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Winterthur Digital Collections

About this collection

Collage albums, also known as scrapbook houses, date from the 1870s to the early 1900s.  The creators arranged cut-out images of furniture and other house furnishings from magazines, catalogs, newspapers, and trade catalogs into room interiors in albums.  Wallpaper samples, fabric swatches, crepe papers, lace, and other items were used to embellish rooms.  Doors, windows, and even furniture pieces were cut into to create openings to reveal other rooms, outdoor scenes, and displays of china and glassware. 

Despite scant information on creators, places of origin, and dates, the albums provide glimpses into rooms that were not often photographed at the time: service areas like kitchens and pantries; and private spaces like bedrooms and nurseries.  Real or imagined spaces, these images delight and inform viewers today.

The albums are in fragile condition, many with cracked bindings and loose, brittle pages.  The online images were taken for study purposes to decrease handling and not for publication.

 
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