Four Jolly Clowns, Mother Hubbard's Party, Elastic Locomotives, Sliced Birds, Grace Hoops, and a Roaming Turtle

An out-of-state patron recently discovered that the library owns a rare 1888 wholesale toy catalog produced by Selchow & Righter in New York. Upon examining the item, we discovered what a fascinating cultural record it is. The catalog certainly speaks about a different time in the United States, but the mix of toys and amusements in the catalog--some benign and some offensive from our current perspective--seems to say that the impulse to entertain ourselves is timeless.

We decided to share this magical publication more widely by digitizing its full contents as a PDF file. It's a large file, over 20 megabytes, so be patient if you have a slow internet connection. The file is searchable by keyword. Enjoy and please share any discoveries you make.

The library has many other similar catalogs in the collection, and our holdings range from original to reprinted items to material that discusses commercial catalogs.