Encyclopedia of Ephemera: A Guide to the Fragmentary Documents of Everyday Life for the Collector, Curator and Historian

Front Cover
Michael Twyman
Routledge, Oct 24, 2018 - History - 416 pages
The joy of finding an old box in the attic filled with postcards, invitations, theater programs, laundry lists, and pay stubs is discovering the stories hidden within them. The paper trails of our lives -- or ephemera -- may hold sentimental value, reminding us of great grandparents. They chronicle social history. They can be valuable as collectibles or antiques. But the greatest pleasure is that these ordinary documents can reconstruct with uncanny immediacy the drama of day-to-day life.

The Encyclopedia of Ephemera is the first work of its kind, providing an unparalleled sourcebook with over 400 entries that cover all aspects of everyday documents and artifacts, from bookmarks to birth certificates to lighthouse dues papers. Continuing a tradition that started in the Victorian era, when disposable paper items such as trade cards, die-cuts and greeting cards were accumulated to paste into scrap books, expert Maurice Rickards has compiled an enormous range of paper collectibles from the obscure to the commonplace. His artifacts come from around the world and include such throw-away items as cigarette packs and crate labels as well as the ubiquitous faxes, parking tickets, and phone cards of daily life.
As this major new reference shows, simple slips of paper can speak volumes about status, taste, customs, and taboos, revealing the very roots of popular culture.

What people are saying - Write a review

The encyclopedia of ephemera: a guide to the fragmentary documents of everyday life for the collector, curator, and historian

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Have you ever looked through an old Victorian era scrapbook, the kind people used to put together where they would paste in railway tickets, dance cards, and similar items? They can be fascinating ... Read full review



Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2018)

Maurice Rickards, one of the leading experts in the study of ephemera, spent more than twenty years compiling the Encyclopedia.

Michael Twyman is author of several books on the history of printing and before his retirement was Professor of Typography & Graphic Design at the University of Reading, England.

Bibliographic information