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Historic Preservation Research

Trade card Trade catalogs are a primary source of information on building materials, decorative elements and industry trends during the 19th and early 20th centuries. To find them in Franklin search for the type of building material or element (i.e. cement or window glass) and the word "catalogs."

Avery Library Architectural Trade Catalogs A digitized fraction of Avery's large collection of trade literature. To search the entire collection, search CLIO, Columbia's online catalog.

Building Technology Heritage Library A collection of American and Canadian pre-1964 architectural trade catalogs, house plan books and technical building guides.

Library of Congress Trade Catalogs The collection focuses on design, decorative arts, and industries related to the field and study of decorative arts.

Winterthur Library Trade Catalogs A substantial collection featuring catalogs from a wide variety of industries and manufacturers.

Smithsonian Libraries' Trade Literature Collection Catalog of the collection, some records include images of the material.

Thomas J. Watson Digital Trade Catalog Collection This Met Museum digital collection contains international manufacturer, wholesale and retail catalogs from the eighteenth century to the present.


A Guide to American Trade Catalogs
Guide to Architectural Trade Catalogs from Avery Library, Columbia University
Trade Catalogs in the Hagley Museum and Library
Trade Catalogues at Winterthur: A Guide to the Literature of Merchandising, 1750 to 1980