Itinerary for Guided Tour Along English Paper Trails

Reserve your spot for a spectacular mid-June visit to England and private, insider tours of some of the world’s foremost ephemera collections at Oxford’s Bodleian Library, the Centre for Ephemera Studies at Reading University, Guildhall’s London-themed ephemera, and City of London Museum. You can “bookend” this trip with weekends at The Ephemera Society (U.K.) Ephemera Fair, right in our host hotel, and book fairs.

England Trip Itinerary
June 9-12: Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia —

June 10-11: PBFA International Fair/2 at The Novotel London West

June 13: Day to explore on your own. An informal, optional dinner at the legendary Bleeding Heart restaurant —

June 14: Full day at Oxford’s Bodleian Library. Host Julie Anne Lambert, Librarian of the John Johnson Collection. The John Johnson Collection is one of the largest and most important ephemera collections in the world. It was formed at the Oxford University Press as a hobby by the Printer, John de Monins Johnson (1882-1956) and was transferred to the Bodleian Library in 1968. There are c. 1 million items in the collection, divided into 680 subject headings. The main categories are: Advertisements; Artists; Authors; Booktrade; Education; Entertainment; Political, Religious, Social and Economic History; Private Presses; Travel and Transport and ephemera kept by its form (Bookmarkers, Greetings cards, etc.) Johnson collected retrospectively. The strengths of the collection are in the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries, but there is also earlier material, dating back to 1508. The Johnson Web site, which has information, catalogue with thousands of images, separate projects also with images and the Nation of Shopkeepers exhibition online is:

It will not be possible for members to browse the boxes in the collection, but you may pre-order specific boxes to the adjacent Reading Room as long as this is done by the week before the visit. Those members will need to get readers tickets as soon as they arrive in Oxford and schedule their visit to allow them time to use the reading room. Contact for information about the collection and advance ordering or telephone 00 44 1865 277047. Ms. Lambert advises those who want to consult specific material in the John Johnson Collection may need to skip the Library tour (or lunch!) depending on time of departure.

10 a.m. — Those who have pre-ordered material as readers go to Admissions and get their tickets. They will need to have a form completed by a recommender + ID and a small fee. Others at leisure: coffee/Sheldonian/general tourism/bookshops.

11 a.m. — ESA Tour will be divided into two groups, maximum 12 in each group, list of names required. Group 1 will meet in the foyer of the New Library for John Johnson tour. Group 2 will tour Library.

12:30 p.m. — Lunch on your own

2:30 p.m. — Group 1 to Library; Group 2 to Johnson collection.

June 15: Centre for Ephemera Studies, University of Reading. Host Michael Twyman, Retired Professor of Typography and Graphic Communication at Reading. He has authored many books and completed Maurice Rickards’ Encyclopedia of Ephemera after Rickards’ death in 1998.

Collections at the Centre include many areas of interest. Determine which collections you’d most like to see: Maurice Rickards Collection (miscellaneous items from 18th to 20th century); John Lewis Collection (misc. 18th to 20th century); John Soulby Collection (surviving jobbing printing of a north-country printer, 1819-1826); The Kitchin Collection (surviving work of a north-country printer, late 19th century); The Ellic Howe Collection (a small but choice collection of late 18th-century and early 19th-century ephemera relating to the French book trade); The Great Exhibition Collection of 1851 (of most interest, a complete collection of the trade catalogues of those who exhibited); The Huntley & Palmers Collection (complete archives from around 1860 to the mid 20th century, packaging, catalogues, labels, tins, etc); and The De la Rue Collection (misc. items, mostly of interest for original artwork by Owen Jones, for labels of Huntley & Palmers, calendars, etc).

You may link to the Centre’s web site through the Society’s:

June 16: Free day to explore London on your own.

June 17: Morning at the Museum of the City of London. Host Valerie Jackson Harris. Her late husband, Peter Jackson, was London’s official ephemerist, and she has long been a mainstay of The (UK) Ephemera Society, as well as a dealer at ESA shows.

2:30 - 4:30 p.m.— Guildhall Library Print Room. Host John Fisher, Head of Prints, Maps and Drawings.

Guildhall will display special ephemera from its collections: trade cards, invoices, billheads, watchpapers, funeral tickets, picture postcards, Guildhall banquet menus and invites, theatre bills and programs, advertisements for freak shows and circuses, valentine cards, Mulready envelopes, bookplates, stationers' labels, souvenir paper napkins, etc. —all with a London connection of course! Also, High Tea will be served. To view 20,000 Guildhall images, visit or

June 18: Valerie Jackson Harris will offer suggestions on how best to enjoy the Saturday Antiques Market on Portabello Rd. Our tour company, Valerie, and Nancy Rosin are preparing tailored suggestions for other places of interest to ephemerists for your free days — even restaurants with particular relevance to the ephemera and book worlds.

June 19: Ephemera Fair at the Russell Hotel from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The major ephemera fair of the year occurs in our host hotel, the Russell. We will be granted early admission to the fair along with The Ephemera Society (UK) members. Public entry is at 11 a.m.. Be sure to have your ESA membership card with you.

Hotel Russell

Our hotel will be the Russell Hotel on Russell Square near the British Museum and across from Russell Square Park —

Our very special rate includes continental breakfast and the 17.5% VAT: $221* (£117.5) per night twin bedded or double Monday through Thursday; $194 (£103) Friday through Sunday. Single room rates per night are $170 (£90) and $132 (£70) respectively. These rates are effective June 8 - 22.

*Conversions from Great Britain Pounds accurate as of February 1, 2005

Reserve Your Space
A $280 payment will ensure your spot on the English Paper Trails Tour, provided the 20-person minimum is met. In addition to guaranteeing your reservation, it pays all tour fees listed in the next paragraph. Airfare, airport transfers, hotel, and meals not listed are the traveler’s responsibility.

The $280 pp tour fee includes entrance fees to institutions, a lunch in Reading, a "high tea" at the Guildhall, and our own private bus to Oxford on Tuesday, Reading on Wednesday, and around London on Friday. London stops include the Museum in the morning, lunch on your own, and Guildhall in the afternoon.

To reserve, send $280 by April 1 to Ephemera Society Tour, PO Box 95, Cazenovia, NY 13035. Payment is nonrefundable after April 15.

Contact Ron Stegall at 207-348-6839 or

   © 2011 The Ephemera Society of America