I’m a retired graphic and communications designer who worked with corporations large and small, universities, book publishers, paper companies, non-profit organizations and research think tanks; and designed or art-directed over 500 U.S. postage stamps. Member of the Executive Committee of the Friends of the Dartmouth College Library. I collect ephemera and postal history, research various subjects and write articles, with a particular interest in design and typography.
I started book selling in London as Antipodean Books, Maps & Prints in 1976, and joined the UK Ephemera Society around 1980. Soon after relocating to the U.S., I found the ESA and have felt at home with our fellow paper enthusiasts ever since.
As a past president of the ABAA, and knowing most of the dealers in both the ABAA and the Ephemera Society, I feel I can help the ESA raise its professional standards and visibility.
As a collector of menus and other related culinary ephemera, I enjoy rediscovering the long-forgotten food and social customs of everyday life. I maintain a blog and explore ways that ephemera can be cataloged and shared to increase its use in historical research. In 2006, I retired as the chief executive officer of DuPont Teijin Films, culminating a thirty-eight year career in international business with E. I. DuPont de Nemours.
With my partner/husband Robert Staples, I have been a member of the Society almost from its inception. Together we were the second recipients of the Maurice Rickards Award (after Mr. Rickards). We were selected for our designs for museums and the extensive use of ephemera in our exhibitions. In truth, it is through searching for visual materials for exhibitions and getting to know the collections of our museum clients that I was seduced into the world of ephemera. Recently, I have had the pleasure of using my museum contacts to develop the programs for the past two mid-year gatherings.
I hope to continue to expand our outreach to museums, archives, and libraries with ephemera collections and to encourage more scholars and curators to participate in the Society.
I have been a member of the Ephemera Society of America for many years and previously served two terms on its board of directors. As Senior Curator of Library and Archives at Historic New England, I have had the opportunity to significantly expand our collection of ephemera related to everyday life in the New England region. In order to share this collection with the public and to raise awareness of it, I have published articles, curated exhibitions, lectured, and given numerous tours. I believe the Ephemera Society has a vital role in disseminating information about the value and importance of ephemera, and I look forward to contributing my knowledge and expertise to help.
My entire career working in manuscripts and special collections repositories has been devoted to preserving things that were not expected to last very long. Besides graduate degrees in history and library science, I have also earned certificates in fund raising management and have almost completed a program in museum studies. I’ve exhibited at Ephemera Society conferences and spoken at one annual meeting on my own ephemera interest: rulers, especially those made of paper.
My other collecting interests include Tucks State Belles postcards and pincushion postcards. I am most interested in continuing the Ephemera Society of America’s practice of excellent-quality conferences, and in encouraging a new generation of collectors to appreciate ephemera.
I am a writer, historian and founder of the Black Fives Foundation, a 501 (c) 3 public charity whose mission is to research, preserve, showcase, and teach the pre-NBA history of African-American basketball while honoring its pioneers and their descendants. The organization maintains the world’s largest collection of historical artifacts from that period, known as the Black Fives Era. In 2014,
I guest-curated these items in an exhibition at the New-York Historical Society. My book, Black Fives: The Alpha Physical Culture Club chronicles an early 20th-century all-black basketball team.
I live in Greenwich, Connecticut where I am a trustee of the public library and I look forward to bringing my curatorial and archival experience to the Board.
A member of the Ephemera Society of America’s Conference Planning sub-committee, I am a baseball fan, historian, and vintage ephemera and card collector. I have written about vintage baseball cards and early 20th century minor league baseball, and gave a talk, 19th Century Baseball Ephemera: Early Marketing of the National Pastime, at Ephemera 35. That talk later appeared in The Ephemera Journal (Volume 17, Number 3).
My personal website is devoted to early 20th century Southern minor league baseball cards. I am currently an Emeritus Professor of English at West Chester University (Pennsylvania) where I founded Aralia Press, a fine printing imprint that issues contemporary poetry. I co-founded the acclaimed West Chester University Poetry Conference, and established the WCU Poetry Center. I live in West Chester, Pennsylvania and am a long-suffering Phillies and Cubs fan.
Ephemera from the book trades are my primary interest, including booksellers’ labels, binders’ tickets, bookplates, prospectuses, publishers’ catalogs, “how to canvass” instructions, etc. As Curator of Books and Digitized Collections at the American Antiquarian Society (where I have been since 2004), I am also responsible for the library’s hundreds of thousands of pamphlets. Many are the only surviving copy of these ephemeral publications. This is what in excites me most about all forms of ephemera – they often provide information about the everyday lives of ordinary people that doesn’t exist elsewhere.
I am the St. Louis Mercantile Library Endowed Professor of Transportation Studies and the West at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the author or editor of twenty academic books, the more recent of which I heavily illustrated with ephemera images. To that end I have amassed a large collection of transportation ephemera from all over the world. I plan to donate this collection to a research library with an interest in visual culture.
I’ve given presentations on aspects of the American West interpreted with ephemera to academic conferences, to public school teachers, to the general public via television and radio, to government and corporate committees, and have been a manuscript consultant to two dozen university presses.
Through my work as a curator and historian of popular entertainment, I have dealt with a wide range of ephemera, ranging from postcards and playbills to banknotes. In the context of my position as Curator of the Harvard Theatre Collection, I am actively involved in the cataloging and collecting of theatrical ephemera. I have written two books on the history of the American circus and contributed essays on a printing history, numismatics, and theater history to a number of different publications. I curated an exhibition this fall at Houghton Library about immigration and the American stage that is comprised almost exclusively of ephemera, some of which has been acquired at ESA fairs of recent years. With this background in writing and thinking about ephemera, I know that I can contribute to the growth and development of the ESA as the organization looks to its future.
I have been a collector of ephemera — trade cards, children’s books, card games, paper mechanicals and anything that appeals to my aesthetic taste or sense of whimsy — since the 1990s. And my own art is inspired by and inspires my collecting. A member of the Society since 2007, I presented The Playful Victorian Eye at Ephemera 33 in 2013, tracing the history of Victorian puzzle and other optical images back to Classical, Renaissance and 18th century models, and up to the current day, describing their influence on my own work.
With a background in art history, I am also interested in the vast scope of information that can be found in the ephemera world. I serve on the Nominating Committee, Conference Committee and as chair of the Exhibits Committee.
As the Administrative Director of our Society, Mary Beth manages the day-to-day activities of running the organization. She handles membership, publication design, layout and distribution, member inquiries and assistance, annual conference and fair details, as well as numerous other responsibilities.
If you have any questions or require assistance, she can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Diane is one of the Society’s founding members, and has attended every fair and conference.
She has created articles and talks nationally and internationally, and designed symposia in partnership with the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collection Librarians, the Rare Book and Manuscripts Section of the Association of College and Research Libraries, the Strong Museum of Play, the American Antiquarian Society, the Clements Library, Winterthur Library and Museum, Colonial Williamsburg, The Library Company of Philadelphia. She and partner Robert Dalton Harris, under the name aGatherin’, specialize in researching and selling ephemera, with a specialty in the history of communication. aGatherin’ has appraised large archives for The Library of Congress, New York State Library, Fashion Institute of Technology, Smithsonian National Postal Museum and others. They were jointly awarded our Maurice Rickards Award in 2008, and received the American Philatelic Society’s Luff Award for excellence in philatelic research in 2016.
Diane collects electric toasters and related ephemera. She is especially attracted by the manuscript record of everyday life.