Avery’s Architectural Ephemera Collections

American Viewbooks > American Viewbooks


Avery Classics has about 4,800 viewbooks, or souvenir publications created to document and promote cities and towns. This collection covers all fifty American states and dates primarily from the second half of the nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth. Although many of the viewbooks in the Classics collection are bound pamphlets containing photographic or lithographic illustrations, other formats range from mass-produced illustrated monographs to singular hand-crafted objects. Recurring themes within the viewbooks include county fairs, national expositions, and records of the damage caused by fires, earthquakes, and other natural disasters. As a whole, this collection provides extensive documentation of American vernacular architecture and urban development.

This collection is being cataloged with support from the CLIR Hidden Special Collections grant program, which is funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library / 300 Avery, M.C. 0301 / 1172 Amsterdam Avenue / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-3501 / avery@libraries.cul.columbia.edu