Conference & Fair, EPHEMERA 26, March 10-12, 2006

Schedule of Events

Friday, March 10th

Three morning conference sessions: The Glen

9 a.m. Friday, March 10
The History of Halloween
Pamela Apkarian-Russell

Halloween, that much-loved American celebration has roots in Walpurgis Nacht, the poems of Robert Burns, Thomas Jefferson remembering the Salem witch trials, the Mexican Day of the Dead, and more. We decorate with symbols that, themselves, have interesting histories. Using images of ephemera from her extensive collection, now a museum of the holiday, Pamela Apkarian-Russell will show the development of Halloween and how it has penetrated our popular culture.

Pamela Apkarian-Russell, nicknamed the "Halloween Queen," is a dealer in ephemera who has made the holiday her specialty. Her books include: Tastes & Smells of Halloween, Collectible Halloween, Postmarked Yesterday, The Art of the Holiday Postcard, and Salem Witchcraft and Collectibles. Her articles have been published in magazines and newspapers here and in the United Kingdom, and she has appeared on the Martha Stewart television show. In 2005, she and her husband Chris Russell, opened a museum, Castle Halloween, in the old Boggs Run Road Elementary School, Benwood, West Virginia. Along with ephemera from the Golden Age of Halloween (1920 and earlier), it features paintings used by Dennison for their crepe paper, a silk screen of Andy Warhol's Dracula, contemporary folk art, and Harry Potter memorabilia.

10 a.m. Friday, March 10
Research Topics in Ephemera at the Library Company of Philadelphia
Wendy Woloson

Printed ephemera provides glimpses into the daily lives of those in the past who often eluded more permanent documentation. Researchers at the Library Company of Philadelphia rely heavily on its extensive collections of printed ephemera, which they use in conjunction with books and graphic materials to illuminate these otherwise invisible pasts. This talk will feature highlights from the Library Company's vast collection including trade cards, broadsides, advertising pamphlets, and printed forms. In addition to describing many of the generous collectors who have donated ephemera to the Library Company over the years, the talk will also suggest some of the myriad ways that printed ephemera can be of research value to historians.

Wendy Woloson has been with the Library Company of Philadelphia since 1993 and is now the Curator of Printed Books, a position which she has held since 2004. She received her Ph.D. in American civilization from the University of Pennsylvania and published her dissertation as Refined Tastes: Sugar, Consumers, and Confectionery in Nineteenth-Century America (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002). Currently she is working on a book-length history of pawnbroking in America. A trained printmaker, she also teaches classes at a local Philadelphia art center.

11 a.m. Friday, March 10
Ocean Liners — Style and Social Icons
John G. Sayers

The great liners epitomize what ocean liner travel was all about: style, luxury, and comfort. They reflect the flow of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and other design influences, as well as social history, such as the (men's) Smoking Room. In a 1936 Queen Mary brochure, Cunard trumpets that women will be allowed into the Smoking Room – but only at specified times, of course. Ash trays were made of that wondrous new invention – Bakelite. Everything was at the apex of the fashions of the time. Sayers' presentation will include ‘show and tell' material that includes: an elaborate Queen Mary "Maiden Voyage" certificate; a large Queen Mary Maiden Voyage presentation booklet; ship's newspaper for the first day of the Queen Mary's Maiden Voyage; Cunard information booklet "It may surprise you to know…" imprinted in gold as "Souvenir Edition – Maiden Voyage – R.M.S. Queen Mary;" an advertising brochure for the National Hotel Management Co., with the envelope marked "Greetings via Maiden Voyage Super liner Queen Mary;" and Woman's Journal "Souvenir of the Maiden Voyage of R.M.S. Queen Mary."

Canadian John Sayers is a member and Board member of the Ephemera Society of America, is on the executive board of the Toronto Postcard Club, and is a member of The Ephemera Society (U.K.). Mr. Sayers, who resides in Toronto, is a longtime collector of ocean liner ephemera and memorabilia.

Lunch Break Noon — 1:30

Two afternoon conference sessions: The Glen

1:30 p.m. Friday, March 10
What Ephemera Reveal to Medical Scholars
Russell A. Johnson

The History & Special Collections Division at UCLA's Biomedical Library recently started building a collection of 19th and 20th century baby record books — infant health care advice-filled memory albums in which parents recorded milestones in their child's development and added photographs and other personal mementos. Another new collecting focus is Victorian trade cards that feature patent medicines or practitioner services aimed at the alleviation of pain. The archivist for the collections will explain why the library ventured into these areas and will describe how items are procured from dealers and donors (and eBay), how the collections are cataloged and made accessible, and how historians, medical doctors, and other scholars are using these fascinating materials.

Russell Johnson grew up in Massachusetts and Maine but now has lived half his life in Los Angeles. He is the archivist in the History & Special Collections Division of UCLA's Biomedical Library, which includes the John C. Liebeskind History of Pain Collection. The Liebeskind Collection is organizing an exhibition of its trade cards and other ephemera for the May 2006 annual meeting of the American Pain Society in San Antonio, Texas.

