Guide to the John Springer Printing Ephemera Collection

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1866-1934
Creator: Springer, John
Extent: 8.50 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0202
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Advertising agent, printer, and newspaper editor, of Iowa City, Iowa. Correspondence, clippings, printed matter, memorabilia, and other material relating to printing and advertising.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: Photographs in Box 16.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Acquisition: The Springer collection was bequeathed to the University of Iowa by John Springer upon his death in 1937. There was an addendum in 2003.

Preferred Citation: John Springer Collection of Printing Ephemera, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Biographical Note

Content Description

The Springer Ephemra Collection contains more than 1,600 items and more than 400 calling cards -- in excess of 2,000 items in all -- organized into 19 boxes. Items have been grouped by format (e.g., calendars in Box 1, tokens in Box 18), by subject (e.g., paper in Box 3, advertising materials related to food in Box 12) and by events (e.g.,1893 World's Fair in Box 10, Iowa City events in Box 14). Few of these groupings are entirely systematic and related materials, however defined, can often be found in more than one place in the collection.

In addition to the ephemera pieces inventoried here, Springer (1850-1937), an Iowa City printer, presented some 2,000 books documenting or illustrating the history of printing. These titles are held together as a collection in Special Collections and are cataloged on InfoHawk. A shelflist in card format is also available in the Special Collections department.

Related Materials

Springer. Collection of letters written by John Springer. xMS S76c (Special Collections)

Kolbet, Richard M. "Publish & Perish: Printed Ephemera and Social History." Books at Iowa 55: 30-34

Detailed Description of the Collection

Browse by Series:


This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Advertising agencies


Geographic Names:
United States -- Iowa

Genre/Form of Materials:
Advertising cards
Book catalogs
Clippings (Information artifacts)
Print advertising
Printed ephemera
Sales catalogs
Trade cards