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Ephemera Events & Exhibitions

  • Ephemera Society Fairs 2015

  • Sundays · 18 January · 15 March · 19 July · 20 September
  • Doubletree by Hilton
  • 92 Southampton Row
  • London WC1B 4BH
  • United Kingdom
  • All are welcome · Entry £2 · 11am - 4pm
  • Members from 10am with membership cards

  • Ephemera Society Special Fairs 2015

  • Sundays · 24 May · 6 December
  • Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury
  • Coram Street
  • London WC1N 1HT
  • United Kingdom
  • All are welcome · Entry £3 · 11am - 4pm
  • Members from 10am with membership cards




Christmas cards from the front

East Anglian Division - Gallipoli 1918-19

The humour, pride and propaganda of First World War Christmas cards sent home from soldiers fighting on the front line one hundred years ago have gone on show as part of Christmas at York Castle Museum.

Faye Prior, collections facilitator at York Museums Trust commented that “Regimental cards were not new to the First World War, but the growth of the regiments and the recruitment of Kitcheners’ new armies meant the market for regimental cards grew exponentially. These cards often portrayed the dark humour and 'stiff upper lip' attitude which were strongly associated with British trench warfare.

Cards were also produced by German prisoner of war camps, to try to convince British families that imprisoned soldiers were being treated well. In both cases the cards portrayed images that each side wanted to put into the public domain, disguising the horror many were actually experiencing.”

British Bull Dogs, “Somme Pudding” and a “Father Christmas” delivering alcohol all feature on the Regimental cards which were professionally printed, and would have been sold to soldiers all over the world.

  • York Castle Museum
  • Eye of York
  • York YO1 9RY
  • UK




Ephemera 35: The Sporting Life

20 - 22 March 2015

US advertising trade car of women in rowing race

The thirty-fifth annual conference of the Ephemera Society of America will take place on Friday, and, on Saturday and Sunday, the finest Ephemera Fair in America, featuring incomparable material and exceptional dealers. Accented with an auction, a banquet, and a book signing, it will be a feast for the mind and heart. Collectors, dealers, academics, students, and even youngsters, will be treated to a wealth of scholarship and ephemera.

The Sporting Life will examine various sports, games, pastimes, and entertaining activities, with the use of historic ephemera. Our speakers are notable scholars, adept at sharing entertaining and historic perspectives, including the effect of changing cultural values, developing printing techniques, and the influences of travel and literature.

The banquet speaker will be UK Ephemera Society member Adrian Seville. His after-dinner presentation will explore the history of the Game of Goose, the most significant race game ever invented, in that it has spawned literally thousands of variants across the countries of continental Europe.

  • ESA 35
  • Hyatt Regency Hotel,
  • Old Greenwich
  • Connecticut
  • USA



Documents from the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp

Until 1 March 2015

Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp was a 19-year anti-nuclear protest and encampment at the U.S. Military Base at Greenham Common, Berkshire County, England. This exhibition and event series, organized as a mother/daughter collaboration between Susan Jahoda and Emma Jahoda-Brown, assembles accounts of the comings and goings and daily lives of a diverse group of women at Greenham primarily over a nine year period.

Women's Peace Camp News

Women traveled to Greenham Common from all over the world and supported the movement from their own geographic regions, marking it as the largest women’s campaign since the early twentieth century struggle for suffrage.

  • Interference Archive
  • 131 8th Street — #4
  • Brooklyn, NY 11215
  • USA



Goodbye Piccadilly: From Home Front to Western Front

Until 8 March 2015


This major exhibition reveals the untold story of London’s Home Front during the First World War; how drivers took their buses to the Front to support the war effort, how women advanced into the transport workforce for the first time and how Londoners came under deadly attack from the air as total war came to the Capital.

Highlights for the ephemerist include First World War recruitment posters, rarely seen propaganda posters specially designed to be displayed in army billets overseas as a reminder of home.

  • London Transport Museum
  • Covent Garden Piazza
  • London WC2E 7BB
  • UK



Chicago, Europe, and the Great War

Until 3 January 2015

Image of  poster

In commemoration of the start of World War One in the summer of 1914, this centennial exhibition draws on The Newberry’s collection to tell the story of Chicago’s many and varied connections to the conflict.

Chicagoans reported and commented on the war, fought in it, supported it, and protested against it. Letters and photographs by servicemen; dispatches and drawings by reporters who covered the war for Chicago newspapers; writings from opponents of the war; photographs and letters documenting medical relief at the front; and posters and sheet music that encouraged food conservation, fundraising, and wartime patriotism—these are just some of the items attesting to both the sheer scale of the “Great War” and Chicago’s place within it.

The Newberry is a world-renowned independent research library in Chicago, offering readers an extensive noncirculating collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other printed material spanning six centuries.

"Joan of Arc Saved France" poster © Newberry Library

  • The Newberry
  • Hermon Dunlap Smith Gallery
  • 60 West Walton Street
  • 1151 Oxford Road
  • Chicago, IL 60610
  • USA



120 Years of Tower Bridge 1894-2014

Until 5 January 2015

Image of Prince of Wales

Tower Bridge was officially opened on 30 June 1894 by The Prince of Wales (the future King Edward VII), on behalf of Queen Victoria.

