Phil Jones Opens Ephemera Fund With
Generous $15,000 Donation
Ephemera 27 Speakers Explore Breadth and Depth
Thanks, for the Memories
Phil Jones Opens Ephemera Fund
With Generous $15,000 Donation
With a surprise announcement that even his daughter
didn't know about until 15 minutes before he made it, long-time
Society member Phil Jones has pledged $15,000 to establish a fund
supporting the advancement of research into ephemera.
details of the grants, such as their value, how they will be awarded,
and to whom, have not been determined, Jones said his intent was
to help support anyone with a legitimate interest in promoting the
value of or building the knowledge base surrounding virtually any
form of ephemera.
"The fact is," Jones said to several board members sitting
around the table at a Chinese restaurant the night before the board
meeting, "I don't have a clue about what could be done or what
needs to be done, but I'm sure that not everything has been learned
or written about ephemera."
Jones cited his 50 years of collecting ("hoarding,"
as he called it) vintage letters as an example.
"I've bought shoebox after shoebox full
of letters after dealers had taken off the stamps they wanted,"
Jones continued, "and I still haven't opened all the boxes,
so I know there's more to learn."
Jones hesitated to call it a "scholarship"
fund because he felt that was too narrow a term, implying that only
college students would be eligible.
"We think it could be much broader than this,"
Jones added. "The purpose would be to award a year-long grant
for a worthy project, be it teaching, writing a book, or just using
ephemera as part of a worthwhile project."
The $15,000 "seed" money already has started
to prompt the like-minded to get involved. Within 24 hours of the
word starting to spread, another Society member donated an additional
$500 to start a "match" of the initial $15,000. That,
said the Society's new president Gigi Barnhill, is how the
fund is supposed to work.
"Our hope is to work it so the fund provides
endowment income instead of spending it down," Barnhill told
the 25 or so attendees of the early-morning annual member meeting
the last day of the conference. "We want Phil's generous
gift to keep on growing through low-risk investments and additional
donations so the income it generates can support those who are doing
research on ephemera or using it in interesting ways."
A committee of Society members, including Jones's
daughter, Sandi, will be appointed to establish the fund's goals,
guidelines, and operational details.
Ephemera 27 Speakers Explore
Breadth and Depth of Ephemera
baby books to bicycles to Babe, the blue ox; from Uncle Tom's Cabin
to Washington D.C.'s 21st century "war profiteers;" from
love letters to rabies, lice, and hysterical women, Ephemera 27's
guest speakers enthralled their audiences with presentations that
plumbed ephemera's depths and widths.
The presentations filled seven hours over two days, so two pages
of 12-point Times Roman can only whet the appetite. Being there,
on the other hand, was a sumptuous feast.
Russell Johnson, the archivist in the History &
Special Collections Division of the U.C.L.A. Biomedical Library,
touched on only two collectionsbaby books and pain-relieving
nostrums represented in the John C. Liebeskind History of Pain Collection.
The baby books, as Johnson remarked, were about babies
and their physical, mental, and moral growth, not for them. The
books themselves were likely to be sponsored and freely distributed
by insurance companies, drug companies, and other businesses hoping
to appeal to mom and dad. Johnson also mined the Liebeskind archives
for ephemera in the form of trade cards, advertising, and packaging
that promised relief from any kind of pain. Ephemera demonstrated
clearly how claims were drastically modified following the passage
of the first Food & Drugs Act in 1906. One pain reliever whose
active ingredients were alcohol and morphine sulfate before the
Act suddenly became a vegetable-based laxative after the laws took
Christopher Hoolihan, the Rare Books & Manuscripts
Librarian at the University of Rochester's Edward G. Miner Library,
used ephemera to illustrate how Americans, perhaps because of remoteness,
expense, or distrust of the medical community, chose to medicate
themselves for everything from venereal disease to rabies, to lice.
Patent medicine advertising, Hoolihan demonstrated,
also revolutionized the advertising industry with the beginning
of national campaigns, the use of visually exciting illustrations
instead of gray lines of type; conspicuous packaging; chromolithography;
and the practice of branding.
Terry J. Goldich, curator of the Northeast Children's Literature
Collection and the Alternative Press Collection at the University
of Connecticut Thomas J. Dodd Research Center, shared ephemera relating
to the creation of children's books, including book dummies,
sketches, illustrations, and revisions. While some authors and illustrators
destroyed everything but the finished work, the starts, stops, and
missteps of others yield glimpses into how the final works evolved,
such as a drastic change in James Marshall's drawing of his
title hippos, George and Martha. In a hand-drawn note to himself,
Marshall writes: "Change George to Martha."
