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Ephemera Events & Exhibitions

  • Ephemera Society Fair 2016

  • Sunday · 4 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



  • Bloomsbury Book Fair 2016

  • For the small fairs in 2016 the Ephemera Society will be joining up with the Bloomsbury Book Fair run by Kim Jeffery of Etc Fairs
  • Sunday · 9 October
  • Above dates will have exhibitors from the Ephemera Society
  • Royal National Hotel
  • Bedford Way
  • London WC1H 0DG
  • United Kingdom
  • 10am - 4pm · Entry £2 until 12.30pm, free thereafter
  • More information:


Pleasure without regrets: organic and fair trade-seals on chocolate wrappers and their meanings

30 September - 1 November 2016

Image of chocolate wrapper

Germany's largest chocolate festival, chocolART, is being hosted by Wernigerode a historic town in the Harz district of central Germany. More than 100,000 chocolate lovers are expected to visit the stands of exclusive chocolatiers and manufacturers from around the world. The event takes place from 28 October to 1 November 2016.

During the festival will be an opportunity to see an exhibition of chocolate wrappers from the collection of Sven Stabroth who has amassed more than 17,000 wrappers featuring over 1000 different brands from 65 countries. Ephemera Society member, Sven Stabroth, possesses one of the largest chocolate paper collections worldwide and was included in the 1998 edition of the Guinness Book of Records.

The exhibition documents the origin of organic and fair trade labels and how they have changed over time.

  • BioMarkt Naturata Wernigerode
  • Minslebener Straße 41
  • 38855 Wernigerode
  • Germany
  • More details


Staging History

14 October 2016 — 8 January 2017

Image of Mr W.H.Payne as Volcano the Enchanter

Staging History explores how history was told on stage in Regency-era Britain.

Exploration, revolution and patriotism take centre stage, as the exhibition examines the influence of history and historical events in the writing and staging of theatre, opera and drama from 1780-1840.

The exhibition features beautiful set designs, theatrical documents and illustrations from collections held at the Bodleian and other institutions.

  • Bodleian Libraries
  • ST Lee Gallery
  • Weston Library
  • Broad Street
  • Oxford OX1 3BG
  • UK
  • More details

Image: Mr W.H.Payne as Volcano the Enchanter


You Say You Want a Revolution? Records and Rebels 1966-1970

Until 26 February 2017

Image of International Times 1968

How have the finished and unfinished revolutions of the late 1960s changed the way we live today and think about the future?

This major exhibition, at the Victoria and Albert Museum will explore the era-defining significance and impact of the late 1960s, expressed through some of the greatest music and performances of the 20th century alongside fashion, film, design and political activism.

  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Cromwell Road
  • London SW7 2RL
  • UK
  • More details

Image: The International Times - underground newspaper founded in London in 1966.


On Track: Reading's Railways, Past, Present and Future

Until 14 January 2017

Image of Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Jump on board for this incredible journey through an extraordinary story, told with stunning imagery and must-see exhibits including a selection of memorabilia gathered from local people, following an appeal for railway related souvenirs, as well as important loans from railways museums and archives. The railway has been at the heart of Reading life since 1840 when the first passenger train left for London, pulled by a steam-powered engine called Firefly.

The railway linked Reading to the rest of the world and the station soon became a place for connections, brief encounters and new arrivals! Reading's associations with significant figures in the history of the Great Western Railway including Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Sir Felix Pole feature in the exhibition, along with the long forgotten railway lines that once transported jam from the Co-op at Coley and biscuits from Huntley & Palmers

On Track traces the development and impact of Reading's railways, discovering how the station has become one of the busiest in Britain, used by nearly 20 million passengers a year. With its five new platforms and high-tech European style architecture, the new train station also gives us a glimpse of the town's future development.

  • Reading Museum
  • Blagrave Street
  • Reading RG1 1QH
  • UK
  • More details

Image: Portrait of Isambard Kingdom Brunel


London's Baking! Bakers, Cakes, Bread and Puddings from 1666

Until 1 February 2017

Image of 20th century poster for Hot cross buns

Taking its inspiration from Thomas Farriner and his bakery, the starting place of the Great Fire, this exhibition tells the story of London’s bakers and their cakes, bread and puddings from 1666 to the twentieth century. Discover recipes (to take away and bake!) for almond cakes from 1700, suet puddings from 1850 and questionable school dinner chocolate sponge traybakes from the 1970s.

The photographs, films and historical documents on display include the recently uncovered plan which shows that Farriner's bakery was actually located in Monument Street, not the infamous Pudding Lane!

