Monday, 6 February 2012

Monash University Library

I read about ephemera at Monash University Library in a hard copy of their Recent Acquisitions 6, passed to me by a colleague. This can also be downloaded as a pdf or viewed as a virtual exhibition.  The Library exhibits its recent acquistions every two or three years. The current exhibition (8 December 2011 - 5 March 2012) includes ephemera, such as games, children's scrap books, rock posters, souvenirs and guides, exhibition guides, catalogues, an Olympic Games programme for 1932, and a broadside from 1841.

(C) 2011 Monash University
In exploring their website further I was excited to find a whole exhibition from 2006-07: Ephemera, with pdf catalogue and virtual exhibition. Richard Overell, Head of Rare Books (who mentions the John Johnson Collection in the foreword) explains that Monash University Library has been collecting ephemera since the 1990s to support research by social historians. Although many of their ephemera are recent, the collection impressively contains English pamphlets and broadsides from the late 17th century onwards. The catalogue is full of information about ephemera and the provenance of the material in Monash's collection and is beautifully illustrated with samples of the collection.

The introduction to the catalogue takes the form of a very interesting essay on the nature of ephemera The evidence that history forgot by Prof Graeme Davison.

(C) 2011 Monash University

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