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Last (Jay T.) Collection of Travel and Exploration Prints and Ephemera
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Jay T. Last collection of travel and exploration prints and ephemera contains about 1,190 printed materials related to the history of hotels, resorts, luggage companies, and maps in the United States. The materials date from approximately 1814 to approximately 1937, although the bulk of the materials date from the mid-19th to early 20th centuries. The collection consists of 50 large-sized items, and over a thousand smaller-sized items, including trade cards, postcards, booklets, billheads, and letterheads. Images include views of hotels and resorts, pictorial and regional maps, and examples of different luggage models sold by manufacturers.
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
21.29 Linear Feet (10 binders, 2 boxes, 3 flat-file drawers)
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.