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Field Notes:

This guide introduces you to some of the fields and explains how they work and what sort of information they contain. Remember that although on-line catalogues appear to mechanise the research process, how someone classifies material is subjective. You may want to experiment with different ways of searching in order to find relevant material for your studies, and even visit the trade cards to see them for yourself.

Object Type: what the card appears to have functioned as, given available evidence. This could involve two object types, e.g. as a trade card and a visiting card. Overlaid prints are prints that have been pasted over with other prints and are only partially visible under light or by lifting up the upper print, where possible.

Dating: cards without evident dates {nd} have been dated by other evidence, indicated in the notes that follow in the Full Details View. Where no evidence has been found, the cards are dated stylistically. This is a speculative and subjective art, and may contain many errors. It is hoped that future research enabled by the catalogue will help to clarify many of the dates of the cards and the traders. Where advertisers’ active dates match the date range of a card dated stylistically, they are also speculative. Remember the database reads ‘circa’ as meaning plus and minus five years.

Types of Trades: Trades have been grouped into sectors. Be aware that a trade like ‘engraver’ could appear in two sectors – printmaker = Fine Art Activities and metal engraver = Metalwork Activities, so combine searches if necessary. ‘Not Applicable’ means that the print is not associated to a trade – not all the prints in the collection are trade cards!

Types of Products: Products are grouped under types, which are in turn subdivided into uses: eg: to find writing cases along with other things in this category, choose 'Containers/ for writing equipment'.

Products (Original Language): Individual products are entered according to the language used on the card. Illustrated products are entered according to the main language of the card. Individual products reflect items as they are mentioned or illustrated. At the individual product level, there are no blanket terms: e.g.: choosing the term 'écritoires' will only bring up those cards where writing cases are mentioned or illustrated without qualification; it will not bring up a card that only mentions, for example, 'écritoires de poche'. To select multiple products press Ctrl when clicking on different products.

Product Material: when mentioned or illustrated in card.

Services: these are activities provided by different traders not readily classified as products, such as 'provides accommodation'. Explore the drop down menu to see the full range.

Location of premises: towns and street addresses given where known.

Subjects: this field encompasses textual and visual content. Explore the drop down menu to see the categories used.

Decoration/ Motifs: this category relates to the decorative visual content contained in the prints. The categories have been based on the Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus see, The categories of trophies; draperies; ribbons; laurel leaf; palm leaf motif; dove motif; fruit motif; egg and dart pattern; bay leaf garland; plaques; and medallions have been added to the Getty list.

Research Concepts: these are interpretative concepts that researchers may find useful to consider particular themes. Around sixty categories have been drawn up, based on current research interests, and applied to the cards as the cataloguer thought fit. These have been designed to enable concept driven research [Mieke Bal, Travelling concepts in the humanities: a rough guide, Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2002]. Definitions of terms have been taken from the Oxford English Dictionary Online or the Getty Art & Architecture Thesaurus

Brief Description: despite the name this is a very full description of the card including the identification of the different techniques and brief notes on the types of scripts used.

Transcription/ Translations: full text as it appears on the card, words that break over lines have also been added in full to allow being selected when word searching. Included inscriptions and annotations. English translation of the transcription.

Accession Number: each card's number is formed from the generic number for the trade card volumes (3686), the volume number (1-4), the folio number and the item number. Thus 3686.1.6.8 is a print located in the trade card volumes, in volume one, on folio six, and is number 8 in the volume.