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Last (Jay T.) Collection of Military Prints and Ephemera
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Jay T. Last collection of military prints and ephemera contains approximately 4,900 printed items from 1785 to 1966, with the majority of material dating from 1860 to 1900. The collection consists of prints depicting primarily American battle scenes, forts, camps, prisons, and military officers; advertising ephemera with military-related images, more than 3,000 Civil War-era patriotic envelopes, and over 100 Civil War-era song sheets.
Background
The Jay T. Last Collection is an unparalleled archive of printed paper artifacts that documents American lithographic, social, and business history. The collection began in the early 1970s when physicist and Silicon Valley pioneer Jay Last moved to Southern California and started collecting citrus box labels he found at local flea markets and rummage sales. As his collection grew, Last realized that these labels conveyed important information about commercial printing, graphic design, and social history, and he expanded his collection to include other forms of American visual culture. Today this collection contains more than 200,000 lithographic prints, posters, and ephemera of mostly nineteenth- and early twentieth- century American origin and represents works by more than five hundred lithographic companies.
Extent
59.78 Linear Feet (8 flat-file drawers, 32 binders, and 1 flat-box)
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.