Ephemera 22

The society's twenty-second annual conference and fair will be held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Greenwich, Connecticut, over St. Patrick's Day weekend, March 15-17, 2002. Our new fair managers will be Flamingo Promotions, owned and operated by society members Tina and John Bruno. Check out the Flamingo web site for details about the Ephemera 22 fair at http://www.flamingoshows.com/.

The conference will feature six speakers. Four are scheduled on Friday, March 15th, and two on Sunday, the 17th.

Leading off Friday's program will be Lois Densky-Wolff with a talk entitled "Mark Me Well: Bookmarks, Pagemarkers, and Bookmark Ephemera." Lois enthusiastically notes that in the world of ephemera and antique "smalls" nothing beats collecting bookmarks and pagemarkers showing advertising art and other images. She became fascinated with them on a trip to London in the late 1980s when she bought her first paper bookmark at the English ephemera society's annual show. Hooked ever since, Lois will present a survey of this particular type of ephemera using examples from her own collection to illustrate her talk. Lois, an archivist and librarian, is currently head of the University Libraries-Special Collections Department at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. She contributed the bookmark page to the society's web site - http://www.ephemerasociety.org/ex-bookmarks.html.

Jon Williams follows Lois on Friday morning to speak about the collection of ephemera that he administers at the Hagley Museum and Library, just outside Wilmington, Delaware. As Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Prints and Photographs, Jon oversees ephemera documenting the history of American business, technology, and consumerism, topics that mirror the strengths of his library. Items under his care range from ephemera issued by the Dupont Company to paper dolls documenting Miss America pageants, from posters covering workplace safety to the ephemera of world's fairs where the latest technology was on display. Hagley's growing trade card collection, numbering about 3,500, shows business transactions of all kinds; its postcards illustrate mills, factories, and railroad stations; and its letterheads and billheads document hardware stores. Other forms of paper ephemera at Hagley include salesperson's samples, poster stamps, and napkins bearing the names of businesses.

After a break for lunch Gino Francesconi will speak about the development of the Carnegie Hall archives, a collection that he established with a mere three small boxes of material in 1986. By the time the hall celebrated its centennial in 1990-1991, so much had been assembled that Gino was able to curate exhibitions around New York City and start a museum, which was launched with a Tchaikovsky exhibit one hundred years to the day after the maestro had arrived in the United States to open Carnegie Hall. This show led to nine more temporary exhibitions, all of which displayed manuscripts never before shown in the country, including seventeen piano sonatas by Ludwig van Beethoven. The Carnegie Hall archive is a rich resource for the study and appreciation of the performing arts, and it includes such ephemera as posters, programs, manuscripts, and scrapbooks.

Bruce Connor, a member of the society's board of directors, will conclude Friday's presentations. As a life long resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Bruce has had the opportunity of being surrounded by the early history of our country. His eclectic range of interests include anti-slavery movements, nineteenth century advertising, trade cards, and the department store founder Jon Wanamaker. Bruce's talk will center on the life and achievements of Wanamaker in the retail trade, mostly before 1923.

Sunday's session will begin with a glimpse of what twenty-first century technology promises. Scott Weimer, Account Executive for Imaging Solutions at VTLS, a library technology and services firm in Blacksburg, Virginia, has entitled his talk "Out of the Box and onto the World Wide Web: Considerations for Digitizing Ephemera." Attendees will come away with an understanding of the issues and choices that surround digital imaging projects. Scott will discuss alternatives in making ephemera available on the Internet, planning a project, workflow considerations, and end user designs. Two of VTLS's Internet projects are the Library of Virginia Digital Library Program at http://www.lva.lib.va.us/dlp/index.htm and the Greater Cincinnati Memory Project at http://memory.gclc-lib.org/.

Concluding the conference is Barry Friedman, producer of the television program "Treasures in Your Home: The World of Collecting." Barry has been collecting for over thirty years and is best known for his passion about items associated with Charles Lindbergh. His presentation will be illustrated by such pieces of ephemera as Lindbergh's last payroll check as an airmail pilot, the bill for the instrument panel of the "Spirit of St. Louis," the invoice for the lettering of the plane, and Lindbergh's handwritten countdown checklist for the maiden flight of the "Spirit of St. Louis" when he tested the plane prior to his famous flight in 1927 from New York to Paris.
We look forward to seeing you in Greenwich in March!

E. Richard McKinstry

[This article originally appeared in the Northeast Journal of Antiques & Art.]

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