

Calendars 1887-1948

Box 1, Folder 6

Cigarette Silks n.d.

Box 2, Folder 1

Company Catalogs 1895, 1928-1950, 1982

Box 2, Folder 2

Company Catalogs: Automibiles 1919, 1925-1937

Box 2, Folder 3

Company Catalogs: Burr McIntosh Monthly 1906-1908

Box 2, Folder 4

Company Catalogs: Matchbook Advertising n.d.

Box 3, Folder 1

Mailers 1938-1961

Box 3, Folder 2

Orange Wrappers n.d.

Box 3, Folder 3

Promotional Giveaways 1889-1892, 1904, 1981

Box 3, Folder 4

Receipts 1904-1905

Box 3, Folder 5

Shareholder Reports 1932-1935

Box 3, Folder 6

Shareholder Reports 1932-1935

Box 16

Montgomery Ward Catalog 1928


Political 1903-1996


Campaign Mailers 1903-1992

Box 4, Folder 1

A 1965-1980

Scope and Contents

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
Box 4, Folder 2

B 1915, 1963-1981

Scope and Contents

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;
Box 4, Folder 3

C 1964-1982

Scope and Contents

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)
Box 4, Folder 4

C 1964-1982

Scope and Contents

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
Box 4, Folder 5

D 1955-1982

Scope and Contents

Charles Dail (2); Ed Davis; Democratic Congressional Committee (7); Democratic National Committee President's Club; Bob Dent; Robert Dorman
Box 4, Folder 6

E 1980-1981

Scope and Contents

Jim Ellis (3)
Box 5, Folder 1

F 1963-1983

Scope and Contents

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
Box 5, Folder 2

G 1968-1981

Scope and Contents

Leslie Gehres; Susan Golding; Barry Goldwater (19); Good Government
Box 5, Folder 3

H 1960-1982

Scope and Contents

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
Box 5, Folder 4

I 1965

Scope and Contents

The Independent American; The Indianapolis News; International Youth Federation For Freedom; Investor's League Inc.; Ed V. Izac
Box 5, Folder 5

J 1979

Scope and Contents

Howard Jarvis (3); Lyndon B. Johnson
Box 5, Folder 6

K 1960-1980

Scope and Contents

Lee Kaiser (2); Larry Kapiloff (7); John F. Kennedy (3); William Knight; William F. Knowland
Box 5, Folder 7

L 1936, 1972-1980

Scope and Contents

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)
Box 5, Folder 8

M 1960-1992

Scope and Contents

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 6, Folder 1

N 1965-1992

Scope and Contents

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)
Box 6, Folder 2

N 1965-1992

Scope and Contents

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
Box 6, Folder 3

O 1965

Scope and Contents

John O' Connor; Omni Publications
Box 6, Folder 4

P 1933-1980

Scope and Contents

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)
Box 6, Folder 5

R 1965-1982

Scope and Contents

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
Box 6, Folder 6

R 1965-1982

Scope and Contents

The Republican (8); Republican Associates of San Diego County; Republican Party (2); Republican Record; Republican Roundtable
Box 7, Folder 1

S 1964-1980

Scope and Contents

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
Box 7, Folder 2

T 1948, 1964-1982

Scope and Contents

Virginia Taylor; Ross Tharp (3); Think! (2); Dan Thomas; Edward L. Thompson; Leo Thorsness; Homer Tomlinson; Harry Truman; John Tunney (3)
Box 7, Folder 3

U 1965-1980

Scope and Contents

Morris Udall; United Republicans of America (2); United States Anti-Communist Congress
Box 7, Folder 4

V 1967-1976

Scope and Contents

Lionel Van Deerlin (3); Voter Education Project
Box 7, Folder 5

W 1903, 1948, 1970-1980

Scope and Contents

James Edward Wadham; George C. Wallace (3); Herb Watson; Albert Wedemeyer; Bob Wilson (7); Dick Wilson (3); Women's Club
Box 7, Folder 6

