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The Ephemera Society News

The Ephemerist Autumn 2016

Image of the society's journal
The Autumn issue of the society's journal is scheduled to be posted to members at the end of September and contains the following articles:

  • E. Richard McKinstry | Ephemera in the Library of Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library
  • Graham Hudson | Collecting on a shoestring: carte and cabinet backs
  • Des Pawson | Survivals of the British rope industry
  • Mike Esbester | The ephemera of road safety
  • Plus regular favourites | Mrs Pepys' Diary, Bookstack and Notes & Queries

Front and back cover image: Detail from a trial for a promotional banknote advertising security printing firm Bradbury Wilkinson & Co. Ltd, 1984. 150 x 241 mm.
[Centre for Ephemera Studies; University of Reading]


The Song of the Sans Serif

30 September 2016, Birmingham City University

In September 2016, the Centre for Printing History and Culture is celebrating 200 years of the sans serif through a one-day symposium and accompanying exhibition. Speakers are invited to address aspects of the world-wide development, use and impact of the sans serif from the nineteenth century and beyond.

From printing types to digital typography the sans serif resonates across both page and screen; and from the advent of Caslon IV’s Two Lines English Egyptian in 1816 to the present day the voice of the sans serif has greatly influenced communication.

In the nineteenth-century the sans serif sang out from billboards competing for attention through the smog of industrialised cities; with the advent of the railways it forged an unique relationship with transport and it became the face of the information age the indispensable choice for tabular matter.

In the twenty-first century, with the emergence of new vernacular types, the sans serif continues to speak within contemporary advertising and user-experience design.

This is a free event and tickets can be got here

The full programme is available here


Tell us More about our silhouettes

National Portrait Gallery

Image of record books

Can you spare the National Portrait Gallery just five minutes to help transcribe signatures of tourists on the West Pier, Brighton from the 1920s?

Hubert Leslie ran a Silhouette Studio on the West Pier, Brighton, from 1922 until 1939; he cut well over 20,000 portraits during that time. The National Portrait Gallery has 10 of his record books, covering the years from 1922 to 1950, with Leslie's duplicate of each silhouette, and the autograph of the sitter. These included British holiday-makers and visitors from around the world, from New Zealand and North America, from China and Japan.

More information National Portrait Gallery


The stories old dance programmes are telling

2016 Gothenburg Book Fair · Friday 23 September at 5pm

Detail from Swedish dance card

Ephemera Society member Carina Broman is giving a talk about Swedish dance cards and programmes as part of the 2016 Gothenburg Book Fair taking place from 22-25 September. The talk will be illustrated with ephemera selected from the collection in the National Library of Sweden, photographed by Ann-Sofie Persson.

Carina will explain the provenance of the collection and, showing items from the 1770s through to the 1950s, demonstrate how it shows not only the development of the genre (from simple text only dance cards to programmes and brochures illustrated with photographs), but also how they reflect developments in Swedish society. She will also discuss the printing techniques used and how the design of a programme reflected the nature of the organiser.

For more information go to 2016 Gothenburg Book Fair


York's Archbishops Registers Revealed

Detail from Register

This project provides free access to over 20,000 images of Registers produced by the Archbishops of York, 1225-1650, in addition to a growing searchable index of names, subjects, places and organisations.

The registers are a valuable, and in many cases, unexploited source for ecclesiastical, political, social, local and family history - covering periods of war, famine, political strife and religious reformation in the Archdiocese of York and the wider Northern Province.

You can browse images using or search the 2727 indexed entries via the search interface. Further information, guidance and supporting material relating to the registers will be added to the site as time goes on.

Visit the website: York's Archbishops Registers Revealed



Ephemera - minor transient documents of every day life