The Business Card Collection consists of more than 1,500 nineteenth-century American business cards, dating primarily from 1860 to 1890. The cards are typically printed in black and white, with text on one side only. Only a few of the cards are illustrated. The majority of women's businesses represented are in traditionally female-owned trades such as carpetmaking, millinery, embroidery, nursing, and boarding houses.
Among the women business owners represented are Mrs. Bates (cleans kid gloves), Mrs. Bigelow (shampooing and hairdressing), Mrs. W. J. Campbell (confectionery and toy store), Widow of A. Carbarga (ship chandlers and provision merchants), Miss Mandie Chase (faith healer), Mrs. M. L. French (stamping and embroidery), and Florence Sherwood (harp soloist).