Gladys Reid Holton was born June 29, 1898 in Auburn, New York. She began a teaching career in the 1920s. During the 1930s-1940s she was heavily involved in traditional household arts and crafts. Holton was curator of History of the Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences, 1950s-1960s. She retired from the Strong Museum in 1976. She amassed this private collection over a period of some 30 years. Her reason for collecting such material was to give added dimension to exhibits of museum objects and to produce creative explanations for exhibits.
The bulk of the collection contains a wide range of ephemera, such as calendars, postcards, advertising cards, magazines, newspapers and fashion plates; also photographs and business and household account books. Also some of Mrs. Holton's personal papers, including correspondence relating to activities with organizations such as the Home Bureaus and War Council, scripts from her radio programs, business cards, and personal licenses. The remainder of the collection is arranged by subjects related to the museum exhibitions Mrs. Holton worked on, including research notes, articles relating to subjects, exhibition layouts, labels, photographs, and posters.
Gladys Reid Holton Ephemera Collection, 1800-ca. 1978 (Gift of Jane Des Grange), Archives Center, National Museum of American History