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Archival description
Printing -- History
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Victorian Valentines

The Valentines subseries consists of a variety of greeting card formats and styles from primarily the Victorian era but as late as the interwar period. These include a mix of cards that have been sent and kept by the receiver in addition to several cards that likely belonged to a stationer or printer. While some cards include handwritten messages, most cards are unsigned and seem to be unsold copies or samples belonging to a catalog. Sub-subseries include: comic valentines, foldout or pop-up valentines, ornate handmade valentines, printed manufactured valentines, puzzle or rebus valentines, and sentimental valentines. In addition, the subseries contains several examples of additional ephemera related to Valentine’s Day or the greeting card business, such as valentine writers or printer’s catalogs. There are is also a full scrapbook of card samples and additional scrapbook pages with affixed cards. Additionally, there are a few card making materials or scraps that highlight the various components and processes of card making. The subseries also includes some greetings cards not associated with Valentine's day, but originally found with Valentine's cards.

These materials are primarily useful in capturing the essence of Victorian sentimentality and communication culture. Spanning several decades, they represent the evolving printing culture and technology of the nineteenth century. The subseries equally illustrates the industrial age and the emerging consumerist and capitalist societies as several greeting card companies surfaced around the world to profit from the sudden craze. More subtly, the cards allow for an appreciated of craftsmanship and reflection on women’s role in manufacturing as their smaller hands were often required to do the finishing work on handmade cards.

Geraldine Cole Fonds

  • CA RBD Bewick MS 012
  • Fonds
  • 1813-2016

Fonds consists chiefly of ephemera and correspondence relating to the work of wood engravers of Thomas and John Bewick of Newcastle, England, in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The ephemera found in series 1 includes various examples of fine printing, including proofs and printed keepsakes featuring Bewick engravings from printers such as Havilah Press and Anchor and Acorn Press. Series 2 contains correspondence, chiefly between Geraldine Cole and booksellers, as well as general correspondence with friends and acquaintances. Series 3 consists primarily of bookseller descriptions and clippings and excerpts from catalogues describing Bewick works (generally with the catalogue cover appended to a loose page on which a Bewick item appears). Some are with accompanying correspondence. Also included in this series are documents listing all of the items found in the Cole-Bewick Collection at McGill Library. Series 4 consists of other ephemera related to Bewick and his life, including short biographical pieces, postcards and products featuring Bewick engravings and watercolours, and articles and clippings. The last file in this series contains 4 original letters from Thomas Bewick to various correspondents, dating between 1819 to 1825. Series 5 contains a number of subject files relate to specific projects or organizations, including the Bewick Society.

Cole, Geraldine Kennedy, 1927-2015

John Mappin Fonds

  • CA RBD MSG 1210
  • Fonds
  • 1733 - 2004

The fonds documents John Mappin’s occupation as an independent antiquarian book seller, his personal interest in the history of print and Canadian politics, and his personal achievements as an author. The wide variety of subject files found in this collection are almost entirely North American based and span from 1733-2004. These records reflect Mappin’s particular focus on Canadian authors and Canadiana in general.

Mappin, John, 1926-