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The Ephemera Society News

Visit the Society's Winter Special Ephemera Fair

Christmas shopping

Sunday 6 December  ·  11am - 4pm  ·  Entry £3  ·  One Day Only

Take a break from Christmas shopping when you're in the great metropolis this December. Discover the genteel and lovable art of collecting printed ephemera.

In the Holiday Inn Bloomsbury, divorced from the distractions of the world, you will find assembled such strange and pleasurable fascinating dainties printed on paper.

Rest your gaze upon the dealer's tables which groan under the weight of accumulated history, the collecting of which heartens and sustains brave men and women. All this for just three little pound coins. Isn't civilisation wonderful?

Furthermore, for your entertainment in London, here is a list of ten of the finest events taking place in the month of December:


Christmas comes early

John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera

Access to Proquest project available to all in UK

This world-class collection is now free to access for everyone in the UK. It is a treasure trove of over 65,000 items selected from the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera, offering unique insights into the changing nature of everyday life in Britain in the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries:


Image of book cover

Baddeley Brothers

An account by The Gentle Author

For anyone with a serious interest in print, design, publishing and typography, Baddeley Brothers tells the dramatic story spanning four centuries of how the Baddeley family created one of today’s foremost specialist printers.

This book is embellished with fine tipped-in samples illustrating the range of Baddeley Brothers’ bravra print techniques, an anatomy of envelope design, a glossary of printing terminology, drawings by Lucinda Rogers and a foldout map by Adam Dant.


Charles Hasler Sends His Greetings

The ephemera collection of a mid-century designer

Image of book cover

Delve into the eclectic collection of designer Charles Hasler. Share his passion for the very best in graphic design, illustration and typography through greetings cards, advertising, invitations and magazine covers by artists including Edward McKnight Kauffer, Paul Nash, Barbara Jones and Abram Games.

Discover over fifty rare and unusual items, from Victorian to mid-century modern, many of which have never been seen before.

  • Foreword by Phil Cleaver; Introduction by Zoë Hendon; and Essay by Jane Audas
  • Hardback, 148.5mm by 210mm, 57 colour illustrations
  • ISBN 978-0-9565340-5-7
  • Limited Edition of 500 copies
  • Price £15
  • Order from the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture bookshop


Victorian Turkish Baths

by Malcolm Shifrin

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Victorian Turkish Baths is the first book to bring to light the hidden history of a fascinating institution—the 600-plus dry hot air baths that sprang up across Ireland, Britain and beyond, in the 19th century.

Ephemera Society member Malcolm Shifrin traces the bath’s Irish-Roman antecedents, looking at how its origins were influenced by a combination of the physician Richard Barter’s hydropathic expertise, and the idiosyncratic diplomat David Urquhart's passion for the hammams of the Middle East.

The book reveals how working-class members of a network of political pressure groups built more than 30 of the first Turkish baths in England. It explores the architecture, technology and sociology of the Victorian Turkish bath, examining everything from business and advertising to sex—real and imagined. This book offers a wealth of wondrous detail—from the baths used to treat sick horses to those for first-class passengers on the Titanic.

This book will appeal to those interested in Victorian social history, architecture, social attitudes to leisure, early public health campaigns, pressure groups, gendered spaces and much else besides. The book is complemented by the author’s widely respected website, where readers can find a treasure trove of further information.

More details:


Butlin's Launches New Archive Project with HAT

Image of Butlins advertIn preparation for their 80th anniversary in 2016, Butlin's, founded in 1936 by Sir Billy Butlin, have joined forces with the History of Advertising Trust (HAT) to transport the Butlin's personal brand archive into the twenty-first century. Over the coming years, the partnership will make available their classic PR, advertising, film, photography and memorabilia to be explored by the nation online.

This new archive project aims to unlock the rich nostalgia in the stories of the people who made Butlin's great. From Sir Billy Butlin himself, the Butlin's famous Redcoats, thousands of dedicated team members and millions of Great British holiday makers, this new partnership will allow treasured Butlin's memories to be remembered in their anniversary year and relived by future generations for many years to come.

Image of Butlins coaster 1968HAT aims to have catalogued the Butlin's Heritage Collection by the end of 2015, with many significant items also digitised for view online. In place for Butlin's anniversary in 2016, the interactive functionality of HAT's online portals will also allow members of the public to help piece together missing parts of the eighty years of Butlin's great history.

August 2015 Update

Cataloguing and digitisation work is continuing apace: in recent weeks the HAT team have been working on the Butlin’s postcard and printed ephemera collection. One highlight of the extensive postcard collection is an album of mailing novelties featuring some charming retro images from the 1950s (lucky cats in baskets seems to be a favourite theme!) as well as examples of classic British seaside humour.

In addition many postcards contain handwritten notes from holiday-makers which provide a fascinating insight into their experiences at various Butlin camps. The printed ephemera collection includes colourful membership memorabilia for the junior Beaver Club, Butlin’s branded match boxes featuring quirky art deco style designs, ‘Portrait Sketch’ souvenirs by Butlin’s cartoonists in residence and holiday camp menus.
Image: Coaster from Beachcomber Bar 1968



Ephemera - minor transient documents of every day life