William D. Edmondson Papers
1896-2006 scattered and undated

MSS 332
approximately 10.5 linear feet


William D. Edmondson




There are no restrictions on the use of this collection

Access points:

Campaign insignia.
Collectibles -- United States.
Presidents -- collectibles.
Presidents -- United States -- Election -- History.

Finding aid prepared by:

Lisa Beane, 2002.
Revised and updated by Allison James, 2008.
Julia G. Westblade, 2013.



Augustana College Special Collections
Thomas Tredway Library
639 38th Street
Rock Island, Illinois 61201

Acquisition Information
Historical Note
Scope and Content
Container List
Related Collections


William D. Edmondson donated his collection to Special Collections. More information available in the Texts series within the collection.



William D. Edmondson began collecting political memorabilia while he was in graduate school in the 1950s and was a member of American Political Items Collectors for many years. He acquired most of the items in his collection in antique stores and used bookshops, though some items were given to him by friends, colleagues, and students. Dr. Edmondson frequently displayed his collection on campus at Western State College in Colorado, where he was a professor for many years. He also spoke often about elections and candidates, using items from his collection as props for his presentations.



The Edmondson Papers consist of 2 series: Texts and Artifacts. Artifacts is composed of 9 sub-series.

Series I. Texts, 1948-2006 contains documents about the collection itself, letters written by Edmondson to archival staff, and many articles about memorabilia, collecting, or election trivia. Also included are photocopies of the titles pages of the books Edmondson donated to Special Collections.

Series II. Artifacts, 1896-2004 scattered and undated contains 9 sub-series: Campaign Buttons, Political Papers, Ceramics and Glassware, Republican Memorabilia, Democratic Memorabilia, Candidate-specific Novelties, Americana, Campaign Songs and Records and Toys and Games.

     Sub-Series I. Campaign Buttons, 1896-2004 contains buttons and lapel pins from the campaigns of numerous U.S. Democratic, Republican and Third Party presidential candidates. The dates are assumed to be from the year that the candidate ran for office.

     Sub-Series II. Political Papers, 1900-2004 contains many bumper stickers from political campaigns. There are three invitations for the inaugurations of Johnson, Nixon and Clinton. Convention tickets to both Republican and Democratic National Conventions are featured. It also contains a miscellaneous folder of memorabilia including pamphlets and small posters. Some items of interest include: a pamphlet featuring George Wallace's views on racism, a small chapbook about the efficiency of a Catholic president, and cut-outs of Adlai Stevenson's shoe.

     Sub-Series III. Ceramics and Glassware, 1966 and undated contains five campaign-related mugs including a reproduction of a whiskey bottle which was debatably used by the Whig party to support William Henry Harrison's presidential campaign.

     Sub-Series IV. Republican Memorabilia, 1952, 1964 and undated contains memorabilia of the Republican party including store-bought party favors and tokens from various conventions.

     Sub-Series V. Democratic Memorabilia, 1960 and undated contains memorabilia of the Democratic party including store-bought party favors and tokens from various conventions.

     Sub-Series VI. Candidate-specific Novelties, 1964, 1980 and undated contains many novelty items relating to presidential campaigns from Lincoln's to Carter's. The items are all unique, but some of particular interest include Stevenson-sponsored cigarettes, Goldwater "AuH2O" soda cans, a Wallace tie, and a large wax bust of Nixon.

     Sub-Series VII. Americana, undated contains items not specific to any candidate or party, but rather are general patriotic Americana items bearing the flag or the presidential seal.

     Sub-Series VIII. Campaign Songs and Records, 1928-1978 contains sheet music bound up in "songsters" from 1928-1960 campaigns. It also contains records and 45s of campaign-specific or presidential-related songs. The most recent record parodies the Moral Majority, a political evangelical group from the late 1970s.

     Sub-Series IX. Toys and Games, 1967, 1983, 1990 and undated contains jigsaw puzzles, trivia, card games and paper dolls relating to former U.S. presidents.



