Trade Catalogs


How to Find Trade Catalogs in the Library of Congress 

Hagley Museum and Library: Marshall Johnson Collection of Trade Literature and Ephemera

Trade catalogs in the Hagley Museum and Library, by Nina de Angeli Walls. (Wilmington, Del.: Hagley Museum and Library, 1987)

Trade Catalogs and Pamphlets - Hagley Digital Archives

Metropolitan Museum of Art. Trade Catalogs

Smithsonian Institution Libraries Trade Literature Collection (Catalog only)

Sewing Machines, Historical Trade Literature

Travers, Irene L. Trade literature at the National Museum of History and Technology. Special Libraries, vol. 70, no. 7 (1979) pp. 272-280

Historic Catalogs of Sears, Roebuck and Co., 1896-1993 (Ancestry) Open Search menu (top left in black band) and choose Card Catalog. Search Title Sears.

Trade catalogs digitized for Women Working, 1870-1930

A Subject search in HathiTrust on “Commercial catalogs” yields 146 items, including 76 full text viewable (5/17/2019).

A Metadata search in Internet Archive on “Commercial catalogs” yields over 1100 items.

Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum. More than 900 Winturthur trade catalogs are available through the Internet Archive.

Trade catalogues at Winterthur microform. NY: Clearwater, 1984  [3,600 microfiche]
CRL (Ctr for Research Libs)  |  [To obtain CRL items, submit an Interlibrary Loan request] 
Loeb Design  |  Microfiche  |  Z7164.M18 H43x   Library has only pt. 2, Architectural building plans and materials; pt. 12, Garden and lawn supplies and ornaments; and pt. 30 Wall and floor coverings.
Guide: Trade Catalogues at Winterthur: A Guide to the Literature of Merchandizing, 1750-1980, by E. R. McKinstry. NY: Garland, 1984, 438 pp.
Online version

Trade catalogues at Winterthur. 1989-1991. ca. 3000 microfiches. Frederick, MD : Clearwater Pub. Co.
Guide to the microfiche edition of Trade catalogues at the Winterthur, part 2, by Eleanor McD. Thompson. Bethesda, MD : University Publications of America 1991, 159 p.
Online version 

University of California, Santa Barbara: Lawrence B. Romaine Trade Catalog Collection (Finding aid)



Ames, Kenneth L., "Trade catalogues and the study of history," in Accumulation & display: mass marketing household goods in America, 1880-1920. Winterthur, Del.: Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum, 1986. pp. 7-14

Baker, T. Lindsay. North American Windmill Manufacturers' Trade Literature (Norman, Ok: University of Oklahoma Press, 1998)

Baker, T. Lindsay, "Researching history through trade literature," History News, vol. 53, no. 1 (Winter, 1998), pp. 24-27

Crom, Theodore R. Trade Catalogues, 1542-1842. Melrose, Fla.: T.R. Crom, 1989.

Gottfried, Herbert. "Building the picture: trading on the imagery of production and design," Winterthur Portfolio, vol. 27 no.4 (1992) pp.235-253.

Jennings, Jan. "Drawing on the vernacular interior," Winterthur Portfolio, vol. 27 no. 4 (1992) pp. 255-279

Kernan, Michael, "Generations of old mail-order catalogs make colorful index to what folks prized and paid for, way back when," Smithsonian vol. 22 (April 1991), pp. 32-33

Kurutz, Gary F., "California commercial catalogs: from hosiery to hardware on exhibit," California State Library Foundation Bulletin, no. 56, (July, 1996) pp. 15-28

Laird, Pamela Walker. Advertising Progress: American Business and the Rise of Consumer Marketing. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998)

Lears, Jackson. Fables of Abundance: A cultural history of advertising in America (New York: Basic Books, 1994Norris, James D. Advertising and the Transformation of American Society, 1865-1920. (New York: Greenwood Press, 1990).

Romaine, L. B. 1960. A Guide to American Trade Catalogs, 1744-1900. NY: R.R. Bowker, 422 pp. (Reprint: NY: Dover, 1990)

Romaine, Lawrence B. A guide to American trade catalogues, 1744-1900. Schlereth, Thomas, "Country stores, county fairs, and mail order catalogs: consumerism in rural America," in Consumer culture and the American Home, 1890-1930 (Beaumont, TX: McFaddin-Ward House, 1989); pp. 27-45

Thompson, Neville, "Trade catalogues in the Winterthur Library," Magazine Antiques, vol. 161, no.1 (January, 2002); pp. 206-211

Williams, Chauncey L. The dual role of manufacturers' catalogs in industrial marketing (New York: Sweet's Catalog Service, [1940?])