& Fair, EPHEMERA 23, March 14-16, 2003
Schedule of Speakers and Presentations
Friday, March 14, 9:00 a.m.-12:00p.m.
Matthew R. Isenburg
Some of the most intensely sought after pieces of ephemera are those
photographica, particularly early photographica. Matthew R. Isenburg
will share many of his items of photo-related ephemera with us.
His presentation will offer a peek into one of the largest collections
of daguerreotypes and other early images, cameras, and photo equipment
in private hands and will explain how we are greatly enhanced by
Returning from the US Navy after World War II, Matthew R. Isenburg
received his bachelors degree at Northeastern University where
he minored in American history and became a life-long devotee to
the subject. He co-authored a book in 1978 entitled Photographica,
chronicling the development of the camera, and in 1989, with John
Wood, founded The Daguerreian Society. Matt has been a resident
of the same house in Hadlyme, Connecticut for 35 years. It is in
this house that his wife and associate, Elizabeth, and his son,
Steven, have started the lengthy process of cataloging his collection
of almost 30,000 items for the Internet.
John H. Starins Glen Island Resort: Marketing the Victorian
During the second half of the nineteenth century, John H. Starin
(1825-1909), a businessman, Congressman, and philanthropist, as
well as a shipping line magnate, was renowned worldwide for his
Long Island Sound resort, Starin's Glen Island. Located on five
connecting islands off the shore of New Rochelle, NY, each featured
a different theme exhibiting five cultures of the western world
on individual islands linked together with piers and causeways.
Today the islands have been merged with substantial fill areas totaling
130 acres and providing a crescent shaped beach. Michael will give
his audience a glimpse of Glen Island's genteel middle class attractions
from a century ago.
Michael Zmuda is the owner of Spring House Antiques and Ephemera,
Carmel, NY and collects trade cards, documents, and non-sport cards.
Friday, March 14, 1:30-3:30
Hooked on Ephemera History 101 from the
Real World or Why Academic Institutions Collect Ephemera
The goal of American colleges and universities is quite obviously
education, and the means used to educate 21st century students in
an era of media schizophrenia need to be varied, appealing, and
visual. Unassumingthe uninitiated would say unsubstantialephemera
meets these requirements and so must be considered an effective
pedagogical means to be promoted by academic libraries and archives.
Drawing upon the collections formed over nearly 90 years at Chapin
Library, Williams College, Robert will show samples of ephemera
used with classes and individual student readers and researchers.
Broadsides and posters, photos and receipts routinely make teaching
more vital and the lessons of history more real.
Robert Volz has served as custodian of the Chapin
Library at Williams since 1977. In curating and interpreting ephemera
over nearly four decades at Bowdoin College, the University of Rochester,
and Williams, he has found increasing unfamiliarity among the young
with the artifacts, including ephemera, that helped make up their
parents' and their ancestors' lives. Robert notes that a contemporary
handbill can reveal the fervor of revolutionary times better than
a shelf of books, and a delousing certificate can vividly bring
home what the Nazis were up to in Poland. Robert collects Chicago
music ephemera, as he says, "from punk bands to Orchestra Hall"
to complement his collection of Chicago music recordings.
Ephemera Tales: Touchstones to the Past
The study of ephemera is a layered and multi-faceted endeavor. As
historical evidence, its graphic, social, and commercial components
have long been regarded as an appropriate field of research. But
the visceral qualities of these intimate portraits of the past form
an emotional legacy that is often overlooked. Every artifact retains
its own imprintits unique historical and sensory DNAwhich
the dedicated collector and researcher uses to extract its secrets.
Candid and unscripted, the printed and handwritten flotsam and jetsam
of another time offer unexpurgated glimpses into the popular culture
of a vanished world and provide eloquent tributes in words and images
to the lives of those through whose hands they passed. As these
poignant and compelling tales are recounted, the voices of the past
are heard again and their legacy reaffirmed.
Barbara Rusch has collected 19th century ephemera,
both printed and handwritten, for more than 20 years. In 1987, she
founded the Ephemera Society of Canada and still serves as its president.
She is the editor of its publication, Ephemera Canada, writes
and lectures on ephemera-related subjects, and has organized exhibitions
of ephemera at museums, universities, libraries, and synagogues
in the Toronto area. Barbara is the recipient of the 1989 Maurice
Rickards Award and the 1992 Samuel Pepys Award.
Sunday, March 16, 8:30-11:00
S.S. Pierce: Nineteenth Century Gourmand
Anthony Mitchell Sammarco
S.S. Pierce & Co. was known throughout the United States for
its gourmet foods and liquors that were shipped with great éclat
by its founder, Samuel Stillman Pierce. Born in Dorchester, Massachusetts,
Pierce (pronounced purse) established a corner grocery
store in Bostons West End in 1831 that evolved into a leading
purveyor of such specialty items as pâté de fois gras,
terrapin stew, Hawaiian pineapples, and pickled reindeer tongueall
of which makes us aware of how cosmopolitan our ancestors
palates had become.
Anthony Mitchell Sammarco is a well-known historian
and author of 40 books on the history and development of Boston,
including most recently Downtown Boston Then & Now, Bostons
Financial District, and Bostons Fenway. He collects
and uses ephemera relating to Boston, Baker Chocolate Co. and, of
course, S.S. Pierce to illustrate his lectures. Anthony is treasurer
of a Boston-based company, teaches history at the Urban College
of Boston, and serves as an officer in the New England chapter of
The Victorian Society of America.
African American Ephemera
The history and culture of African Americans is fascinating; however,
interest in African American history goes beyond discussion and
is the subject of a collecting boom. Various kinds of collectors
(not always who you would think) see black history ephemera as objects
to savor and enjoy, to support their views, and to satisfy deep
emotional needs. Join Elvin Montgomery for a fascinating journey.
Elvin Montgomery, Ph.D., is a management consultant
and avid collector and dealer of African American history materials
in New York City. He maintains a large, private research and reference
collection that has grown since his undergraduate days at Harvard
College, throughout his graduate school years at Columbia, and during
his later professional life. Each February he organizes a Black
History Month antiques and collectibles show and sale in New York
City. Elvin recently wrote a book on collecting African American
history artifacts and is conducting a study of African American
collections still in private hands.