Box 1
      Series I. Texts, 1948-2006
            Correspondence 1997-2006 and undated
            Miscellaneous documents, 1971, 1993, 1997-98, 2001, undated
            Campaign songs, 1948, 1956-1975 (scattered) and undated
            Book reviews, 1964-1969 (scattered), 1981-2000 (scattered), undated
            Photocopied title pages, undated
            Articles about political memorabilia, 1960-1969 (scattered), 1976-2001 (scattered), and undated
            Articles about collecting, 1968-1992 (scattered), and undated
            Articles about elections, 1976, 1988-1996 (scattered) and undated
            Articles about presidents, 1953-2003 (scattered)
            Articles about first ladies, families, and pets 1992-1997 and undated
            Articles about presidential ratings, 1983, 1990, 1993, 2000
            Articles about inaugurations, 1996-1997
            Articles about political artifacts, 1956, 1974-1993 (scattered) and undated
            Articles about political artifacts, 1996-2003 (scattered) and undated
            Articles about political cartoons, 1996, 1998, and undated
            Articles about scandals and crises, 1997
            Miscellaneous articles, 1957, 1978-1998 (scattered) and undated
Box 2
      Series II. Artifacts, 1896-2004 scattered and undated
            Sub-Series I. Campaign Buttons, 1896-2004
            2-1: Bryan, ~1896
                   Cleveland, 1884
                   Debs, ~1900
                   Hughes, ~1916
                   McKinley, ~1896
                   Roosevelt, 1904
                   Taft, ~1908
                   Wilson, ~1912
                   Joke Pins, undated
                   Party-specific Pins, undated
            2-2: Coolidge, 1924
                   Davis, 1924
                   Harding, ~1920
                   Hoover, ~192;
                   LaFollete, 1924
                   Landon, 1936
                   Roosevelt, 1932, 1936, 1940, 1944
                   Smith, 1928
            2-3: Dewey, ~1944
                   Eisenhower, 1952, 1956
                   Stevenson, 1952, 1956
                   Truman, 1948
                   Willkie, 1940
                   Anti-3rd Term pins, 1940
            2-4: Goldwater, 1964
                   Johnson, 1964
                   Kennedy, 1960
                   Nixon, 1968, 1972
            2-5: Anderson, 1980
                   Carter, 1976
                   Ford, 1976
                   Goldwater, 1964
                   Humphrey, 1968
                   McCarthy, 1976
                   McGovern, 1972
                   Wallace, 1968
            2-6: Bush, 1988, 1992
                   Dole, 1996
                   Dukakis, 1988
                   Clinton, 1992, 1996
                   Gore, 2000
                   Kerry, 2004
                   Perot, 1992
                   Reagan, 1980, 1984
            2-7: [All oversized]
                   Eisenhower, 1952, 1956
                   Goldwater, 1964
                   Johnson, 1964
                   Kennedy, 1960
                   Nixon, 1968, 1972
                   Stevenson, 1952, 1956
Box 3
            Sub-Series II. Political Papers, 1900-2004
               Bumper Stickers: Anderson, Bush, Carter, Clinton, Coolidge, Dole, Eisenhower, Goldwater, Humphrey, Johnson, Kennedy, Kerry, McGovern, Mondale, Nixon, Perot, Reagan, Roosevelt, Stevenson, Wallace, Various Humor Stickers, undated
Inaugural Invitations, 1965, 1973, 1993
Convention Tickets, 1900, 1912, 1920, 1932, 1956
Miscellaneous, 1928, 1956, 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972

