Guide to the Research Collections
The collection of approximately 1,400 volumes, together with scrapbooks, correspondence, and other material, form very strong resources in this area. Major works on heraldry are supplemented by materials on the related subjects of flags, national and royal coats-of-arms, city seals, college seals and colors, and the like. The card catalog in the Local History and Genealogy Division shows more than 2,600 entries for heraldry with a great number of index entries for articles in periodicals and journals; Great Britain and Ireland are the best represented with more than 550 entries. The Slavonic Division catalog holds an additional 120 cards representing items in the Cyrillic alphabet.
The collection is strong in older works as well as in current materials. There are a number of the standard works of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in early editions in the Rare Book Division, including the works of John Guillim, Nicholas Upton, and others. Published information
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on current and popular phases of the subject is supplemented by a number of files and special collections. Additional pictorial representations of coats of arms are found in the Spencer Collection's rich holdings of festival books, and books on tournaments; the Spencer Collection also holds European manuscript patents of nobility, carta executoria, and the like. The Mortimer and Anna Neinken collection of some 14,000 antique seals housed in the Manuscripts and Archives Division contains wax impressions of coats of arms and crests of the noble and royal houses of Europe, as well as examples of ecclesiastical seals, guild and city seals, and the like.3
Entries for material on flags total about 660 cards in the Local History and Genealogy Division catalog. The range of coverage is worldwide in the Roman alphabet. Some rarities in the Spencer Collection include a seventeenth-century Japanese "Banners of the Daimyo Families" and two Japanese printed books, one on flags and the other on ships' flags of the world; both date from the mid-nineteenth century. In 1942, Major Chandler Davis gave a most important collection of books, pamphlets, correspondence, and other materials on flags from the library of the late Gherardi Davis. The following year Major Davis added a further group of materials containing in part original colored drawings and photographs of regimental colors of the German and Russian armies; the manuscripts, drawings, and photographs are in the Manuscripts and Archives Division.