An American fellowship: This is the first in a series of reports about other ephemera and like societies by ESA member Wendi B.
Bannered “The Ephemera Society of America”, this ESA identify themselves as “A fellowship of collectors, scholars, researchers, archivists and dealers” and in that manner are seemingly well-aligned with our antipodean society. Established in the 1980s, education appears to be the focus behind all of their activities.
The link to their website is here.
Within the navigation section they include a discussion defining ephemera, using some great examples as taken from NASA incidents.
Their focus seems to be on ephemeral items they classify as vintage; and although this time period would probably be the most fruitful in the minds of the majority of ephemera collectors, as a newer nation we in Australia would possibly be inclined to include some more modern ephemera within our collections – artifacts that may be considered as tomorrow’s vintage .
The home page’s current theme is “Women challenging expectations”, the subject of their 2021 conference which commemorated the 100th anniversary of women of the USA attaining suffrage. Nine video links allow the visitor to watch all presentations from the conference.
The home page has five drop-down headings: “Ephemera?”; “Discover”; “Participate”; “Join?”; and “Support” and accessing these reveals the detailed information that is the crux of their society.For example, under “Ephemera” following a brief definition is a \list of ephemera categories in alphabetical order with illustrations. This comprehensive list shows the wonderful range of items any person may be inclined to be interested in or collect.
Another great feature is under “Discover” where you can read all issues of The Ephemera Journal from 2011 to 2019.
There is undoubtedly a very ‘Americana’ feel to both their site and the ephemera list, which is probably unintentional yet gives wonderful atmosphere to the subjects they present. The extravagant, magnanimous and generous attitudes we know of the American people and their concerns through popular culture is readily apparent within their site, through the manner in which they offer their presentations and share their knowledge. In particular they seem to be big on meetings. This fact alone makes one wish the international highways were currently open, and an in-person visit to their vast land was imminently possible.
For the fanatical ephemera collector, frequent visits to this site will surely expand the horizons in regard to specific items of ephemera, as well as inform on research advances in the bigger ephemeral world.
Republished from Ephemera Newsletter and What’s On # 12, June 2021.