GUND, Inc. records Edit


Finding Aid Author
Julia Novakovic
Finding Aid Date
27 October 2015
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


  • 1912 – 2002 (Creation)
  • 1942 – 1969 (Creation)
  • 1984 – 1998 (Creation)


  • 38 Linear Feet (Whole)

Agent Links



  • Abstract

    The GUND, Inc. records are a compilation of historic business records from GUND, Inc. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1942 and 1969, and again from 1984-1998.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    This collection is open for research use by staff of The Strong and by users of its library and archives. Though the donor has not transferred intellectual property rights (including, but not limited to any copyright, trademark, and associated rights therein) to The Strong, the company has given permission for The Strong to make copies in all media for museum, educational, and research purposes.

  • Custodial History

    The GUND, Inc. records were donated to The Strong in March 2015 as a gift from GUND, Inc. The papers were accessioned by The Strong under Object ID 115.915. The records were received from Bruce Raiffe, President of GUND, Inc., in 53 boxes, along with a donation of historic GUND plush toys and GUND trade catalogs.

  • Preferred citation for publication

    GUND, Inc. records, Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong

  • Processed by

    Julia Novakovic, June-October 2015

  • Historical Note

    German immigrant Adolph Gund founded GUND in 1898, using premier fabrics to manufacture stuffed animals. In 1925, Mr. Gund retired and sold his company to employee Jacob Swedlin, who retained the GUND name and its underlying principles. Swedlin hired his brothers Abraham and John to construct the early framework of the company. Jacob Swedlin’s son-in-law, Herbert Raiffe, joined the company in 1956 and served as President of GUND from 1969 to 1993. Herbert’s wife, Rita, started working at GUND full-time in 1972 in the design department; her creations are among the most recognized GUND plush toys. Herbert and Rita’s son Bruce was promoted to President in 1993 and later became Chairman of the Board. Enesco, an international corporation specializing in gifts and home décor, purchased GUND in 2008. As of 2015, Bruce Raiffe continues to serve as President of the GUND division at Enesco.

    GUND pioneered innovations in safety and manufacturing, setting standards in the plush toy industry. GUND also introduced licensed plush toys to the American public through partnerships with Walt Disney Productions and comic strip syndicates. GUND became the first plush manufacturer to launch national advertising campaigns, and they are still known today for the slogan “Gotta Getta GUND!” For more than a hundred years, GUND plush toys have delighted consumers worldwide.

    While the company stylizes its brand name as GUND, the Library of Congress authorized subject heading is the lowercased “Gund, Inc.”

  • Collection Scope and Content Note

    This collection contains historic archival materials from GUND, Inc. Document types include legal papers, financial ledgers, photographs, toy patterns, advertising materials, artwork, scrapbooks, company history, and more. A sizeable portion of this collection covers marketing and publicity. The bulk of the materials are dated between 1942 and 1969, and again from 1984-1998.

    The GUND, Inc. records are arranged into five series, three of which have been further divided into subseries. The collection is housed in 38 archival document boxes.

  • Related Materials

    Trade catalogs and sell sheets from GUND are housed in the library stacks of the Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong. These materials range in date from 1927 through the early 2000s.

    The Strong museum holds more than 200 GUND plush toys within its collection.

  • System of Arrangement

    Series I: Company history, 1922-2002

    Subseries A: Leadership
    Subseries B: Correspondence
    Subseries C: Internal publications and reports
    Subseries D: Awards and service

    Series II: Legal documents and patents, 1912-1972

    Series III: Financial records, 1929-c.1947

    Series IV: Advertising, 1913-1999

    Subseries A: Marketing
    Subseries B: Publicity

    Series V: Visual materials, 1922-1998

    Subseries A: Patterns
    Subseries B: Artwork
    Subseries C: Photographs
    Subseries D: Scrapbooks
    Subseries E: Miscellaneous

External Documents


  • Type
    Container 1 Type
    Container 1 Indicator
    Container 1 Barcode
    GUND, Inc. records