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Selling the American Dream

April 20, 2017

One of the largest collection of trade catalogues in America digitised for interdisciplinary research

Marlborough, UK. Explore the shaping of the United States throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with Trade Catalogues and the American Home. A new digitised collection of highly visual trade catalogues, cards and marketing ephemera illustrating the rise of the American dream and evolution of commercial tastes and consumer trends between 1850-1950.

Students and scholars now have the opportunity to study one of the largest collections of trade catalogues in America: the Lawrence B. Romaine collection, a leading expert in the field, now held at UC Santa Barbara Library, whilst furthering their research through access to digitised sources from the Hagley Museum and Library and Winterthur Museum and Library, renowned for their unique collections on business history and domestic life in America.

“Trade catalogues enable students and scholars, interested in consumer culture and  the history of marketing, to research the social and cultural histories of style, race, class, gender, and imperialism.” Daniel Horowitz, Mary Huggins Gamble Foundation Chair and Professor Emeritus of American History, Smith College

Delve into catalogues from big-name department stores such as Sears & Roebuck, re-live the history of popular brands including Ford, General Motors, Heinz and Colgate, and cross-examine advertisements illuminating all aspects of domestic life, fashion, technology, leisure and the role of women in the home.

This new collection is a truly interdisciplinary resource for teaching and research, providing unrivalled material for the study of social history, the history of business and marketing, the role of women, mass production, technology, consumerism and purchasing power.

Trade Catalogues and the American Home is accessible now and is available as part of American Consumer Culture, a cross-searchable, multi-title platform for the study of market research, consumerism, business and advertising in America. Explore the unique material in a free webinar on April 27th by registering here. For more information, including free 30-day trials, please contact


Adam Matthew, an imprint of SAGE Publishing, is an award winning publisher of digital primary source collections for the humanities and social sciences. Sourced from leading libraries and archives around the world, their unique research and teaching collections cover a wide range of subject areas from medieval family life to twentieth century history, literature and culture.      @AdamMatthewGrp

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