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 has earlier roots – out of a time (some twenty years ago) when average collectors had greater potential in the second-hand market (given fewer spells of price distortions) to develop interesting collections from modest budgets. It was also a time (circa 1990’s) when survey books and critic/seller connections supplied the majority of information (right or wrong) about the vintage market, before digital media (at once both new yet stumped by the past) further complicated the narrative. Regardless, those scrappy years resulted in a collection of numerous anomalies, prompting a blog to pursue research without prescribed boundaries; and this was the 2014 introduction of The Sane Halloween Observer.

In 2018, coinciding with dwindling blog entries, the blog’s author began working toward a Master Degree in Library and Information Science (2021), and studies often utilized that diverse collection of holiday objects – enhancing perspectives on the state of objects, of information and discovery tools, as well as informing methods sought for future projects. This began a process, not only for better archival management, but also for competent publications organization as a functional library. As it turned out, those print (and digital) records proved to be important primary sources, and thus began The Halloween Retrospect (2023) as a serialized print publication of research.

Vintage catalogs shelved at The Halloween Retrospect archive library are source material for the research magazine.

Following admirable examples of Lavin* and Truwe** (see below) the archive library’s new digest,The Halloween Retrospect, leans toward research, rather than the appeal of a showcase or that which offers speculative assurances for rarity, price, and merit. Instead, these articles offer meticulous analysis on featured subjects. To do so, study originates by way of manufacturer, distributor, or trade-specific publications across formats (books to pamphlets) from 1900 to 1979 depending on conversations around certain discoveries.

The THR archive library includes the following information objects that directly portray Halloween consumer goods of the vintage market (as of date: January 25, 2024)

525 vintage publications with 245 on-hand catalogs and 280 verifiable surrogates
as 444 publications with definitive dates, with 70 crude, and 11 a bit more obscure
as 102 professional entities from the U.S. with 6 originating from other countries
and an as yet uncounted # of relevant materials – books, magazines, ads, etc.

And now, on to the shelves…!

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.

Featured Resources
from the Archive Library

* Claire M. Lavin
Recommended vintage Halloween collectibles guidebook Claire M. Lavin, Timeless Halloween Collectibles: 1920-1949 (2005) features Halloween products dating 1920-1949 from author's a visit to the Beistle archives.

Claire M. Lavin “Timeless Halloween Collectibles: 1920-1949” (2005). Also see the author’s 2006 publication: “Time for Halloween Decorations.” See blog entry.

** Ben Truwe
Vintage Halloween catalog collection  book The Halloween Catalog Collection, 55 Catalogs from the Golden Age of Halloween (2003) by Ben Truwe features actual page excerpts from primary sources dating 1911 to 1971.

Ben Truwe “The Halloween Catalog Collection: 55 Catalogs from the Golden Age of Halloween” (2003). Book/CD out of print. See blog entry.

In-house Titles
of Source Review

Logo for Contact page of The Halloween Retrospect.

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