Goldich also deals with the library's Alternative
Press Collection that has gathered publications and ephemera from
activist movements. It may have been founded in the 1960s, but it's
been kept up to date as Goldich demonstrated with a deck of 52 cards,
including portraits of President George W. Bush and Condoleezza
Rice. Patterned after the card deck the American military circulated
when it was seeking members of Saddam Hussein's brutal Iraqi
regime, the more recent deck claims to identify "War Profiteers."
Katherine Kane, as chief spokesperson and advocate
of Hartford, Connecticut's Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, uses
ephemera from the past to inspire modern commitment to the kind
of social justice advocated by Uncle Tom's Cabin author Harriet
The novel of slavery in the American South began as
a four-part serial appearing in The National Era, an abolitionist
newspaper. It turned into a 44-part serial, beginning in June 1851.
Even after such exposure, as a book it sold 10,000 copies in the
first week; 300,000 copies the first year; and 1.5 million copies
the same year in Britain. It was immediately adapted as a stage
play and appeared in one form or another for 90 years in the U.S.
When Stowe met with President Abraham Lincoln, the gangly Illinois
lawyer is reported to have said, "So you are the little woman
who wrote the book that started this Great War." Ephemera,
in the form of a letter written by Stowe's sister, who also
met with Lincoln, drew some gasps from the audience.
Sayers, a collector of ocean liner ephemera, drew tears from some
listeners as he read excerpts from the witty, often tender letters
written by Louise Welch to her beau during an extended round-the-world
cruise in 1926-27. He spent two years saving the letters from the
"Philistines," but little more needs to be said about
Louise because an abbreviated form of Sayers' account begins in
this issue on page 19.
Opening the Sunday morning Conference session Molly
and John Harris, Society members from the Twin Cities, whizzed through
what is believed to be the first book ever profiling a state in
terms of the ephemera it created. The book, reviewed in the last
issue of Ephemera News, has been nominated for a Minnesota book
In a state that had its own historical society before
it had attained statehood, the real problem the Harrises faced was
winnowing through all the available material and settling on the
relative few ephemera examples that illustrated the book and enlivened
the early morning presentation. The ephemera's scope was broad,
but the audience may have left with a few little known bits of Minnesota
trivia: shopping bags were invented in Minnesota; B. Daltons, Target,
Dayton's and Marshall Fields all had their start in the state;
theatrical ice shows began in Minnesota with the 1936 Ice Follies;
and the Greyhound bus line also is a Minnesota native.
As the last presenter on the program, Canadian barrister
and ESA member Donald Zaldin had little trouble keeping the jury
alert as he used ephemera to build a solid case for the emancipating
effect of the bicycle upon 19th-century women.
The bicycle, he claimed, became a popular image in
art, advertising, and design, but it also gave rise to significant
social change by lowering social barriers, democratizing travel,
and moving women toward suffrage and emancipation, especially from
restrictive clothing of the era and traditional domestic roles.
As vice president of the Ephemera Society of Canada
and past president of the Bootmakers of Toronto, Canada's official
Sherlock Holmes Society, Zaldin couldn't resist throwing in a quote,
presumably, from Holmes: When the spirits are low, when the day
appears dark, when hope seems hardly worth having, just mount a
bicycle and go out for a spin down the road without thought on anything
but the ride you are taking.
Thanks, for the Memories
When about 75 people arrived for the Society's
Gala Ephemera 27 Banquet, they were met by a generous array of creative
hors d'oeuvres thanks to the generosity of George Fox and PBA
Thanks also to Gary Garland and Swann Galleries. Gary not only auctioned
off nearly 140 lots of ephemera that earned nearly $4,500 for the
Society, he also spent nearly a full day at Society headquarters
in Cazenovia, NY describing the auction items for inclusion in the
catalog. On the Ephemera Fair's opening day Gary also appraised
ephemera items for the public with proceeds going to the Society.
Keep PBA and Swann in mind the next time you're
looking for a rare book, manuscript, or that special piece of ephemera.
||Louise and Tommy are long gone, but their letters
to each other trace a long-distance love affair that spanned
an ocean and will endure as long as the paper on which they
professed their love. These stories and dozens of others will
be told at the Ephemera Society's annual conference and paper
fair to be held March 9-11 in the Stamford Marriott Hotel in
Stamford, CT. Download
a copy of the Conference brochure, including a schedule
and registration form. Reserve your room at the Stamford
Conference Schedule and Speakers
Thursday, March 8, 2007
9 a.m. 5 p.m.
