Here's an obvious statement: I love ephemera. Here's a delightful discovery: I'm not the only one!
When a group of people discover they have a shared interest, sometimes a club is formed. What better way to share your interest than to get together once a week (or month) and talk about ideas or objects pertaining to your shared interest?
Sometimes, you realize that there are far more of you than you ever thought. That's when a "society" comes into being! Isn't it exciting and life-affirming when you realize that your interest (or in my case, "obsession") is enjoyed by so many?
The Ephemera Society! The first of the chapters was founded in the UK in 1975 (yes, only 1975!). Their newsletter is called "The Ephemerist" (sorry, but I like the playful-sounding "Ephemeraologist" better, even if it's not the "right" word). It makes sense that the Ephemera Society formed on The Continent - they have far older stuff than we do! Imagine what sorts of ephemera are lurking in ancient buildings all over Europe! How exciting!
"Our" Ephemera Society, the ESA (Ephemera Society of America), was formed in 1980. I heard about them in 2008. I have made friends on Facebook and Twitter specifically because of the ESA! I enjoy their quarterly newsletter, the Ephemera News.
Most of the members of the ESA are serious collectors. They collect valuable documents, rare stamps and REALLY vintage advertising. They actually store their collections in archival boxes and sleeves. Most have one area of interest, such as music, Cream of Wheat advertising, or holographic ephemera. When I offered to write an article for the "How I Collect" page on their Web site, I wondered what the other members thought when they first read that I happily cut up old labels and newspapers. If any objected I never heard about it. :D
I've never needed a reason to love the things I love, but it is comforting to know that I wasn't the only kid in the world who truly loved collecting stamps. I wasn't the only one who would pore over old magazines and study the ads. I wasn't the only one who collected old labels and used their allowance money to buy them (probably). :D
If you love ephemera as much as I (and I KNOW you do!), check out these two sites. They are invaluable resources for lovers of old paper. There are folks on these two sites who REALLY know their stuff - they are veritable encyclopedias of knowledge in their particular field of expertise. You'll "meet" (and in some cases, actually meet!) great people.
I hope this blog serves a similar function to the Ephemera Society's club - to bring people from all over the world together with a common interest. If they like my art made from the ephemera we talk about, even better!