Art, Ephemera, Realia

RBML's holdings in art, ephemera, and realia are found throughout the collections. These materials can be located through our finding aids, and in some cases special card files are available. A database of the art collections is available on site, and readers interested in these materials should consult with RBML staff.


RBML's art collections contain works dating from the 16th to 20th centuries, which include old master prints and artwork of various kinds, related mostly to literature or to specific collections, such as the Dramatic Museum. Individual artists' collections include Rockwell Kent and Arthur Rackham.

A spreadsheet is available listing works in the Art Collections.


RBML’s collection of printed historical ephemera includes maps, newspapers, posters, paper currency, the Field Playing Card Collection, and more than 20,000 bookplates in numerous collections.


The strongest element of RBML's realia collection is from our typographic collections, and includes woodblocks, materials of letterpress printing, such as metal type, matrices, punches, printing plates, composing sticks, and other materials objects related to printing. The Dramatic Museum Realia collection includes puppets, masks, and theater models, and the Smith collection includes a group of mathematical instruments.