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What is ephemera?

The term ‘ephemera’ covers a wide range of documents including leaflets, handbills, tickets, trade cards, programmes and playbills, printed tins and packaging, advertising inserts, posters, newspapers and much more. In the words of the society’s founder, Maurice Rickards, “the minor transient documents of everyday life”. Essentially produced to meet the needs of the day, such items reflect the moods and mores of past times in a way that more formal records cannot. Collectors of printed ephemera vary in their approach. Some focus on the ephemera of a particular trade or profession, others are interested in its social or graphic history. Other ephemerists collect documents simply as evocative reminders of the past. 

What is The Ephemera Society?

The Ephemera Society is a non-profit body devoted to the collection, conservation, study and educational uses of handwritten and printed ephemera and is entirely run by enthusiastic volunteers. With membership approaching 500, the society is today internationally recognised as the authority in the field of ephemera, counting among its members libraries, museums, colleges and universities, as well as ephemera dealers and private individuals in twenty or more countries. 

What is The Ephemerist?

The Ephemerist is the official quarterly journal of The Ephemera Society. It is a beautifully produced publication with a reputation as a source of expert information on all aspects of ephemera. It brings together new writing by academics and collectors offering insights into their own specialist areas of expertise. It appeals to those interested in design and printing history, social history, graphic design and typography. By subscribing to The Ephemerist you are helping to support our society for generations to come.