Library of vintage resources used as research for a new guidebook on collectibles - The Halloween Retrospect

The Halloween Retrospect

Archive Library

The Halloween Retrospect archive library is an evolving collection of information objects including (as of 1-25-2024) a little over 525 vintage catalogs (1900-1979), with an additional number of books, magazines, advertisements, and more. These are reference materials (most identified as primary sources) gathered for recapturing the original market of vintage Halloween collectibles.

A snapshot of nearly 500 vintage catalogs on the shelf at The Halloween Retrospect archive - a library of information objects that inform a new guidebook series on vintage Halloween collectibles for historians, archivists, and researchers.

Clockwise. Above left: THR selection of vintage Halloween-content catalogs by B Shackman & Co. (1927-1928), The Beistle Co. (1923), Sears (1946), American Tissue Mills (1928), and March Brothers Publishing (1917). Above right: Vintage Halloween chalkware figure. Below right: THR selection of vintage Halloween-content catalogs by Slack MFG Co. (c. 1957), Granger Fréres (1931), Sally Distributors (c. 1962), Dennison’s Bogie Book (1914), and Einzinger’s Narrenfibel (1968-1970). Below left: San Francisco Chronicle, Magazine Section newsprint cover (1922).

Above is an early photo (with snapshot overlays of archive and library content) of THR shelves containing vintage-era research materials of early 20th century and mid-century timeframes. These offer a glimpse of today’s vintage Halloween collectibles as originally sold to stores and entertainment venues as vendor stock, or as favors offered for direct purchase by the public consumer. These various sources provide exciting content that is not only a window into the merchandising history of Halloween but a wide range of Americana (at times offering intriguing international connections to the development of holiday expressions we observe in current times).

Books & BLogs

Vintage Halloween Collectibles reference for collectors - feature digest books with an emphasis on archive and library as source material - by The Halloween Retrospect.

While the original purpose of THR is archiving the rediscovery of these many forgotten sources, a newer mission is shared research. The latter is accomplished as dispatch through a series of self-published books titled, thus far, The Halloween Retrospect, Volume 1, and The Halloween Retrospect Volume 2… (see Publications for information and bookstore). The resulting books offer 32-pages softcover digests of cited, illustrated research. As well, bonus material is included (that in THR, V2 is an 11″x17″ fold-out poster of Dennison Halloween publications, and two timeline cards featuring novelties from Shackman’s Favors).

latest blog posts
from THR’s archivist librarian.

Below, are some on-site snippets of information (or on-site blog) expanding upon various content of THR volumes. These offer a range of treats – such as behind-the-scene views of the archive, the library, and book publications, or bits-and-pieces of text and images that didn’t fit the final print volumes.

PLEASE NOTE: THR does NOT employ AI-generative technology. Content is created by human biological entities to ensure results engage accurate research with mindful artistry.

If you wish to buy print copies of the latest edition: The Halloween Retrospect, Volume 1 and Volume 2 are available via THR’s book store page on etsy .

Toy Tales Spotlight
Toy Tales Collector Interview The Halloween Retrospect’s catalog collection is a market history seen through vintage pages filled of gewgaws, thingamabobs, whatchamacallits, doohickeys, and holiday curios (including my personal favorite Halloween) dating 1900 to 1979. Since the library began as a bit of a side-project as a relatively new venture built …
Rosen Moon Pop
Midcentury Halloween Candies E. Rosen Company's Moon Pop, boxed with a set of 5-card Trix or Treats sucker holders from the pages of Sears 1950 Fall and Winter Catalog for the Chicago market. One of the shorter pieces in The Halloween Retrospect, Vol 2, (second book in a research series for …
The Gatekeeper of Data
Mysteries of Source & Credit This entry was bound for a fitful start of overthink, yet the contents are completely topical to the recent edition of The Halloween Retrospect, Volume 2 and to my own experience as collector, archivist, librarian, and researcher. I believe these are important notes regarding vintage data, …
Dennison Publications
Early Century Dennison Following is a quick glance at some vintage items as companions to the article (and poster shown below) discussing Dennison's vintage Halloween catalogs (and/or various promotional publications). In "Decrypting Dennison: Serial Number Guide Featuring Autumn Publications" of The Halloween Retrospect, Volume 2 numerous Halloween titles are referenced (starting 1909 …
Dennison Halloween
A History in Numbers Have you ever noticed a rather implausible code number stashed in the nooks and crannies of authentic vintage Dennison publications (such as Bogie Book, etc.)? Ever wonder if it holds any significance in terms of book collectibles? Now, in a feature article of The Halloween Retrospect, Volume …
Vol 2 Halloween Retrospect
Volume 2 Vintage collectibles Guide Guidebook announcement here for The Halloween Retrospect, Volume 2 – the continuation of a new series of reference booklets about vintage Halloween collectibles. This newest edition is set to arrive mid to late December 2023, to offer more unearthed treasures found while the archivist librarian digs …
Lavin’s Beistle Book
Beistle'S Vintage Halloween It is the way of the world – some things just get more volume while others exist far from the maddening roar. Yet, speaking personally, it is often those quieter places where one finds the most amazing treasure, and this seems to hold true for contemporary survey books …
Truwe’s Catalog Book
Vintage Halloween Catalogs Looking more deeply within publications concurrent to the vintage Halloween market of the past (circa 1900-1980), it became evident, as an archivist and librarian for The Halloween Retrospect, that popular surveys created in modern times (while visually rich) appear to stray from the historic record. Given that citations …
Western Novelty Co.
Archives across the U.S. While working toward a Library and Information Science degree (scant time before publishing The Halloween Retrospect, Volume 1) opportunities arose to visit with some of the professional archives, libraries, and museums of the United States from coast to coast. One highlight was being first from the public …
1926 Halloween Poster
March's Halloween poster The addition of an 11×17 fold-out poster insert for The Halloween Retrospect, Volume 1 wasn't going to happen unless its quality could be near (or better than) source material, so that those oh-so-tiny fonts and detailed illustrations of vintage Halloween collectibles would appear crisp and clear. Fortunately, some …
Normal Ad, Bogie Book 1926
Dennison's Bogie Book Since it is difficult to squeeze everything found in the THR archive's library into the final version of a small softcover digest, it is advantageous having this additional blog space to reveal items considered and/or discussed in the pages of The Halloween Retrospect, Volume 1 (now available btw …
Vol 1 Halloween Retrospect
New Vintage collectibles series The Halloween Retrospect announces the new series of self-titled research digests (magazines) arrive July 2023 to gaze into the world of vintage Halloween markets as seen through hundreds of information objects (mainly ~500 vintage catalogs 1900-1979) housed in The Halloween Retrospect archive library. The content for the …

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PLEASE NOTE: THR does NOT employ AI-generative technology. Content is created by human biological entities to ensure results engage accurate research with mindful artistry.

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