            Sub-Series III. Ceramics and Glassware, 1966 and undated
E.G. Booze Old Cabin Whiskey Bottle (reproduction), undated (original dates 1860-1870)
            Progressive Party "Bull-Moose" Mug, undated
            The New Deal mug, undated
            "Abeline, Kansas: Eisenhower's Home" souvenir mug, undated
            Presidential Souvenir Mug, 1966
Box 4
            Sub-Series IV. Republican Memorabilia, 1952, 1964 and undated
            Vote Republican aluminum garbage can, undated
            Vote Republican feathers, undated
            GOP handkerchief, ~1952
            3 matchbooks, 1964
            Elephant centerpiece, undated
            GOP coaster, undated
            Elephant paper centerpiece, undated
            Hologram matchbook, undated
Box 5
            Sub-Series V. Democratic Memorabilia, 1960 and undated
            Vote Democratic aluminum garbage can, undated
            DNC coaster, undated
            Donkey paper centerpiece, undated
            Hologram matchbook, undated
            Convention Flag, 1960
Box 6
            Sub-Series VI. Candidate-specific Novelties, 1964, 1980 and undated
            Lincoln-Hamlin ribbon (reproduction), undated
            Roosevelt reflector, undated
            "Stevenson for President' Cigarettes, undated
            IKE earings, undated
            Stevenson kerchief, undated
            Kennedy hat, undated
            Goldwater nylon flag, undated
            Goldwater matchbooks, undated
            Goldwater antennae flag, undated
            Goldwater paper megaphone, undated
            Goldwater "Gold-Water" Soda cans, 1964
            Johnson figurine, 1964
            Johnson matchbook, undated
            Johnson bubblegum cigars, undated
            Wallace for President license plate, undated
            Wallace matchbook, undated
            Wallace tie, undated
            Nixon thimble, undated
            Nixon antenna flag, undated
            Nixon penny, undated
            Nixon paper bag, undated
            Nixon oversize button, undated
            McGovern Million Member card, undated
            Reagan-Bush pocket knife, 1980
            Reagan pocket knife, 1980
            Carter pocket knife, 1980
            Carter pencil, undated
            Ollie North for President license plate, undated
Box 7
            Wax bust of Richard Nixon, undated
            Photograph of Edmondson contemplating the bust of Nixon, 2001
Box 8
            Sub-Series VII. Americana, undated
            Uncle Sam hat centerpiece, undated
            6 American flags of varying sizes, undated
            Campaign button t-shirt, undated
            Tie featuring presidential campaign memorabilia, undated
            Wrapping paper, undated
            Flag ribbon, undated
            American seal coasters, undated
Box 9
            Sub-Series VIII. Campaign Songs and Records, 1928-1978
            Sheet Music: "Get Yourself a Nice Brown Derby (And Fall in Line for Al)", 1928
            Sheet Music: "Mr. Harding We're All For You", 1928
            Sheet Music: "Roosevelt We're All For You", 1933
            Sheet Music: "On With Roosevelt" 1936
            Sheet Music: "Our Landon", 1936
            Sheet Music: "Sing Out the News, FDR Jones", 1938
            Sheet Music: "We Want Willkie", 1940
            Sheet Music: "We're Voting For Nixon to Keep the Country Strong", 1960
            Records: "Songs of the Suffragettes", 1958
            Records: "Election Songs of the United States", 1960
            Records: "The First Family", 1962
            Records: "Go, Goldwater!", 1964
            Records: "The Election Year", 1964
            Records: "How to Steal an Election", 1968
            Records: "The Invention of the Presidency", 1968
            Records: "I am the President", 1969
            Records: "What Did You Learn In School Today?", undated
            Records: "The Flackman and Reagan", undated
            Records: "Moral Majority", 1978

            Sub-Series IX. Toys and Games, 1967, 1983, 1990 and undated
            Mr. President:Game of Campaign Politics, 1967
            Learning History Jigsaw Puzzle, 1983
            JFK Coloring Book, undated
            Theordore Roosevelt Paper Dolls, 1990
            Franklin Roosevelt Paper Dolls, 1990
            Presidential Quiz: An Educational Card Game, undated
            2 decks of Presidential Rummy, undated
            Donkey and Elephant playing cards, undated

Oversize Box 1 (Box 9 on label)
            Campaign: A Game of American Politics: Electing a President, 1966
            People's Choice, a Jigsaw Puzzle of Campaign Buttons from the William Edmondson Collection, 1967
            Democrats vs. Republicans in Chess and Checkers, 1968
            Hail to the Chief: The Presidential Election Game, 1987
            Pick a Winner, a Jigsaw Puzzle of Political Items from the Collection of Dorothy M. Brower, undated

Oversize Box 2 (Box 10 on label)
            United States Presidents Jigsaw Puzzle, 1994
            Election Watch Jigsaw Puzzle, undated



None known

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