Thursday, January 16, 2014

NEW! Architectural Trade Catalogs Finding Aid

With special thanks to Tulane University student Breanna White, the Southeastern Architectural Archive recently finalized the processing of its Architectural Trade Catalogs. The nucleus of the SEAA's trade catalog collection came directly from architects practicing in the New Orleans metropolitan area who received them in the course of doing business. The collection has steadily grown over the last thirty years -- to over 1300 titles-- and the SEAA continues to acquire trade catalogs from a variety of sources. These ephemeral publications document myriad aspects of the building trades, from drawing materials and tools to construction materials and methods, finishes, fittings, furnishings, paving, plumbing and heating equipment, mechanical and electrical systems.

Although the vast majority of the SEAA's catalogs represent the American building trades, the collection includes catalogs of Spanish azulejos, British mantels, French ironwork and Italian terrazzo. It is especially strong with respect to the Southern Pine Association, the largest timber trade organization in the South, which printed and distributed catalogs from its New Orleans headquarters. Historic preservation researchers, property owners undertaking renovation projects, and those interested in the history of business and advertising, will find the collection to be an especially important resource.

Consult the finding aid here.

Image above: James Freret, architect. “Plan of Church Built in Franklin, LA.” Detail from Lhote Lumber  Company. n.p.: Lhote Lumber Company. 1883, p. 81. Architectural Trade Catalogs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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