Billheads document trade, economics, and the production of goods in the United States. National in scope, the Society's collection includes firms involved in a variety of trades such as transportation, printing, manufacturing, and agriculture.
Because of their often elaborate designs, billheads can be used by both scholars of visual culture and general history. The collection contains nearly one thousand examples, ranging in date from the 1760s to 1900.
Booksellers' and printers' billheads are a particular strength of the collection. They record everything from purchases of ink and paper to delivery of bound volumes.
Usually ordered in bulk from job printers as blanks for use by merchants, billheads include rich documentation of specific business transactions. When used in tandem with other ephemera collections such as trade cards and stock certificates, billheads amplify business history in the United States.
Nearly three quarters of the collection is fully cataloged in the General Catalog.