Paper Dolls and Toys Collection - Chester County History Center

PAPER DOLLS AND TOYS COLLECTION

Collection Title: Paper Dolls and Toys Collection

Dates of Collection: Bulk Dates: 1880 – 1950

RepositoryChester County Historical Society

Biography:

Although evidence of paper toys and dolls exists as far back as the second century B.C., commercial production and widespread use is relatively recent. In the 18th century, developments in paper-making created a trend in paper playthings. Paper toys became very popular in Europe, particularly in Germany. Paper dolls, in the form of a human cardboard figure with accompanying dress and accessories, first appeared in 1791. Books also borrowed from paper toy and craft trends, with the first pop-up book released in 1840. The CCHS paper toy and doll collection spans the late 19th century through the mid-20th century, capturing peak popularity of paper playthings.

The primary donor of this collection, Bart Anderson, assumed the position of Curator of the Chester County Historical Society in 1937. He quickly advanced through an appointment to Librarian-Director in 1938, working alongside Dorothy Lapp and Marwood Darlington for many years.

Resources Used

Fawcett, Clara Hallard. (1951). Paper Dolls: A Guide to Costume. New York: H.L. Lindquist Publications.

Carlson, Robert E. (2000). Chester County Historical Society: A Brief History. West Chester: Chester County Historical Society.

Collections Scope:

The collection contains Paper Dolls and Accessories, Paper Toys and Accessories, Paper Doll Reference Materials, Paper Toy Reference Materials, Story Books, Pop-Up Books, Early Readers, Pull Tab Motion Books, Poster Samples, and Advent Calendars. There is a total of 18 boxes.

Related Material:

The CCHC museum has a companion collection of three-dimensional paper toys and dolls. See the museum catalog for more information.

Collection Arrangement:

The collection is arranged by topic with a total of eight different categories. Items are not cataloged individually.

Collections Contents:

Paper Dolls and Accessories

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

 

Paper Dolls Reference Materials

Box 1

Box 2

 

Paper Toys and Accessories

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4

Box 5

 

Paper Toys Reference Materials

Box 1

Box 2

 

Story Books and Early Readers

Box 1

Box 2

Box 3

Box 4

 

Pop Up Books

Box 1

Box 2

 

Miscellaneous

Box 1

Adverts

Catalogs

Crepe Paper

Coronation Souvenirs

True Miscellany

Pull Tab Motion Books and Poster Samples

Box 1

Advent Calendars

Unboxed/Shelved