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Ephemera Defined

The definition of the term Ephemera can vary. The UK Ephemera Society web site says that it covers a wide range of marginalia, from tickets to letterheads, from labels to proclamations’…. of printed and handwritten ephemera’, in the words of Maurice Rickards, the founder of the Society, ‘the minor transient documents of everyday life. This is often translated in books as ‘everyday throw-away paper articles.

The Ephemera Society of America web site provides a much more broad definition giving that it ‘is a term used to embrace a wide range of minor, everyday documents, most intended for one-time or short-term use, including postcards, broadsides and posters, baseball cards, tickets, bookmarks, photographs-and the list goes on’.

Ephemera is explored further in the section headed ‘Beginning Collecting’.

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