Collections within a Collection: Scrapbooks, Ledgers, Albums
A scrapbook gathers documents of diverse origin in a single, unique volume. Scrapbooks often present collections of memorabilia related to individuals or events; however, these
pieces can also function as reference tools, in which a variety of related material is compiled and preserved for future use. The RR Donnelley Archive includes a collection of dozens of scrapbooks that record both momentous events and daily operations.
Some scrapbooks in the RR Donnelley Archive were intentionally produced as historical records. One scrapbook documents the 1962 transmission of telephone facsimile proofs of The New Yorker. News clippings related to the company's achievements were also collected in scrapbooks throughout the early 20th century.
Most scrapbooks in the archive were probably not conceived primarily as historical documents, but served as promotional or reference tools. The Extra Bindery and the Catalog Department both kept scrapbooks of complimentary letters from
customers. Sample books of past work were created for staff in sales, design and advertising.
The proliferation of scrapbooks, produced and preserved throughout the company for nearly a century, represents RR Donnelley's conscious concern with documenting and referencing its history.