May 2020

Reading and Libraries Poster Collection

Public libraries : an American contribution to civilization : 50 years, American Library Association, 1876-1926 / E.A. Spuehler.

Ca. 1920–1960s
30 posters

The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world. The organization traces its roots to a meeting held in New York City in 1853, but was not formally organized until October 6, 1876, at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The association aimed to “enable librarians to do their present work more easily and at less expense,” according to the ALA website.

Throughout ALA’s history, the organization has taken a proactive approach to library issues and has used graphic media to reach the public. In the early twentieth century, ALA used poster art, not only to encourage reading and support of libraries, but to encourage the war effort during World War I and II.

In addition to the posters produced by the ALA, this collection also contains posters promoting reading with colorful graphics with no known publisher. The posters have been cataloged and digitized and can be viewed through the Library’s catalog.

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Carleton D. Stanley Travel Slide Collection

1950s–1977, bulk 1960s

4,752 35mm slides, 3 5″ x 7″ prints, 4 travel notebooks


The Carleton D. Stanley Travel Slide Collection was found in a dumpster at a house being renovated in Chester, Virginia, by a man named Waverly Bailey. He donated the collection to us to preserve. The majority of the slides feature sites from Stanley’s international travels across Europe, North America, and Asia, but some feature family, homes, flowers, and canned food.

Grand Canyon

His trips were arranged by Thru the Lens Tours, Inc., of Hollywood, California. According to the July 1981 issue of Popular Photography, “Thru the Lens Tours…has been sponsoring instructional photographic adventures to Latin America, Europe, Africa, Asia, the South Pacific, and the Orient” since 1952 (p. 42). Based on the number of Thru the Lens tours Stanley attended, we can assume that photography was an important hobby to him. We also know Stanley gave presentations about his travels, because a flyer in one of the boxes advertises his slides from Mexico. The notebooks document the places he photographed and sometimes the camera settings he used. The collection contains a handful of photographs of Stanley himself, who appears to be in his fifties or sixties. He often appears with a woman featured throughout the slides who we assume is his wife.

From the slide box labeled “Our Homes” taken in 1973, we know that Carleton D. Stanley … Read the rest