The wonderful collection of J. Lyons and Co, presenting the 'experience' of afternoon tea at one of their grand Corner Houses, features alongside images of the original eighteenth century Chelsea 'Bun House' and much more besides.

  • London Metropolitan Archives
  • 40 Northampton Road
  • Clerkenwell
  • London EC1R 0HB
  • UK
  • More details


Pug’s Progress: William Hogarth and Animals

Until 16 October 2016

Image of Hogarth and pug

Hogarth’s House’s summer exhibition will explore William Hogarth’s (1697-1764) relationship with animals in the context of changing attitudes towards animals in early Georgian society.

Hogarth depicted a broad range of animals in his art, from pampered monkeys to abused carthorses. This exhibition considers the place of these animals in Hogarth’s time. The exhibition will also consider Hogarth’s own part in the movement for better treatment of animals, as well as his personal relationship with his pet pug dogs.

Among the objects on display are a frost fair souvenir (on loan from the Peter Jackson Collection) which Hogarth had printed with the name of his dog, Trump, when they visited the frozen Thames in 1740.

  • Hogarth’s House
  • Hogarth Lane
  • Great West Road
  • London W4 2QN
  • UK
  • More details


The Weird & The Wonderful:Entertaining Georgian Polite Society

Until 31 December 2016

Image of hand coloured print

From the pursuit of intimate pleasures to the raucous bedlam of the theatre, The Weird & The Wonderful opens a window onto the outrageous and sometimes shocking behaviour of ‘polite society’ – conducted in the name of entertainment.

Fairfax House’s major summer exhibition will look at the social scene in English towns and cities including London, delving into the tempting array of decadent activities and pleasurable pursuits catering for all tastes and predilections, sometimes challenging the notions of what ‘polite’ entertainment encompassed in the eighteenth century.

The Weird & the Wonderful also specifically uncovers the richness of Georgian York’s offerings as the social capital of the North and the place to see and be seen.

As well as exploring its lively winter season with rounds of dinners, balls, assemblies and parties, the exhibition delves into the city’s debauched diversions, including ‘polite’ society’s taste for notorious trials, visiting prisons and public hangings, the wanton pleasures available in the city’s brothels, as well as raucous activities such as cockfighting, bear baiting and street boxing.

  • Fairfax House
  • Castlegate
  • York YO1 9RN
  • UK
  • More details
  • Image reproduced courtesy of Look and Learn:


The Camera Exposed

Until 5 March 2017

Image of 1960s photo

In the age of the mobile phone, the camera as a stand-alone device is disappearing from sight. Yet generations of photographers have captured the tools of their trade, sometimes inadvertantly as reflections or shadows, and sometimes as objects in their own right.

Every photograph in this display features at least one camera. From formal portraits to casual snapshots, still-lifes to collages, they appear as reflections or shadows, and sometimes as objects in their own right.

Throughout the history of photography the camera has often made an appearance in its own image, from the glint of Eugène Atget’s camera in a Parisian shop window from the 1900s, to the camera that serves as an eye in Calum Colvin’s 1980s photograph of a painted assemblage of objects.

  • Victoria and Albert Museum
  • Cromwell Road
  • London, SW7 2RL
  • UK
  • More details


Var dags tryck

Until 31 October 2016

Since 1698 the Lund University Library, Sweden has the right to receive one copy of every Swedish print, the so-called right of legal deposit, which must be kept for the future. This applies to everything from books, newspapers and maps to ephemera such as posters, organisational prints, product catalogues and advertisements.

The majority - but not all - is catalogued and thereby becomes visible and available. Material which is not catalogued is called Ephemera and this represents the biggest part of our Swedish prints. This is especially important since it cannot be obtained in any other way. These are single leaflets, pamphlets, brochures and programmes, material which reflects the occasion.

Image of Swedish advertising

The exhibition Var dags tryck explores four themes: Health, Politics, Leisure and Popular movements, but whatever you may choose it is possible to track the growth of modern Sweden in the Ephemera. Everything is here: little league newsletters, pizza menus, mail order catalogues and advertising mail which tell us about people's needs and dreams and everyday life. The University Library is now starting a long-term drive to promote Ephemera and to make it more accessible.

  • Lund University Library
  • Lund University
  • Helgonabacken 1
  • Lund
  • Sweden
  • More details


Fashion on the Ration: 1940s Street Style

Until 1 May 2017

Image of birthday card featuring ration books

IWM North, part of Imperial War Museums in Manchester, presents this major exhibition marking the 75th anniversary of clothes rationing in Britain.

