The Scrapbook in American Life

Edited by Susan Tucker, Katherine Ott, and Patricia Buckler
Book Cover

PB: $33.95
EAN: 978-1-59213-478-6
Publication: Apr 06

HC: $81.50
EAN: 978-1-59213-477-9
Publication: Apr 06

344 pages
7 x 10
72 halftones

The first book about the history and practice of keeping scrapbooks

Read an excerpt from the Introduction (pdf).


"Keeping a scrapbook" is a longstanding American tradition. The collections of fragments that often bulge their pages and burst their bindings make scrapbooks a pleasurable feast for both makers and consumers. They are a material manifestation of memory-of the compilers and of the cultural moment in which they were created. Despite the widespread popularity of scrapbooks, historians have rarely examined them in a systematic way. In this fascinating work, fourteen contributors offer the first serious, sustained examination and analysis of scrapbooks. While other books offer suggestions on how to create scrapbooks, this book looks at their significance.

The editors observe that scrapbooks are one of the most mysterious objects to be found in a family home. This unique book helps to explain the mystery. It will appeal to all readers with an interest in "scrapbooking" as well as to scholars who study American culture and print, visual, or material culture.

Table of Contents

An Introduction to the History of Scrapbooks – Katherine Ott, Susan Tucker, and Patricia P. Buckler

PART I. Manuscripts of Learning and Knowing
1. Between Person and Profession: The Scrapbooks of Nineteenth-Century Medical Practitioners – Katherine Ott
2. Daily Life on a South Carolina Plantation, 1855-1983: A Scrapbook Memory from Three Generations of Women – Anne Sinkler Whaley LeClercq
3. Letters, Scrapbooks, and History Books: A Personalized Version of the Mexican War, 1846-48 – Patricia P. Buckler
4. History in the Making: A Columbian Exposition Scrapbook – Jennifer A. Jolly
5. Scrapbook, Wishbook, Prayerbook: Trade-Card Scrapbooks and the Missionary Work of Advertising – Ellen Gruber Garvey
6. Scrapbook Houses for Paper Dolls: Creative Expression, Aesthetic Elaboration, and Bonding in the Female World – Beverly Gordon
7. Souvenirs of Amerika: Hannah Höch's Weimar-Era Mass-Media Scrapbook – Melissa A. Johnson

PART II. Books of the Self
8. The Secret Scrapbook of a "Soiled Dove" – Carol Bowers
9. Inviting Narratives: Willa Cather's Childhood Scrapbook and My Ántonia – Jennifer L. Bradley
10. In the Hands of Children: A Photographic Essay of Images from Children's Scrapbooks – Meredith Eliassen
11. Picturing Love and Friendship: Photograph Albums and Networks of Affection in the 1860s – Sarah McNair Vosmeier
12. Telling Particular Stories: Two African American Memory Books – Susan Tucker
13. Maternal Records and Male Modernist Identities: The Family Albums of Ernest Hemingway and Christopher Isherwood – James Kelley
14. "Miss Domestic" and "Miss Enterprise": Or, How to Keep a Photograph Album – Elizabeth E. Siegel
15. Horizons: The Scrapbooks of a Small-Town, Depression-Era Preteen – L. Rebecca Johnson Melvin
About the Contributors

About the Author(s)

Susan Tucker is the Curator of Books and Records, Newcomb College Center for Research on Women at Tulane University. She is the author of Telling Memories Among Southern Women: Domestic Workers in the Segregated South.

Katherine Ott is Curator, Division of Science and Medicine, Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. She is the author of Fevered Lives: Tuberculosis in American Culture since 1870.

Dr. Patricia P. Buckler is Professor Emerita at Purdue University, and Assistant Professor of English at Indiana University Northwest and author of five articles on scrapbooks. She is a contributor to the book American Icons. She was a 2001 Mellon Research Fellow in early American history and culture.