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Author: Alexia MacClain

A Late 19th Century Camping Experience

Do you remember summer camp as a child? Perhaps you went on a camping trip with your family or maybe you camped out in your own backyard. The Trade Literature Collection located at the Smithsonian Libraries and Archives holds a variety of catalogs. Some illustrate camping equipment. Have you ever wondered what it was like to camp over a century ago? This trade catalog might give us an idea.

Libraries Then and Now: The Ideas We Share

What products or materials come to mind when you think of libraries? The obvious things might be books and shelving, but to keep a library functioning other items are needed as well. Supplies for circulating and tracking books and identifying ownership of books remain largely behind the scenes but are just as important.

Leisure Activities from the Past: Clues from the Trade Literature Collection

As winter winds down and spring approaches, outdoor activities start to look more appealing. How did people a 100 years ago spend their free time outside? The National Museum of American History Library’s Trade Literature Collection offers a few clues to some very recognizable pastimes.