Monday, 14 May 2012

Ephemera at the Huntington Library

The Huntington Library of California has a web page devoted to Historical prints and ephemera which outlines the scope of the collections. Not limited to Southern California, the general collections include American politics, theatre and entertainment ephemera, 20th century American railroads, commerce and advertising. Specialised collections include the L.E. Behymer Archive of early Southern California cultural events, the Jay T. Last Citrus Labels, California Promotional Literature, the Diana Korzenik Collection of Art Education Ephemera, Trade Cards, and Maritime Ephemera and Posters collected by John H. Kemble.

The result set (483 results) for keyword Ephemera in the General Library catalogue includes books on ephemera, but also invaluable detailed collection-level descriptions for collections including ephemera.

(C) Huntington Digital Library
Many of these collections are available through the Huntington Digital Library. The 'Browse all' function allows the user to restrict search results to prints and ephemera and to narrow results by title, artist/author or subject.  Results can then be further sorted by relevance, title, subject, description, creator, date, and date created. Clicking on a thumbnail brings up a full image and extensive metadata.

Also of great interest to ephemerists is the Jay T. Last Collection of Lithographic and Social History.  Selections from this were exhibited in 2010 under the title The color explosion, represented by a webpage with video by curator David Mihaly.  There are many fascinating past exhibitions, including Revisiting the Regency.

Finding aids to the Huntington collections are also available through the Online Archive of California, notably (for ephemera) The American Sheet Music Collection, Jay T. Last collection of Califormia Citrus box labels and the Jay T. Last Collection U.S. Civil War prints, posters and ephemera.

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