This exhibition features a selection of items from the Alton Telegraph Printer’s Scrapbooks, now in the collection of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. These two workaday scrapbooks are filled with extraordinarily preserved examples of job printing produced by the Alton Telegraph newspaper for local businesses and organizations in the mid-nineteenth century. Ballots, advertisements, product labels, concert programs, posters, and other items immerse the viewer in the everyday life of Alton, Illinois, a city located fifteen miles north of St. Louis on the Mississippi River. At the same time, these items illustrate the creative use of typefaces, type ornaments, and borders by the printer. Additional contextual materials, including daguerreotypes, have been drawn from the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections.
On view for the bicentennial of Illinois statehood, this joint venture between the Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections examines the role of print and design in the everyday life of early Illinois.