Fruit crate label, “Sea Cured” brand, 1937. Collection of the Oakland Museum of California, Museum Purchase.


Ephemera in many forms—labels, menus, brochures, pamphlets, receipts, paper dolls, coloring books, sheet music, dress patterns—illustrates the ordinary in our lives. Road maps, postcards, letters, and business cards of yesterday are often thrown away. The Grafton T. Brown Collection has some of the stones used by this prominent 19th-century African American lithographer, as well as the graphics he created and his business card. The Boardman Collection of maps includes early surveyors’ tools. The Del Monte Collection includes can and crate labels and photographs of this food corporation from the early 20th century. Posters from World War I and World War II, San Francisco Rock concerts, and movies give insight into 20th century life. Representational titles from our collection of 19th- and 20th- century periodicals include: Godey’s Lady’s Book, The Wave, The Wasp, The Delineator, Sunset, Vogue, Life, Look, Silver Screen, and Family Circle.

More at OMCA Collections Online