THE HALLOWEEN RETROSPECT
Archive Librarian’s Blog


References for Collectors
Reference Books for Vintage Halloween collectors There are now three editions of The Halloween Retrospect for vintage Halloween collector references on the collectibles shelf. Note again these are not visual survey books but instead collections of research articles that more closely examine focused subjects by way of primary sources that include ~550 catalogs of consumer/vendor materials (1900-1979) as well as company materials across US archives (such as Framingham History Center for THR, V2 or Hallmark …
Vol 3 Halloween Retrospect
Volume 3 Vintage collectibles Guide The next reference for vintage Halloween collectibles is expected for sale in early summer 2024 with The Halloween Retrospect, Volume 3. As with earlier volumes, the newest book in the series will continue to delve more deeply into certain subjects of the vintage Halloween market, offering illustrated data as a result of researching 525+ catalogs of customer/vendor materials from 1900 to 1979. (This message will be updated with a confirmed …
Hallmark Halloween: 1970’s
Hallmark Vintage Packaging Part 3: 1970-1979 This entry is Part 3 in a short blog series examining Hallmark (1950-1980) ephemera – mainly assembly, honeycomb, and pop-ups. As stated in Hallmark Halloween: 1950's and Halloween Hallmark: 1960's, THR is writing these entries to develop data for vintage Hallmark Halloween centerpieces to assist an article (on a different topic for collectible guide The Halloween Retrospect, Volume 3 to appear in THR's bookstore). As with “Decrypting Dennison: Serial Number …
Hallmark Halloween: 1960’s
Hallmark Vintage Packaging Part 2: 1960-1969 As mentioned in previous entry Hallmark Halloween: 1950's, THR is developing data for vintage Hallmark Halloween centerpieces (those near and bit later than mid-century) to assist an article (on a different yet related topic) in works for collectors' guide Volume 3 of The Halloween Retrospect. And rather than play catch-up after the book release, this and nearby entries will provide a glimpse at upcoming subject matter in the series …
Hallmark Halloween: 1950’s
Hallmark Vintage Packaging Part 1: 1950-1959 The archivist-librarian has been seeking data on vintage Hallmark Halloween collectibles now that articles are underway for Volume 3 of The Halloween Retrospect (a research series from THR's bookstore). And so, as a sneak-peek to future content for faithful readers (noting importantly that this blog is supportive rather than a reproduction of book content), the following entries offer behind-the-scene notes toward building a better timeline for Hallmark collectibles – …
Vintage Inspirations
Vintage Inspirations Developing cover art for The Halloween Retrospect, Volume 2, I remember much of the inspiration came by way of vintage textures, colors, and sales copy found in vendor catalogs – with the cheeky idea that one would view the front or back sides of a vintage collectible dependent on the book's front or back. The choice for double-sided objects seemed only natural — imported German standees (appearing with wide-ranging availability circa late 1920's …
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 on past interests, it is flattering to receive attention from the good folks at Toy Tales with their Collector Spotlight (Friday, February 16th, 2024) …
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 vintage Halloween collectors) is "Trix or Treats at Sears: Rosen in Midcentury Midseason Fall Catalogs" (p. 28). This brief yet image-driven article offers a …
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, source, and credit, as these concepts relate to operational procedures (past, present, and future) for The Halloween Retrospect. As I have stated since the …
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 to 1910's and 1920's ending 1930's). However, some are notably small in stature, while others are absent (in the process of fitting cover art …
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 2, there is a comprehensive examination of such serial numbers as they appear on Dennison titles – like that sampled from the inside cover …
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 through period catalogs: about 515+ vintage information objects from past holiday markets 1900-1979. The content (for the return volume of THR guidebooks) has reached …
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 on the topic of vintage Halloween collectibles. While one or other reference may have more notoriety, another less boisterously celebrated reference is more important …
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 in these newer books are few to none, it became apparent that more primary sourcing was necessary (outside commentator-reseller ecologies often antagonistic to questioning), …
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 to return (in May 2022 during the waning days of the pandemic) to pass back through the doors of the National Museum of American …
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 current archive and library tools (discussed below) are available to enable the reproduction to occur in a manner that keeps undamaged the vintage 1926 …
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 from the Publications portion of the website). And the article of interest here is "Normal Halloween" that references the following advertisement for Dennison's annually …
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 first volume has been finalized (below) noting that this is not another showcase guide, but instead articles that research more deeply the actual primary …
A Sane Halloween Blog
From Blog to Book Began as long ago as late 2014, The Sane Halloween Observer gave an unofficial farewell (January 14, 2023) in a recent blog entry What Next? announcing a newer print venture with The Halloween Retrospect archive library. This was a move on the author's part to be more involved with developing a private reference library, as a means to participate in the world of amateur archives better informed by a recent degree …

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