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. Many of the catalogs bear the office stamps of these architectural offices; some include architects' conceptual sketches in the marginalia. The collection has steadily grown over the last thirty years, 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.
Above: Catalog cover. Albert Weiblen Granite and Marble. Office 824 Baronne Street, New Orleans, LA. Circa 1900. Architectural Trade Catalogs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries. View the full brochure here.