Thursday, 8 March 2012

Digitised ephemera at the University of Washington

The University Libraries, University of Washington Digital Collections include several discrete ephemera collections. The digital collections can be searched across all collections (a search for poster returned 380 results,  from the First World War to contemporary posters and graffiti) or within a collection.  There are advanced search screens and you can also browse each collection with suggested sample searches.

Collections of particular interest to ephemerists are:
Early Advertising of the West, 1867-1918 which covers a wide range of topics, from advertisements in magazines, directories and theatre programmes
War Poster Collection (posters from WWI and WWII)
Menus Collection (menus from 1889-2003, including travel menus)
Vietnam War Ephemera Collection
Pamphlet and Textual Documents Collection
Historical Children's Literature Collection with an excellent online exhibition: Looking Glass for the Mind
Labor Archives Digital Resource
Napoleonic Period Collection (83 satirical prints)
19th century actors and Theater photographs which includes cartes de visite
Prior and Norris Troupe Photographs and Ephemera
Pacific North West Sheet Music Collection
Alask-Yukon Pacific Exhibition (use the sample search for advertisements)
Fashion Plate Collection
International Collections Database (search for postcard)
Stereocard collection

© University of Washington Libraries
Each home page has a description of the scope of the collection.
There are also online exhibitions. News and developments in the digitisation programme are disseminated through a blog.

This is a very impressive initiative to document life in Washington State, and beyond. Ephemera play a part in this, alongside major photographic and map collections.

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