Board of Directors' meeting, Boardroom II, Mezzanine Level.
6 p.m. 7 p.m.
Board reception for early arrivals. Join old and new friends, and
be fresh for the conference that begins Friday morning.
Friday, March 9, 2007
Three morning conference sessions:
New England Ballroom, Lower Lobby Level
What Ephemera Reveals to Medical Scholars
Russell A. Johnson
The History & Special Collections Division at
UCLA's Biomedical Library recently started building a collection
of 19th and 20th century baby record booksinfant health care
advice-filled memory albums in which parents recorded milestones
in their child's development and added photographs and other personal
mementos. Another new collecting focus is Victorian trade cards
that feature patent medicines or practitioner services aimed at
the alleviation of pain. The archivist for the collections will
explain why the library ventured into these areas and will describe
how items are procured from dealers and donors (and eBay), how the
collections are cataloged and made accessible, and how historians,
medical doctors, and other scholars are using these fascinating
Russell Johnson grew up in Massachusetts and Maine,
but now has lived half his life in Los Angeles. He is the archivist
in the History & Special Collections Division of UCLA's Biomedical
Library, which includes the John C. Liebeskind History of Pain Collection.
Ephemera in Libraryland: Archives & Special Collections at
the University of Connecticut
Terri J. Goldich
Children's literature and the alternative press may
have little in common except Terri Goldich. She is curator to both
and will bring the disparate collections to life in this presentation.
The Northeast Children's Literature Collection includes an estimated
36,000 books, the manuscript collections of 90 authors and illustrators,
correspondence, artifacts, and other research materials. Of particular
interest are collections containing all aspects of book creation,
such as book dummies, sketches, illustrations, dust jackets, drafts,
revisions, and correspondence. Books in major award categories are
added each year. The Alternative Press Collection was founded in
the late 1960s as a repository for publications emanating from activist
movements for social, cultural, and political change.
Terri Goldich has been curator of the Northeast Children's
Literature Collection and the Alternative Press Collection at the
University of Connecticut Thomas J. Dodd Research Center since 1988.
Ms. Goldich won the University of Connecticut Library Award for
Excellence, and she has written and taught about various aspects
of the collection, and has represented it in the broader media,
and at a great many academic conferences.
Every Man His Own Physician: Ephemera and Medical Self-Help
The Edward C. Atwater Collection at the Edward G.
Miner Library in Rochester, NY is one of the nations finest
repositories of materials documenting the effort of ordinary Americans
to control their own health. The collection includes books, periodicals,
pamphlets, almanacs, trade cards, and other printed ephemera that
address a wide range of popular health issuesfrom the self-treatment
of disease and injury to the control of reproduction. This talk
will focus on the surprising variety of print ephemera in the Atwater
Collection and the role that it played in each Americans attempt
to become his or her own physician.
Christopher Hoolihan is Rare Books & Manuscripts
Librarian at the Edward G. Miner Library. Among his publications
is the two-volume Annotated Catalogue of the Edward C. Atwater Collection
of American Popular Medicine and Health Reform published by the
University of Rochester Press in 2001 and 2004. A third volume is
Noon 1:30 p.m.
Two afternoon conference sessions:
New England Ballroom, Lower Lobby Level
Ephemera Tells a Story of Social Justice
The Stowe Centers mission is to preserve and
interpret Harriet Beecher Stowes Hartford home and the Centers
historic collections, create a forum for vibrant discussion of her
life and work, and inspire individuals to embrace and emulate her
commitment to social justice by effecting positive change. Harriet
Beecher Stowes life and writings had an extraordinary influence
on American lives. The Harriet Beecher Stowe Centers collection
of ephemera records how her work was promoted, reported, criticized,
copied and referenced for another 150 years.
Katherine Kane is the chief spokesperson, advocate
and representative of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, directing
programs, exhibits and outreach using three historic buildings on
2.5 acres in Hartford, CT, with the mission to provide vibrant forum
and inspire commitment to social justice. Important collections
and programming areas include womens and African American
history, the context of contemporary issues, and the interrelationships
of races, ethnic groups, class and gender.
