News Release

Major World's Fairs archive to be digitized

Business Announcement


[Marlborough, England 29 April 2014] Digital primary sources publisher, Adam Matthew, today announced the digitization of one of the largest World's Fairs collections in the world: the Donald G. Larson Collection at the Henry Madden Library, California State University, Fresno.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Adam Matthew on their forthcoming world's fair digital collection. It's an honour to have our Collection selected as the foundation for this new collaborative project," commented Tammy Lau, Special Collections Librarian at California State University, Fresno.

World's Fairs and exhibitions were the home of innovation and invention, gathering together international communities and cultures for over 160 years. Each fair had a huge impact on both the host city, in terms of an architectural legacy, and on the millions of individuals who visited.

The founder of the core collection for Adam Matthew's new project, Donald Larson, was once such visitor. Moved by his experience of visiting the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1940, Donald G. Larson has been accumulating World's fairs material ever since. His collection is an extensive and varied agglomeration of documents, pamphlets, photographs and artefacts, which covers a huge number of fairs from 1851 onwards, even including fairs that were planned but never held.

The Donald G. Larson Collection and a broad range of additional international contributing archives will be made available in Adam Matthew's forthcoming resource on World's Fairs and International Expositions. This new digital will resource will offer researchers vital access to all aspects of this global phenomenon, from London's 1851 Great Exhibition right up to Milan 2015.


Adam Matthew is an award winning publisher of digital primary source collections for the humanities and social sciences. Sourced from leading libraries and archives around the world, their unique research and teaching collections cover a wide range of subject areas from medieval family life to 20th century history, literature and culture.

The Donald G. Larson Collection on International Expositions and Fairs is the largest comprehensive world's fair research collection on the West Coast. The collection contains more than 16,000 official guides, pamphlets, postcards, photographs, sheet music, and other materials from 1851 to the present. The nucleus of the collection was donated in the 1970s by Donald G. Larson, an avid collector and local college instructor. Since then, the collection has grown significantly and continues to expand every year.

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