During the Second World War British men and women had to find new ways to dress as austerity measures and the rationing of clothes took hold. They demonstrated amazing adaptability and ingenuity by adopting more casual styles and by renovating, recycling and creating their own clothes.

Bringing together 300 exhibits including clothing, accessories, photographs and film, official documents and publications, artworks, wartime letters, interviews and ephemera, some of which have never been on display before, Fashion on the Ration presents a sense of what life was like on the home front for men and women during wartime Britain.

  • IWM North
  • The Quays
  • Trafford Wharf Road
  • Manchester M17 1TZ
  • UK
  • More details


Black Chronicles

Until 18 December 2016

Image of black British woman

This exhibition showcases over forty photographs that present a unique snapshot of black lives and experiences in nineteenth and early twentieth-century Britain. Developed in collaboration with Autograph ABP, this intervention in three gallery spaces includes some of the earliest photographs in the Gallery’s Collection alongside recently rediscovered photographs from the Hulton Archive, a division of Getty Images.

These portraits of individuals of African and Asian heritage bear witness to Britain’s imperial history of empire and expansion. They highlight an important and complex black presence in Britain before 1948, a watershed moment when the Empire Windrush brought the first large group of Caribbean immigrants to Britain.

  • Floor 1: ROOMS 23, 31, 33
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • St Martin’s Place
  • London WC2H 0HE
  • UK
  • More details
  • Image: Martha Ricks by Elliott & Fry, 1892. Copyright © National Portrait Gallery


Town and Country

Until 31 December 2016

The Fan Museum’s twenty fifth anniversary year finishes with an unusual perspective on a fascinating theme: an exhibition of fans which depict the built environment.

Image of exhibition poster

Ivory fan with vellum leaf depicting the Covent Garden Piazza and St. Paul's Church designed by Inigo Jones (English, c. 1750)

Throughout the centuries fan leaves provided a canvas on which fan painters & printers recorded changing fashions in architecture. This exhibition brings together fans which depict both domestic and stately houses, famous architectural landmarks, bustling city squares, parks and grand hotels.

Buildings on fans are not as numerous as those which display figures or flowers, but when they do appear they tell us so much about the time when both interiors and exteriors were made; the people they belonged to and generally the human appeal, which makes fans delightful reflections of their time.

This exhibition explores the varied influences of architecture throughout history and proves once again that the greater arts are closely connected with the lesser yet infinitely more accessible Decorative Arts.

  • The Fan Museum
  • 12 Crooms Hill, Greenwich
  • London SE10 8ER
  • UK
  • More details


Image of Samuel Pepys

That Dreadful Fire: The Hand of God,
a Great Wind and a Very Dry Season

Until 30 November 2016

This exhibition at Guildhall Library commemorates the 350th anniversary of the Great Fire of London and explores the story of this devastation through Guildhall Library’s collections, including English and foreign accounts, sermons and public records.

Wooden buildings, stores of combustibles and overcrowding meant fires were a regular occurrence in 17th century London. Most were unremarkable. So when a chance fire started in a bakery on 2 September 1666, no one could know that it would wipe out most of the City of London.

Pepys notes in his diary:
It was a small mistake, but with great consequences. On September 2, 1666, Thomas Farrinor, baker to King Charles II of England, failed, in effect, to turn off his oven. He thought the fire was out, but apparently the smouldering embers ignited some nearby firewood and by one o'clock in the morning, three hours after Farrinor went to bed, his house in Pudding Lane was in flames. Farrinor, along with his wife and daughter, and one servant, escaped from the burning building through an upstairs window, but the baker's maid was not so fortunate, becoming the Great Fire's first victim.
  • Guildhall Library
  • Aldermanbury
  • London EC2V 7HH
  • UK
  • More details


Victoria Revealed

Until 17 February 2018

Image of Queen Victoria and children

This exhibition explores the many, often surprising, aspects of Queen Victoria’s character: devoted wife, dedicated mother, devastated widow and powerful stateswoman.

Follow Victoria’s story from the room in which she spent her first moments as queen. Trace her journey from young girl to queen enthralled with a new husband, to grieving matriarch and ruler of a vast empire.

Included in the exhibition are iconic, impressive, beautiful and often deeply personal objects, from Victoria’s simple white silk wedding gown, to the dolls she made, dressed and named as a little girl.

Victoria and the people who surrounded her tell this story: excerpts from her journals, letters and reports from contemporary commentators give insight into the extraordinary life of the woman whose name defined an age.



Ephemera - minor transient documents of every day life