Love Letters from Louise
John G. Sayers
In December, 1926, Louise Welch, a 32-year-old woman
attorney, left Boston on a four-month World Cruise on the Red Star
liner Berengaria. Every day she wrote to her love Thomas OConnor,
who remained in Bostonletters of description, letters of warmth,
letters of affection, letters of suppressed passion. Every day Thomas
wrote to her letters of everyday gossip about Boston news
and politicians, letters of tedium, letters of hope. Louise played
the stock market. Louise wrote graphic descriptions of all that
she saw. Thomas was her 27-year-old counterpoint, waiting patiently
for the results of his Bar admission examinations. As well as all
240 letters, this archive contains photographs, shipboard memorabilia,
and a wealth of personal papers. If you like love stories, played
out on the letterheads of major hotels throughout the world, youll
fall in love with Louise and her Tommy.
Canadian John Sayers serves on the board of The Ephemera
Society of America, is on the Executive Board of the Toronto Postcard
Club, and is a member of The Ephemera Society (U.K.) Mr. Sayers,
who resides in Toronto, is a long-time collector of ocean liner
ephemera and memorabilia.
Collectors Forum: Beware: Ephemera Bug Highly Contagious
Phil & Sandi Jones
Massachusetts Ballroom, Lower Lobby Level
A seasoned collector and recently infected daughter
share in conversation about Illustrated Letterheads, Vinegar Valentines,
Civil War-era letters.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Memberships will be sold at the Ephemera Society desk at the entrance
to the show in the Grand Ballroom, Lobby Level.
Members-only show preview ($10) for the Societys 27th Annual
Paper Show in Grand Ballroom, Lobby Level. Please have your membership
9 - 5 p.m.
General public entry admission is $12. ($1 off with any Ephemera/27
Noon - 2 p.m.
Appraisals; get the Swann Galleries experts estimate on your
special piece. (near Society desk in foyer)
3 - 4 p.m.
Collectors Forum: Poster Stamps Art Groten in Massachusetts
Ballroom, Lower Lobby Level.
Show closes; reopens 11 a.m. Sunday.
Cash Bar & A Little Magic, Mezzanine Club Level.
Annual Banquet A seated banquet in Boardrooms III & IV,
Mezzanine Club Level, followed by auction next door in Boardrooms
V and VI. Dinner reservations are required. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
to receive a banquet reservation form. Dinner reservations must
be received by Friday, February 23rd.
Live Auction, Boardrooms V and VI, Mezzanine Club Level.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
Members annual meeting.
Two morning conference sessions:
New England Ballroom, Lower Lobby Level
Minnesotas Printed Ephemera, 1838 to 2005
Moira F. (Molly) Harris
The talk will be devoted to the printed ephemera of
the State of Minnesota, from 1838 to 2005. A new book from Pogo
Press, Minnesota on Paper. Collecting our PrintedHistory (University
of Minnesota Press) is the first analysis of ephemera limited to
a single American state.
Moira F. (Molly) Harris, Ph.D, has written numerous
books and articles on the history of art and popular culture. Her
diverse subjects include Minnesotas outdoor sculpture and
murals, the St. Paul Winter Carnival, Hamms Beer advertising,
and Sicilian donkey carts. At the 2004 Chicago Humanities Festival
she served on a panel dealing with poker, her topic being the poker-playing
dogs. Molly and her husband, John Harris, are the proprietors of
Pogo Press, Incorporated, a small press located in St. Paul, Minnesota.
John has written books and articles concerning postal history subjects
and articles about local history.
Getting it in Gear: The Revolutionary Impact of the Bicycle on
19th Century Culture
In the 100-year span of the 19th century, personal
transportation progressed from the horse to the bicycle to the automobile.
Social class, gender, and age proved no barrier to the popularity
of this middle link, which became a popular image in art, advertising,
and design. The cultural dynamics of the technology and mythology
of the bicycle were revolutionary, giving rise to significant social
change. The Victorian era saw a lowering of social barriers, the
democratization of travel, and a movement toward the emancipation
and suffrage of women, who were propelled by the bicycle in their
struggle to liberate themselves from their restrictive clothing
and traditional domestic roles. The presentation will be illustrated
by photographica and ephemera from the world-class Lorne Shields
Cycling Collection, portions of which have been donated to the Canada
Museum of Science and Technology, Ottawa, Canada.
Donald Zaldin is vice president of The Ephemera Society
of Canada and a past president of The Bootmakers of Toronto, Canadas
official Sherlock Holmes Society. Donald is an avid collector of
Dionnes and Sherlockian ephemera.
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Paper Show hours in the Grand Ballroom, Lobby Level.
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
1:30 - 2:30 p.m.
Collectors Forum: Victorian Graphic Design Dick Sheaff
in Massachusetts Ballroom, Lower Lobby Level.