SERIES VIII. Scrapbooks: ca. 1919-1952 (16 special format boxes; 3 linear feet) contains 16 individual books created by Nancy Palmer Christy, the artist’s wife. Scrapbooks contain clippings, photographs, correspondence, programs, menus and other miscellaneous small-scale memorabilia pertaining to the life and work of Howard Chandler Christy. Some of the oldest items in the scrapbooks appear to be early photographs of Howard and Nancy Palmer Christy as well as newspaper announcements of their marriage in 1919. Latest items include clippings from1952. Scrapbooks generally do not follow a chronological order and do not contain materials related to a particular event. An exception is Scrapbook No. 10, labeled “Zanesville, Ohio, 1947.” For the most part, it appears that items were mounted in the scrapbooks randomly, with groups of pages occasionally focusing on a single topic or time period from Christy’s life. Due to preservation concerns, the scrapbooks have been disbound, with pages trimmed, interleaved, foldered, and boxed. For a complete description of this procedure, please see “Conservation Note.”
Scrapbook numbers reflect the original numbering system assigned by donor Jane Conneen during her research for the 1977 Allentown Art Museum exhibition on Christy. This numbering system was maintained in order to prevent confusion for future researchers. Notecards generated by Jane Conneen as part of her project have been preserved in Series XI, Related Collections. A significant amount of these notecards refer to the scrapbooks by her original numbering system. Researchers should also note that Scrapbook No. 13 does not exist within the papers. No scrapbook with the number “13” was received as part of the papers and there are no references to this number in any of the notecards or inventories prepared by Jane Conneen. Only Scrapbook Nos. 1 and 4 have detailed inventories of page contents generated by Jane Conneen, and these inventories have been stored with their corresponding volumes. An in-house database of scrapbook items is available at the repository.
The scrapbooks provide a wonderful view into the social lives of the Christys, glimpses of their travels across country and abroad, and the many achievements of the artist. While clippings from magazines and newspapers highlight all aspects of Christy’s life, they are perhaps most valuable as a record of public reaction to his portrait paintings and mural commissions. Many of Christy’s portrait commissions are reviewed and celebrated in these scrapbooks. Letters from many of Christy’s most notable correspondents are collected in these scrapbooks as well.