Cattle and Horse Brands Collection
Permanent URL: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/fj236215p
- Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections.
- Title and dates:
- Cattle and Horse Brands Collection
- Consists of lists with drawings of cattle brands recorded in Contra Costa County, Calif. (1852), Buenos Aires, Argentina (1854), and Italy (1600s); records of military brands used for horses during the Mexican Revolution (1913); a letter (1932) from the Cattle Sanitary Board of New Mexico regarding a brand application; receipts for sale of cattle (1865) in Steilacoom, Washington Territory; and samples of brands burned into hide, leather, and wood.
- 0.2 linear feet
- 1 half-size archival box
- Call number:
- Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections
Princeton, New Jersey 08544 USA
- Language(s) of materials:
- Storage note:
- This collection is stored onsite at Firestone Library.
The act of marking livestock with fire-heated marks to identify ownership has origins in Ancient times, with use dating back to the Ancient Egyptians. In English Lexicon, the word "brand" originally meant anything hot or burning, such as a firebrand, a burning stick. By the European Middle Ages it commonly identified the process of burning a mark into stock animals with thick hides, such as cattle, so as to identify ownership under animus revertendi. The practice became particularly widespread in nations with large cattle grazing regions, such as Spain.
These European customs were imported to the Americas and were further refined by the vaquero tradition in what today is the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. In the American West, a branding iron consisted of an iron rod with a simple symbol or mark which cowboys heated in a fire. After the branding iron turned red-hot, the cowboy pressed the branding iron against the hide of the cow. The unique brand meant that cattle owned by multiple ranches could then graze freely together on the open range. Cowboys could then separate the cattle at round-up time for driving to market. [from Wikipedia]
The collection consists of lists with drawings of cattle brands recorded in Contra Costa County, Calif. (1852), Buenos Aires, Argentina (1854), and Italy (1600s); records of military brands used for horses during the Mexican Revolution (1913); a letter (1932) from the Cattle Sanitary Board of New Mexico regarding a brand application; receipts for sale of cattle (1865) in Steilacoom, Washington Territory; and samples of brands burned into hide, leather, and wood.
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Permission to publish material from the collection must be requested from the Associate University Librarian for Rare Books and Special Collections. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.
Acquisition and Appraisal
Provenance and Acquisition
Addition of typed letter from W.A. Naylor to A.L. Nowlin regarding cattle and horse brands was added in 2004 (AM2004-149).
Processing and Other Information
Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.
Descriptive Rules Used
Finding aid content adheres to that prescribed by Describing Archives: A Content Standard.
This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2012-06-26T14:44-0400
Language(s) of this Finding Aid
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Cattle and Horse Brands Collection, Box and Folder Number; Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library.
- Cattle -- Argentina -- Buenos Aires -- Marking -- 19th century.
- Cattle -- California -- Marking -- 20th century.
- Cattle -- Italy -- Marking -- 17th century.
- Cattle brands -- Argentina -- Buenos Aires -- 19th century.
- Cattle brands -- California -- Contra Costa County -- 19th century.
- Cattle brands -- Italy -- 17th century.
- Cattle brands -- Washington -- Steilacoom -- 19th century.
- Livestock brands -- Mexico -- 20th century.
- Mexico -- History -- Revolution, 1910-1920 -- Sources.
- Mexico -- History, Military -- 20th century -- Sources.
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