2:30 p.m. Friday, March 10
Ephemera Reconsidered: New Work from Winterhouse
Jessica Helfand

In the noble tradition of her father, William H. Helfand — the 2006 Maurice Rickards Award recipient — Jessica Helfand is a longtime ephemera collector whose interests include volvelles, scrapbooks, and obscure specimens of typography. Her husband and partner, William Drenttel, is equally if not more obsessive: his interests also include obscure specimens of typography, along with volcanoes, periodic tables, and Petri dishes. Together, they will discuss how they use ephemera in their studio, focusing on three projects that illuminate the degree to which ephemera can have a meaningful and lasting impact on producing contemporary work.

Jessica Helfand and William Drenttel are partners in Winterhouse, a design studio in Northwest Connecticut. Their work focuses on publishing and editorial development; new media; and cultural, educational, and literary institutions. They are also co-founding editors of Design Observer, the leading weblog for design, visual, and cultural journalism online. (

Also Friday:

• 4 p.m. — Dealer Setup

• 7:30 p.m. — Collectors' Forum - Experienced collectors share their enthusiasm & knowledge.

Saturday, March 11th

• 8:15 a.m. — Memberships will be sold at the Ephemera Society desk in Le Grand Jardin foyer.

• 9 a.m. — Members-only show preview ($10) for the Society's 26th Annual Paper Show in Le Grand Jardin ballroom. Please have your membership card available.

• 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. — Exhibits open.

• 10 a.m. — General public admission entry is $12. ($1 off with any Ephemera/26 ad.)

• Noon - 3 p.m. — Appraisals: get the expert's estimate on your special piece. (near Society desk in foyer)

• 3 - 4 p.m. — Collectors' Forum

• 5 p.m. — Show closes; reopens 11 a.m. Sunday.

• 5:15 p.m. — Annual Membership Meeting in Alder.

• 6:30 p.m. — Cash Bar & Dr. Quack, Glen Foyer

• 7:30 p.m. — Awards Banquet — A seated banquet in The Glen, followed by presentation of the 2006 Maurice Rickards Award to William H. Helfand. Reservations are required. A conference registration and banquet reservation form is attached. Please detach at the dotted line and return with your check to ESA Conference, PO Box 95, Cazenovia, NY 13035. Dinner reservations must be received by Wednesday, March 1st.

Sunday, March 12th

Two morning conference sessions: The Glen

9 a.m. Sunday, March 12
The Truth about Victorian Hotel Rats and Cats & Other Magic Lantern Delights
Dick Moore

Magic lantern ephemera encompasses a wide range of items including broadsides for lantern shows and exhibitions, tickets, advertisements, catalogues for lanterns and slides, books, lantern readings, letters requesting purchase of lanterns, slides and equipment, invoices, decals for mass producing slides after the turn of the century, as well as media articles announcing or describing a show. Behind most ephemera there was an event – a circus, a political rally, a temperance meeting, or a Magic Lantern show. In his famous Traveling Magic Lantern Show, Professor C.O. Scope II (a.k.a. Dick Moore) brings to life, with your help, the events behind the Magic Lantern ephemera.

Dick Moore is Secretary/Treasurer of the Magic Lantern Society of the U.S. and Canada, and a member of the Magic Lantern Society of the UK Building on strong interest in Victorian entertainment, he has been collecting lanterns, slides, and related ephemera for 12 years, and presents shows for historical, holiday, and private or public entertainment events.

10 a.m. Sunday, March 12
Ephemera Across the Atlantic: Printed Ephemera at the Winterthur Museum
E. Richard McKinstry

Winterthur Museum's collection of ephemera is housed in the Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera, perhaps the only library collection in the U.S. to have the words printed ephemera in its title. It documents everyday life in America, taking into account European and Asian influences. "Ephemera Across the Atlantic" is a title that provides a jumping off point for discussing collection highlights, particularly French watercolor art, Japanesque trade cards, scrapbook houses, and poster stamps. Almanacs, stereo cards, bookplates, and other trade cards are also considered.
E. Richard McKinstry is Andrew W. Mellon Senior Librarian at Winterthur Museum, where he has worked since 1977; earlier he was reference librarian at The New Jersey Historical Society. He is the author of four books describing various parts of Winterthur's library holdings, articles focusing on items and collections of bibliographical interest, and is the co-author of several exhibition catalogs. Rich was a member of the board of the Ephemera Society from 1997-2003, served as president from 1999-2000, and currently is the Society's archivist. He was nominated and elected to membership in the Grolier Club in 2004.

Also Sunday:

• 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. — Paper Show hours in the Le Grand Jardin ballroom

• 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. — Exhibits open.

• 2 - 3 p.m. — Collectors' Forum

• 4 p.m. — Ephemera/26 closes.

Thanks to our Corporate Supporters:

Collectibles Insurance AgencySwann Galleries, Inc.

   © 2011 The Ephemera Society of America