The Biggert Collection contains over 1,300 items with architectural imagery spanning the dates 1850 to 1920, from more than 350 cities and towns in 45 states, as well as the District of Columbia and U.S. possessions. New York City is particularly well-represented with over 100 items portraying structures below Houston Street alone. Images scanned from the collection’s billheads, letterheads, envelopes, checks, and business cards represent a variety of settings (such as factories, warehouses, mines, offices, stores, banks, and hotels) across a range of enterprises from printing, roofing, and brewing to wagon works, cordage, and merchandising.
The material offers a wealth of research opportunities for architectural historians, as well as students of commerce and graphic design. There are numerous images from the same businesses over successive decades, which show how the buildings changed over time in tandem with changes in typographic taste. The user can search by location, business name, date, or simply browse by image.
The original collection was donated to the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library by Robert Biggert in honor of Lisa Ann Rivaux in 2007. Read the press release and learn more about the Biggert Collection.
The digital collection is a joint project of the Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, the Libraries' Preservation and Digital Conversion Division, and the Libraries' Digital Program Division.