Z 1976

Scope and Contents

Frank Zeidler
Box 7, Folder 7

Political Collector Advertisements 1964-1981


Campaign Souvenirs 1939-1996

Box 8, Folder 1

Campaign Souvenirs 1962-1969

Box 8, Folder 2

Campaign Souvenirs: Paper 1939, 1944, 1964-1996

Box 16

"The First Family" Vinyl Album 1962

Box 16

Richard Nixon Inaugural Address Vinyl Album 1969


Campaign Newspapers 1964-1980

Box 8, Folder 3

Campaign Newspapers 1964, 1980


Events 1909-1981

Box 8, Folder 4

Events 1909-1979

Box 8, Folder 5

Events: Newspaper 1960-1981


Pamphlets 1946-1966

Box 9, Folder 1

Pamphlets 1946-1966


Propaganda 1929-1974

Box 9, Folder 2

Propaganda 1966-1974

Box 9, Folder 3

Propaganda 1958-1965

Box 9, Folder 4

Propaganda 1929-1942


Wartime 1918-1964

Box 10, Folder 1

Military Information 1918, 1938-1946, 1959, 1964

Box 10, Folder 3

Propaganda 1942

Box 10, Folder 4

Songbooks 1943

Box 10, Folder 5

Souvenirs 1942


Travel 1901-1981

Box 11, Folder 1

Calendars 1947, 1949, 1963

Box 11, Folder 2

Hotel Papers 1934-1935, 1964

Box 11, Folder 3

Maps and Diagrams 1913

Box 11, Folder 4

Souvenirs: Destinations n.d.

Box 11, Folder 5

Souvenirs: Destinations n.d.

Box 12, Folder 1

Souvenirs: Hotel n.d.

Box 12, Folder 2

Ticket Stubs 1904-1922, 1939

Box 12, Folder 3

Transportation 1980-1981

Box 12, Folder 4

Visitor Information Guides 1940-1965

Box 12, Folder 5

Visitor Information Guides 1901, 1914-1926


Games and Hobbies 1880-1942

Box 13, Folder 1

Board Games and Puzzles 1935, 1942

Box 13, Folder 2

Cards n.d.

Scope and Contents

Study, Magic, Game, and Tongue Twister Cards
Box 13, Folder 3

Scrapbook Cutouts n.d.

Box 13, Folder 4

Songs and Poems n.d.

Box 14, Folder 1

Stamps: Air Mail 1960-1968, 1980

Box 14, Folder 2

Stamps: Albums n.d.

Box 14, Folder 3

Stamps: Charity Seals 1938-1971

Box 14, Folder 4

Stamps: Postmarked 1898, 1912-1914, 1932-1949, 1953

Box 15

Scrapbook 1 ca. 1929

Scope and Contents

189 pages
Box 15

Scrapbook 2 ca. 1890

Scope and Contents

47 cards
Box 15

Scrapbook 3 ca. 1950

Scope and Contents

173 cards
Box 15

Scrapbook 4 ca. 1880

Scope and Contents

160 cards
Box 15

Scrapbook 5 ca. 1880

Scope and Contents

29 cards
Box 15

Scrapbook 6 ca. 1900

Scope and Contents

160 cards
Box 15

Scrapbook 7 ca. 1900

Scope and Contents

31 cards
Box 16

Scrapbook 8 ca. 1880

Scope and Contents

249 pages
Box 16

Scrapbook 9 ca. 1890-1900

Scope and Contents

69 pages
Box 16

Scrapbook 10 ca. 1892-1910

Scope and Contents

59 pages
Box 16

Scrapbook 11 1933-1934

Scope and Contents

340 pages
Box 17

Scrapbook 12 ca. 1890

Scope and Contents

168 pages
Box 18

Scrapbook 13 ca. 1910

Scope and Contents

78 pages
Box 18

Scrapbook 14 ca. 1880

Scope and Contents

110 pages
Box 18

Scrapbook 15 ca. 1920

Scope and Contents

15 pages

Religious 1856-1950

Box 14, Folder 5

Religious 1856, 1905-1916, 1943-1950


Educational 1907-1935

Box 14, Folder 6

Educational 1907-1935