SERIES, I HOPE, ON ‘MY FIRST PIECE OF EPHEMERA’, this came up the other day in a pre-isolation discussion with ESA members. The first items we talked about didn’t necessarily turn out to be a focus of later collecting but interesting.
I was working at the State Library, having come to it chiefly as a reader of books. I was introduced to ephemera as part of my job – adding to and organising the political ephemera collection – the Riley and Ephemera Collection. I was happy collecting only for the Library, until in the 1980s a colleague showed me an intriguing little card he had picked up at a church in Sale (I think). I had to have my own.
Probably many moons later I visited the large Roman Catholic church with a spectacular ceiling, and found a supply of the ‘Unknown Communist’ cards. To my surprise I only took one. For probably a decade or two I kept it in my purse anticipating that if I was run over by a bus and someone had to rummage through my belongings this would be a remarkable and memorable find.
Probably in the 2000s, I took it out of my purse and put it into one of my piles/boxes/envelopes of ephemera.
Since I left the Library in the 1990s, my interests in collecting are narrowly Australian, Victorian really, so I wonder if I came across this card now – would I pick it up.
Looking for something else earlier this year the card came to light again. And I love it still.