The Clements Library's collection of individual friendship and autograph albums (the ones that are not part of larger bodies of family papers) dates primarily from the second half of the 19th century. The creators of these albums sought out friends, family, schoolmates, public persons, and others to write signatures, sentiments, poetry, extracts from books and serials, personal sentiments, and more. Contributions often emphasize ties of friendship, exhortations to seek love, happiness, or Christian religious salvation. Most of the volumes in this collection were compiled in the Northeast United States and areas in the Midwest, with urban and rural areas represented. The greater number of the albums were kept by young women and the bulk of the signers were also female. Contributors occasionally illustrated pages with calligraphic designs, trompe l'oeil visiting cards, animals, flowers, and themes that had particular significance to their relationship with the keeper of the album. The volumes in this collection are largely decorative blank books adorned with tooled covers, sometimes containing interspersed engravings of religious, literary, historical, and landscape themes. Some include pasted-in photographs, die-cuts, or stickers.