Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Pre-Columbian Stamp Seals and Roller Seals Collection
Graphic Arts Collection
Permanent URL:
Pre-Columbian era-1600 A.D
147 boxes and 7.0 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scagax): Box 1-147


The Pre-Columbian Stamp Seals and Roller Seals Collection consists of approximately 150 clay stamp seals, roller seals, and flat seals with handles.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

Consists of 147 clay stamp seals and roller or cylinder seals dating from the Pre-Columbian era and Post-Conquest until 1600 A.D., chiefly from Mesoamerica but possibly from other places in the Americas. These seals (sellos) include anthropomorphic, zoomorphic, floral, and geometric designs, and were probably used to decorate fabric and/or the human body. Some of the stamps contain remains of pigments.

Collection History


Gift of Gillett G. Griffin in 1966 .

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Teresa T. Basler and Charles E. Greene in 2004. Finding aid written by Teresa T. Basler and Charles E. Greene in 2004.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Credit this material:

Pre-Columbian Stamp Seals and Roller Seals Collection; Graphic Arts Collection, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scagax): Box 1-147

Find More

Existence and Location of Copies

A few digital images from the collection are available at:

Related Materials

Princeton University Library has three collections of Mesoamerican manuscripts: Garrett-Gates Mesoamerican Manuscripts Collection (C0744), Garrett Collection of Mesoamerican Manuscripts (C0744), and Princeton Collection of Mesoamerican Manuscripts (C0940). The Garrett-Gates and Garrett collections form part of the larger Robert Garrett Collection (C0744).

Subject Terms:
Indian art -- Central America.
Indian art -- South America.
Genre Terms:
Cylinder seals.