Internet Web Sites Featuring Ephemera
Many of us are probably acquainted with sites on the Internet that
exist for selling and buying collectibles, especially ephemeral
material. Many of us, too, have probably found web sites that contain
information on topics that appeal to us, and we revisit these places
from time to time. For those of you who have not surfed the Internet,
here are some web sites having to do with various kinds of ephemera
and organizations that promote ephemera collecting. Web aficionados
may also find them of interest.
A splendid place to begin is at the Library of Congress. LC's general
exhibit page is located at http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/,
and its main ephemera site is at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/rbpehtml/pessay.html.
If you are interested in baseball cards check out http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/bbhtml/bbhome.html,
and to see a special exhibit entitled "An American Time Capsule:
Three Centuries of Broadsides and other Printed Ephemera," go to
To see more on baseball, go to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown,
New York, at http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/education/primary_sources/index.htm,
and to supplement the broadsides at the Library of Congress, visit
The College of William and Mary at http://www.swem.wm.edu/SPCOL/Broadsides/broadsid.html
for a look at more.
Duke University has an appealing site for ephemerists. Its many
advertisements are located at http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/adaccess/,
its presidential memorabilia is at http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/americavotes/,
and readers can find its sheet music collection at http://www.lib.duke.edu/music/fendshee.htm.
To complement Duke's sheet music, take a trip to Brown University
for a look at its African-American sheet music collection: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award97/rpbhtml/aasmhome.html.
Scrapbooking is becoming popular, and there are at least two web
sites that cover this hobby. At the University of Iowa the Iowa
Conservation and Preservation Consortium offers tips on creating
Also see The Scrap Album at http://www.scrapalbum.com/.
If you want to study the nineteenth century, Harper's Weekly of
the Nineteenth Century, located at http://www.harpweek.com,
is a good place to visit.
Children might be interested in the site at the Rosenbach Museum
and Library, Philadelphia, at http://www.rosenbach.org/kids/,
and if they are into crossword puzzles, they may wish to check out
the crossword puzzle web site of the New York Times. Called Crossword
Puzzles for Kids, it is at http://www.nytimes.com.learning/students/xwords/index.html.
There are hundreds of kinds of ephemeral items, and if they do
not exist by now, before too long there will probably be collectors
groups formed around them. Several collector group web sites are
devoted to the sort of ephemera that their names suggest: the American
Matchcover Collecting Club is at http://www.matchcovers.com/history/index.html;
the Bicycle Stamps Club is at http://members.tripod.com/~bicyclestamps/;
the International Playing Card Society is at http://www.pagat.com/ipcs/index.html;
52& Joker is at http://www.52plusjoker.org/;
and the Poster Stamp Society is at http://home.cdsnet.net/~pssoc/.
There are numerous web sites that should interest people who collect
on specific topics. A few include:
Theater ephemera: http://www.neiu.edu/~rghiggin/ephem/Ephemera.html
Sarah Bernhardt ephemera: http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~temple/eph.htm
Magic ephemera: http://www.uelectric.com/pastimes/gallery.htm
Phonograph ephemera: http://www.oldcrank.com/
Movie & TV ephemera: http://www.suite101.com/welcome.cfm/ephemera_memorabilia
Hardware, engines, and farm machinery: http://www.oldengine.org/members/christison/ephemera/ephemera.html
Jules Verne: http://www.interlog.com/~anash/collect.html
Hand presses: http://www.letterspace.com/handpress/
Circus ephemera: http://members.tripod.com/~ephemera2/
Cartoons by Dr. Seuss: http://orpheus.ucsd.edu/speccoll/dspolitic/index.htm
Medical ephemera from the National Library of Medicine: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/exhibition/ephemera/ephemera.html
Many sites have auction and show calendars that should be of interest
to ephemera collectors. Several are: Maine Antiques Digest (http://www.maineantiquedigest.com/other/shoauc.htm),
Book TV from C-Span 2 (http://www.booktv.org/schedule/book_fair_events_0300.asp),
Northeast Journal of Art and Antiques (http://www.northeastjournal.com/ShowsAuctions/neShow+Auct.htm),
and Antiques and the Arts Weekly (http://www.thebee.com/aweb/auctcal.htm).
Web sites from other countries include:
National Library of Australia: http://www.nla.gov.au/collect/ephemera.html
State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia: http://www.slv.vic.gov.au/slv/cdp/cdpephem.htm
Museum of the History of Science, Oxford, England: http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/library/index.htm
Ephemera Society of the United Kingdom: http://www.ephemera-society.org.uk/
University of Reading, Centre for Ephemera Studies: http://www.rdg.ac.uk/AcaDepts/lt/home.html
Conserving our ephemera collections is of utmost importance, and
there are several sites that offer advice. See, for example, Conservation
Online from Stanford University (http://palimpsest.stanford.edu/),
the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic
the Northeast Document Conservation Center (http://nedcc.org/),
and the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts (http://www.ccaha.org/).
E. Richard McKinstry
[This article originally appeared in the Northeast
Journal of Antiques & Art.]