Conference & Fair EPHEMERA/17 March
Schedule of Speakers and Presentations
Friday, March 14 10 a.m.-Noon
Other People's Mail
There's only so much you can learn from history books. These stories
were culled from manuscript letters of the 18th through the 20th
centuries. Some of the events and subjects covered include the Revolutionary
War, Civil War, Mexican War, Western migration, and gold mining.
Readings from love letters and general human interest letters will
also provide a peek into some private lives of the past.
Phil Jones has collected ephemera for over 50 years and says he
was born of parents who saved everything. He is a past president
of The Manuscript Society, a former editor, and has held many positions
on local boards in Shelton, Connecticut, where he founded Jones
Christmas Tree Farms.
The Newseum: Ephemera and the 21st Century
The first museum of news finds itself awash in ephemera. But the
hardest news history artifacts to find are those from the last 30
years. The electronic revolution raises questions about whether
the physical world is becoming more ephemeral. What does all this
mean about the state of ephemera in the next century?
Eric Newton is the managing editor of The Newseum that opens in
Arlington, Virginia, in April. He is an award-winning newspaper
editor, writer, teacher, and scholar who believes in open government
and open newspapers. He is president of the First Amendment Project
and his book The Open Newspaper has been widely used in diversity
training of journalists.
Friday, March 14 1-4p.m.
Playing Cards and Card Games
A description of the ins and outs of collecting playing cards and
card games, an ephemera subject growing in popularity. Where to
find them? How to evaluate them? What are they worth? How to store
and display them? A slide presentation followed by a Wizard card
game tournament with a special first prize to the National Ephemera/17
Wizard Champion. A free Wizard card game and commemorative deck
to each attendee.
Stuart Kaplan is the chairman of US. Games Systems, Inc., publisher
of all types of playing cards and card games. He is a collector
of antique playing cards, card games, and related items and has
written extensively on the history of tarot and playing cards from
the 15th century to the present.
Ethics and Options: Another Look at Conservation
Mary Todd Glaser
Must albums be kept intact? Is deacidification a good thing? Can
I fix it myself? 'What should I tell my framer? Like the techniques
themselves, the philosophy of conservation has changed in recent
years. This presentation will examine some of the issues. For example,
when is professional treatment necessary, advisable, unnecessary,
or not advisable? What are other options to professional conservation?
Time will be allowed after the lecture for questions. A clinic will
follow and the audience is invited to bring objects for inspection
Mary Todd Glaser has been involved with conservation for over 35
years. After years of private practice, she became the head paper
conservator at the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover,
Massachusetts, in 1979. In addition, to running the conservation
laboratory, she does surveys, consulting, and teaching both in the
United States and abroad.
Saturday, March 15 Banquet-7:30
Crossword Ephemera: 1913 to the Present
A history of the crossword puzzle in pictures, words, and music.
A slide show will include a copy of the world's first crossword
puzzle, copies of the first crossword book and magazine, the program
for the world's first crossword tournament, sheet music and assorted
ephemera of the 1924-25 crossword craze, and other puzzle rarities
from over the decades. This slide show will be accompanied musically
by 1920s song hits like "Cross Word Mamma You Puzzle Me (But Papa's
Gonna Figure You Out)."
Will Shortz is the crossword puzzle editor of The New York Times,
host of NPR Weekend Edition's Sunday puzzle and author of several
Sunday, March 16 9 a.m.-Noon
Why People Collect: A Forum on Collecting
Howard Paine, Michael Zinman, and John Dann
Why kids pick up seashells on the beach or collect bugs or rocks
or autumn leaves or comic books or baseball cards. Why adults collect
salt-and-pepper shakers or Hummel figurines. Why some collectors
focus ever so tightly on one specific interest and others diversify.
Why some want the biggest collection and others want the best. Why
many young people of today don't care about things, but would rather
collect experiences. Why collecting, for some, is a disease, and
to others it is a defining purpose to life. Is it sentimentality,
a need for completion, a token of a pleasant memory, or possession
of a valuable object? Why do people collect?
Howard Paine presents a slide show with dual projectors and addresses
the mystery of collecting in our changing culture.
Michael Zinman and John Dann-both famous, avid collectors-address
the same questions from their differing perspectives of private
and public acquisition. Tales and anecdotes of the chase, the great
finds, the near misses, the possession, and the compulsion. A forum
with audience participation will follow.
Howard Paine worked as art director of National Geographic magazine
for many years and presently art directs US. Postage Stamps. His
career experiences have put him in the center of what he calls "the
business of collecting" His personal collecting habits are admittedly
eclectic, haphazard, and disorganized and his collections include
such diverse objects as mattress tags and number plates. He has
an abiding interest in the psychology and culture that creates a
Michael Zinman is a businessman and owner of Earthworm, Inc. He
is a well-known collector who has put together one of the most impressive
collections of pre-1800 American imprints. A fascinating and colorful
personality, whose philosophy and habits of collecting are uncommon,
he has been described as a collector "in a class by himself" In
Nicholas Basbanes' A Gentle Madness, Zinman explains his drive and
enthusiasm for collecting as an "interaction" and "a link with some
mechanism of history."
John Dann is a native of Delaware whose educational background
in history led him, in 1971, into the position of curator of manuscripts
at the Clements Library in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since his appointment
as director in 1977, he has added to the library's already fine
collection with an intelligence, sensibility, and passion that is
usually reserved to private collectors. He has written extensively
on the American Revolution and frequently lectures on American history
as seen through the library's archive.