As I've noted in a previous post I compiled a philatelic exhibit on the history of the Library of Congress and its use of the mail for StampShow 2010 of the American Philatelic Society in Richmond, VA earlier this month. I received a silver medal for the exhibit which was somewhat below my expectations, but also in my awards packet was a certificate from the Ephemera Society of America expressing its "heartfelt gratitude" for my use of ephemera in the exhibit. My exhibit was entered in the Display Division of the exhibits at the stamp show. This category of exhibits allows the use of non-philatelic items as well as traditional philatelic items such as postage stamps and envelopes. The use of non-philatelic ephemera in a philatelic exhibit helps enrich the story told in the exhibit and also makes it more interesting to the viewer. Of course both postage stamps and envelopes are ephemeral in nature themselves. Library ephemera like other ephemera consists of items that are primarily intended for short term use. These items often help paint a picture of society and its institutions, including libraries, that is more realistic than more substantial and long lasting artifacts. One of the pages on the blog BiblioBuffet has a nice explanation of ephemera and what it includes. I've developed pages on my Library History Buff website featuring the following types of library ephemera: bookmarks, library cards, envelopes, postcards, postal cards, trade cards, and stock certificates. Bookplates are more long lasting but are somewhat ephemeral. One of my favorite blogs related to ephemera is Bibliophemera.
Life Imitating Archives
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