As part of the 120th anniversary celebrations of the opening of Tower Bridge, Guildhall Art Gallery presents an exhibition exploring the Bridge as an enduring source of artistic inspiration for painters, draughtsman, printmakers and photographers, showcasing rare and captivating images of the icon from every decade of its history.

  • Guildhall Art Gallery
  • Guildhall Yard (off Gresham Street)
  • London EC2V 5AE
  • UK




Paper Persuaders: First World War posters

Until 18 January 2015

Image of poster

When the First World War broke out the British Army numbered 45,000, with another 250,000 part time soldiers. The Secretary of State for War, Lord Kitchener, quickly realised the need to recruit and expand the army. The government set up the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee in August 1914 and began the campaign to increase recruits to fight for their country.

Over the five years of the war, over 100 poster designs were commissioned to encourage and persuade people to do their bit. This exhibition shows a selection of them.

First World War poster © Maurice Collins collection

  • Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery
  • Exeter
  • Devon EX4 3RX
  • UK




Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus: A life of a Pioneering Aviator

Until 11 September 2015

Image of poster

Sir Alan Cobham was a pioneering long distance aviator and technical innovator who became famous for his exploits in the interwar years by making aviation accessible and popular throughout the world.

He learnt to fly while in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and later went on to set many long distance aviation records.

These include becoming the first person to fly from London to Cape Town and back in 1926 for which he received the Air Force Cross, and in the same year to be the first person to fly from London to Australia and back, for which he was knighted by King George V.

Sir Alan Cobham also organised a series of flying tours of the United Kingdom, Ireland and South Africa which became affectionately known as ‘Sir Alan Cobham’s Flying Circus’. These tours promoted aviation to the public and were a source of inspiration for countless pilots in the Second World War.

  • RAF Museum London
  • Grahame Park Way
  • London NW9 5LL
  • UK




Witches and wicked bodies

Until 11 January 2015

Image of demnology

This exhibition will examine the portrayal of witches and witchcraft in art from the Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. It will feature prints and drawings by artists including Dürer, Goya, Delacroix, Burne-Jones and Dante Gabriel Rossetti, alongside classical Greek vessels and Renaissance maiolica.

Efforts to understand and interpret seemingly malevolent deeds – as well apportion blame for them and elicit confessions through hideous acts of torture – have had a place in society since classical antiquity and Biblical times. Men, women and children have all been accused of sorcery. The magus, or wise practitioner of ‘natural magic’ or occult ‘sciences’, has traditionally been male, but the majority of those accused and punished for witchcraft, especially since the Reformation, have been women. They are shown as monstrous hags with devil-worshipping followers. They represent an inversion of a well-ordered society and the natural world.

  • British Museum
  • Room 90
  • Great Russell Street
  • London WC1B 3DG
  • United Kingdom




London Gothic

Until 12 March 2015

London Gothic is a free exhibition at London Metropolitan Archives, and is a must see for anyone interested in the history of the London - uncovering rare and fascinating documents from the dark shadows of the capital.

Image of stuffed monkey mounted as lamp holder

From terrible crimes to gruesome legends, London has long been the backdrop to horrifying tales which quickly take root in popular imagination. Through court records which date back to the 17th century, explore dreadful crimes and brutal punishments, from witch trials and alleged hauntings to the spectacle of public execution at Tyburn (the west end of Oxford Street today).

This exhibition digs into the depths of London’s archives to present documents and images which record both fact and fiction, including manuscripts put on public display for the first time including posters and advertisements of 18th and 19th century ‘sideshows’ including ‘The Beautiful Tiger Lady’, ‘The Tattooed Man’ and ‘The Giant Yorkshire Youth’, the exhibition will also feature a newly created version of the grisly ‘mermaid’ displayed at the Turf Coffee House, St James’s Street in 1822.

Along with notable gothic buildings in London, visitors will see the extraordinary plans for a burial pyramid planned for Primrose Hill in the early 19th century. Holding five million bodies in a pyramid 94 stories high, this would have been a London landmark to rival The Shard.

Check opening times

  • London Metropolitan Archives
  • 40 Northampton Road
  • Clerkenwell
  • London EC1R 0HB
  • United Kingdom




Bruce Bairnsfather: Man Who Made the World Laugh

Until 15 March 2015

Portrait of Captain Bruce Bairnsfather An exhibition exploring the life and work of the great British cartoonist Captain Bruce Bairnsfather.

Cover of The Bystander's Fragments from France magazineBairnsfather became world-famous during the First World War as creator of 'Old Bill', a walrus moustached old soldier who appeared in many of his cartoons depicting life on the frontline.

Published weekly in The Bystander magazine, his cartoons caught the imagination of the soldiers at war, and their families back home.

Bairnsfather became a household name and published volumes of his cartoons sold over a million copies. The soldier-artist's immense popularity led to his cartoons being reproduced on a wide range of merchandise, and Old Bill and his creator even became stars of stage and screen.

  • PACCAR Room
  • Royal Shakespeare Theatre
  • Waterside
  • Stratford-upon-Avon
  • Warwickshire CV37 6BB
  • United Kingdom



Ephemera - minor transient documents of every day life