The Bancroft Survey Project began in February 2008. Funded by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon and the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundations, the survey project is intended to be a simultaneously broad and in-depth survey of all manuscript holdings of the Bancroft Library, which has been collecting for over a century. Four archivists were hired to scour the collections for a three year term, during which they will review the vast myriad of manuscript materials and use a survey instrument designed to gather data on collection scope, subject categories, and physical condition. The survey archivists are Marjorie Bryer, Amy Croft, Dana Miller, and Elia Van Lith, and they are also the authors of this blog.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Illustrated Playing Cards

The Jeffrey Schweitzer papers contain the mementos he collected from a number of international fairs. These include a nifty deck of illustrated playing cards from the San Francisco Mid-Winter Exposition, 1884. This particular deck of "Midwinter Fair and Pacific Coast Playing Cards" was manufactured by The Winters Art Litho Co., San Francisco/Chicago in 1891; they have an enamel finish. In addition to illustrations of the Mid-Winter Expo, the cards depict scenes from the Pacific Coast, from Washington State to Los Angeles. Bay Area scenes include San Francisco's Chinatown, Golden Gate Park and Alcatraz. The deck includes a card of the University of California or, as the card reads: California State University Berkeley. By the time Schweitzer graduated from the University of California in 1907, the campus he walked would have looked significantly different than the one depicted here as the 10 of clubs.

The Bancroft has a number of related collections. For instance, other images from the fair can be found on the OAC, in the Roy D. Graves Pictorial Collection and the Jesse Brown Cook Scrapbooks documenting San Francisco History and Law Enforcement.
-- M. Bryer

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