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Historical Collections Exhibit As new consumer markets developed following the Civil War, the advertising trade card met the need for an effective national advertising medium and heralded the arrival of an extraordinary variety of manufactured goods newly available to the American public. An exhibition organized by the Historical Collections Department of Baker Library. Search Catalog records for 1,000 of Baker Library's advertising trade cards, with accompanying digital images, are now available through the Visual Information Access (VIA) system, an online catalog of visual resources at Harvard. Baker Library holds more than 8,000 trade cards representing the full range of products and businesses advertised through this medium from the 1870s through the 1890s. As one of the most popular forms of advertising in the nineteenth century, and an indicator of consumer habits, social values, and marketing techniques, trade cards are of interest to scholars across many disciplines, including business history, American studies, graphic design and printing history, and social and cultural history. To provide better access to the trade card collection, the Historical Collections Department has completed the cataloging and digitization of 1,000 trade cards that are representative of our collections and of the genre itself. This undertaking was one of the first five projects funded by Harvard University's Library Digital Initiative , an effort by the Harvard University Library to create an infrastructure to support the "collecting" of digital resources at Harvard. Additional funding for the trade card project has come through the generous support of the American Association of Advertising Agencies and Arnold Communications, Inc. For information concerning access and use of the trade card collection, please contact the Historical Collections Department .
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