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Realia or artifacts are found in most archival and manuscript collections. They include a vast array of objects such as accounts and account books, advertising brochures, architectural blueprints, arts and entertainment programs, badges, bank books, bookplates, clothing, diaries, educational material, emblems and insignias, inventories, jewelry, leather goods, needlework, newspaper clippings, notebooks, paintings, photograph albums, prints, postcards, posters, postage stamps, scrapbooks, wills, and many other objects. Items like these are used for teaching purposes or as exhibit objects by scholars and archivists.

Below are several examples of realia or artifacts found in SML's Manuscripts and Archives Department:


    Account book of Samuel Wells Williams of expenses connected with mission work in Shanghai, Macao and Hong Kong, while serving as interpreter and secretary to the U.S. Legation.
    Cardboard cover. 4" x 7"
    1858-1859, 1861-1865
    S.W. Williams Family Papers, Box 22
    Scrapbook of Henry de Forest Baldwin containing pamphlets, cards, newspaper clippings, letters, bills, and flyers reflecting the political, social and cultural life of New York City in the 1880's and 1890's.
    Baldwin Family Papers, Box 217
    L- shaped piece of discolored, undyed linen; ca. 5" x 12". Sewn onto note describing history of cloth: it was a remnant of a pair of drawers made by a slave girl in Natchez, Mississippi in 1863. Note al so includes a brief description of Battle of Vicksburg.
    Handwritten, ink on paper. 1 p. 7" x 8"
    Lyman Family Papers, Box 13
    Box of 100 stereo glass slides taken by P.J.G. Darrot of World War I scenes in France with captions inked on in French ; includes American soldiers and equipment, American Legion parade in Paris.
    2" x 4"
    P.J.G. Darrot Papers, Box 2
    Collection of postcards of hotels and restaurants, as well as of political ideologies (photograph of the U.N. captioned "The House that Hiss Built" and a cartoon of Eisenhower playing golf with Americans in Communist prisons).
    Charles Parsons Paper, Box 31, Folder 7
    Color posters of three heads of military men against backdrop of globe, bearing inscription : "Todos los pueblos del mundo est n en las Brigados Internacionales al lado del pueblo espanol " (all the people of the world are in the International Brigade in aid of the Spanish people).
    30" x 40"
    [ ca. 1936-1939 ]
    R.P. Stokes Collection, Folio

This material is based on the Web site created to support a series of colloquia in historical research offered by the Yale University Library. The initial site was prepared in August 1996 by Suzanne Lorimer, Susanne Roberts, Margaret Powell, George Miles, Fred Musto, Emily Horning, Cesar Rodriguez, Nancy Godleski, Richard Williams, Elizabeth Pauk, and Martha Brogan.

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This file last modified 09/28/05
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