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Mary Bachman Papers

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Bachman, Mary.
Title: Mary Bachman Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1985-2018
Quantity: 1.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Files, correspondence, research notes, and other material relating to the American comb collector. Includes photocopies of material dating back to the late 19th and early 20th century.
Language: Majority in English, one item in French.
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Mary Bachman is a member of the Antique Comb Collectors Club and editor of their newsletter. The club was formed as the Antique Comb Collectors Club (ACCC or AC3), and later became the Antique Comb Collectors Club International (ACCCI). She is also the author of Collector's Guide to Hair Combs: Identification and Values (1998).

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Mary Bachman Papers contains Antique Comb Collectors Club material, correspondence, photographs, printed material, subject files, and videorecordings.

The Antique Comb Collectors Club material conains address lists, communications with members and the Board of Directors, issues of the club newsletter (a few in hard copy, with a complete set on CD), club documents and publicity, and so on.

Correspondence contains general correspondene with other collectors and a small amount with sellers.

Photographs consists primarily of photographs of other collectors' combs. Many are labeled on the back.

Printed material contains clippings by and about Bachman and other comb collectors, including Jen Cruse and Belva Green, as well as pieces on combs and comb collecting generally.

Subject files were undifferentiated when received, and have been sorted by topic. Most of these have to do with various materials used in comb-making and manufacture, including horn, ivory, jet, and plastics.

Videorecordings contains "How to make a celluloid comb" and a VHS tape of a European television program.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Material is arranged alphabetically by name or topic. Within each folder, where appropriate, items are arranged chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

See also the Mary Bachman Antique Comb Collection. Special Collections Research Center has several other collections related to hair combs, as well as a considerable amount of material related to plastics history and production generally. Please search our collections to locate other collections related to plastics and industrial design, and refer to the Classic Catalog to locate cataloged publications. Please also visit the Plastics Collection Website.

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Subject Headings


Bachman, Mary.
Beall, Glenn.
Cruse, Jen.
Green, Belva.
Miller, Betty, 1933-

Corporate Bodies

Antique Comb Collectors Club (U.S.)
Antique Comb Collectors Club International.


Hair ornaments -- Collectors and collecting.
Ornamental combs -- Collectors and collecting.
Ornamental combs -- Societies and clubs.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Research notes.
Slides (photographs)
Video recordings.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Mary Bachman Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mary Bachman, 2019.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 26 Mar 2019
Revision history:

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Antique Comb Collectors Club material
Box 1 Address lists 1985-1995, undated - office holders, members, various contacts
Box 1 Board letters 1995-1996
Box 1 Conference material 1993, 1999 - one program, a few presentations
Box 1 Constitution and history 1999 - history is by Betty Miller
Box 1 Newsletters 1985, 1996, 2014 - includes a few pages of "Generic Issue"
Box 1 ACCCI newsletter archives - "from Brian Casey and Jo Sullivan"; PDF files (CD) (ID#: bachman_m_004)
Box 1 Miscellaneous - open letters to members, budgets, publicity material, club information/brochures, etc.
Box 1 General 1994-2018, undated (2 folders)
Box 1 Ebay and other sellers 2006
Box 1 Prints and color photocopies - includes large section noted as "Other members' combs"
Box 1 Slides - possibly from a presentation?
Printed material
Box 1 About AC3 1993-1997, undated
Box 1 Clippings about/by Bachman, Mary 2007
Box 1 Clippings about/by Cruse, Jen 1997, 2000-2001, 2007
Box 1 Clippings about/by Green, Belva 1995, 1998, 2001, undated
Box 1 Clippings, miscellaneous 1993-1995, 2003, 2007, undated
Subject files
This consists mostly of photocopies of books, book chapters, advertisements, catalogs, articles, and encyclopedia entries, some of which date back to the late 19th and early 20th century. There is also some printed material from websites, as well as unattributed typed notes and/or fragments of writings, some of which may have been drafts or portions of presentations or articles.
Box 1 General, books - includes "Bibliography for Antique Comb Collectors Club"
Box 1 General, museums
Box 1 Amorosi, Samuel J. 1988 - includes brief typed bio by unknown author
Box 1 Art nouveau/art deco - includes photocopies of line art and pencil sketch comb designs
Box 1 Celluloid and plastics
Box 1 Hair styles - includes copy of article or presentation, "Combs and hair ornaments, or, (almost) anyone can wear a comb" by unknown author
Box 1 Horn and tortoiseshell - includes copied pages from "The worshipful company of horners: A short history" by F.J. Fisher (1936)
Box 1 Ivory - includes "Types of ivory" from a conference presentation, draft of article by Jen Cruse
Box 2 Jet
Box 2 Paste jewelry
Box 2 Silver
Box 2 Steel and iron - cut-steel and Berlin iron
Box 2 Miscellaneous manucripts - in most cases the author is not identified; topics include piqué, tips for dating and identifying combs, combs from India and Scandinavia, etc.
Box 2 Miscellaneous printed items (photocopies) - book chapter "The comb in human history," magazine story on collector Doris Langley Moore, still shots from Titanic (1997) of Rose holding/wearing her butterfly hair comb, article on Chinese hair ornaments, etc.
Box 2 Des Gestes, un Objet le Peigne d'Ornement 1997 - note on label says "From European television" (VHS; running time 14:00) (ID#: bachman_m_001)
Box 2 How to Make a Celluloid Comb (DVD; running time 14:47) (ID#: bachman_m_003)
Box 2 How to Make a Celluloid Comb [audio only] (DAT; running time 15:00) (ID#: bachman_m_002)

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