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M-322: Dr. Allen B. and Helen S. Shopmaker American Political Collection

HISTORY: This collection was donated to the St. Louis Mercantile Library in 2007.

SCOPE: The Shopmaker Collection contains over three thousand items ranging from a George Washington token dated 1789 to buttons and textiles endorsing candidates in the 2008 election. The variety of objects reflects the changing tastes of the American public and the available production technologies, ranging from 19th century brass jewelry and clothing buttons embossed with candidate's names and party symbols to today's modern, mass-produced buttons, and from porcelain plates embellished with a portrait of First Lady Helen Taft to Nancy Reagan paper dolls. With artifacts representing nearly every American election, the Shopmaker Collection provides the viewer with a broad look at how candidates have used images, slogans and symbols to woo the public, and how the public has expressed its own, often outspoken, opinions on both individuals and issues.

HOLDINGS: 9 linear feet

ACCESS: Some of the material in Special Collection M-322 may be photocopied, digitally scanned or photographed, subject to condition.  Some items may also be available on the UMSL Digital Library