Samuel PepysWelcome to The Ephemera Society Website


The Ephemera Society News

New listing 2015 Fairs & Special Fairs Dates

Please make a note of these forthcoming dates
in your diaries now to avoid disappointment.

Image of man with diary

Full details on our Events page.


Exploring Ephemera: The Illumination of History

Thursday · 2 October 2014 · 1:00pm · Free admission

John Scott, Ephemera Society member, will be delivering this Gresham College lecture highlighting the historical importance of commercial ephemera.

The Industrial Revolution relied upon knowledge of the cost and availability of raw materials being distributed as widely as possible, whether they be cotton from the United States or coal from Newcastle. So important was this information that pressure was put upon the Government to make the cost of postage substantially cheaper for printed mercantile lists of goods and prices than for any other type of correspondence.

Bill of Lading 1833

 Bill of Lading 1833

In this lecture, a leading scholar of commercial ephemera will explain how these documents inform our views on the real growth of trade. The intention is to shed some light on this untapped source of primary source material and to demonstrate how the information contained therein can contribute towards our knowledge of trade.

Economic historians rely upon a variety of research tools and methodologies and it is the purpose of this talk to share how some of the more mundane, and ephemeral, commercial records provide an important tool for such studies.

  • Barnard's Inn Hall
  • Holborn
  • London
  • EC1N 2HH
  • United Kingdom


Museums Association Conference & Exhibition 2014

9-10 October, Cardiff · Early bird discount until 31 July

The Museums Association Conference & Exhibition is the largest event of its kind in Europe for museums and heritage professionals. Over 1,500 senior staff discuss the latest issues, discover new practice and meet the world's leading suppliers and consultants.

Image of conference guide

The theme this year is Museums Change Lives. This year we also have a resilience room which will feature content that helps museums become more sustainable, looking at partnerships, funding and the workforce. Keynote speakers include John Griffiths AM, welsh government minister for culture and sport, Antônio Vieira, director of the Museu da Maré, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and a keynote performance Mat Fraser's Cabinet of Curiosities: how disability was kept in a box.

There are a host of other sessions, practical workshops and training - all developed to facilitate fresh thinking. The social events will give you the opportunity to network with colleagues at the Senedd and to see the Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales.

Book your place before 31 July to receive significant discount:


Le Vieux Papier Conference

18 -19 October 2014

Le Vieux Papier

The French ephemera society, Le Vieux Papier, is holding a conference in Issy-les-Moulineaux, near Paris. On the Saturday ten papers will be presented and the day will be concluded with a traditional 'Dîner du Vieux Papier' in a restaurant in Paris near the conference room.

On Sunday everything will take place in the Musée Français de la Carte à Jouer, also in Issy-les-Moulineaux (one Metro station ahead), with a lively presentation of items from private collections, and in the afternoon a guided tour of the museum with its curator.

Programme (all talks in French)

History and Popular Prints in the 19th and 20th Centuries

  • Jean-François Botrel (Rennes): "Connaît-on la chanson? Les avatars
    de La Paimpolaise" (Have you heard it before? The avatars of the
    popular song 'La Paimpolaise')
  • Bernard Richard (Lyon): "Histoire et actualité sur les images de camembert" (History and current events on camembert box pictures)
  • Dominique Lerch (Vincennes): "L'imagerie sous Vichy"
    (Imagery under the Vichy Government, 1940-44)

Popular Prints from France and Abroad

  • Philippe Nieto (Paris): "La collection des "impressions populaires"
    du Musée national des Arts et Traditions populaires au Musée des Civilisations de l'Europe et de la Méditerranée"
    (The collection of printed broadsides of the former MNATP, now in the MuCEM, Marseille)
  • Alberto Milano (Milan): "L'influence des modèles français sur l'imagerie italienne durant la 1ère moitié du XIXe siècle"
    (The influence of French models on Italian popular prints in the 1st half of the 19th century)

Images in the Service of Religion

  • Daniel Crépin: "Les 'tourniquets' jansénistes" (Jansenist flipbooks)
  • Anne Cablé (Épinal): "Les petites images de(s) Ottinger"
    (Ottinger's small printed images)
  • Claire Rousseau (Toulouse): Belles ou peu prisées, les images oubliées des confréries dominicaines du XVIIe siècle
    (Beautiful or overlooked, the forgotten images of the 17th-century Dominican brotherhoods)

Functional Pictures

  • François Richard (Paris): Le bog et le Pope Joan, cousins du nain jaune? (Bog and Pope Joan, relatives of Nain jaune?)
  • Philippe Cornuaille (Paris): "L'écran de feu à main du XVIIe siècle, objet d'étude et de recherche ou miroir culturel"
    (The 17th-century handscreen, object of study and research or cultural mirror)

No reservation is needed. A small conference fee of €10 will be requested for the two days. Only the Dinner requires advance reservation and a payment of €45. If you are interested please contact Thierry Depaulis at


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle portrait to make public debut
at the Museum of London

17 October 2014 - 12 April 2015

The world of the greatest fictional detective of all time will be illuminated at the Museum of London this autumn, in the Sherlock Holmes exhibition. It will be the largest of its kind for over 60 years, drawing on the museum’s fabulous Victorian and Edwardian collection and bringing together Sherlock Holmes material from across the globe, including several key world class loans. The rarities will be on show in the city that inspired the stories and is - in all its fogs, populous streets, criminal underworld and celebrated landmarks – like another character in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s prolific canon.

Cover of The Strand Magazine Visitors will re-trace the literary beginnings of Sherlock Holmes, from original manuscripts to the first copies of The Strand Magazine in 1891, examining how the consulting detective has evolved from Conan Doyle’s early concepts.

Original drawings by Sidney Paget, who illustrated the stories in The Strand Magazine, will appear alongside a unique oil on canvas painting by the same artist, which is being displayed to the UK public for the first time. The painting, which is kindly on loan from the Conan Doyle Foundation and is currently undergoing conservation in Switzerland, conveys a compelling psychological portrait of the author at the height of his literary fame in 1897. Painted by his friend and illustrator, we are able to see close up the man who created Sherlock Holmes.

Paintings, drawings, illustrations and photographs will examine how Victorian London and the cultural climate of the day informed Conan Doyle’s stories and characters, interpreting renowned artists and photographers through the prism of Sherlock Holmes and identifying key locations. The stories and images reinforce each other to create the seminal views of Holmes’s London embedded in our cultural memory.


Performing Arts Memorabilia Fair 2014

Saturday · 1 November · 10.30 - 16.00

Specialist dealers will display for sale books and ephemera including playbills, posters, autographs, programmes, prints and photographs, ballet, dance, circus, memorabilia, and much more at prices ranging from a few to several hundred pounds.

  • Sadler's Wells Theatre
  • Roseberry Avenue
  • London
  • EC1R 4TN
  • United Kingdom
  • More information contact: 01424 722647 · 07775 704052


Quote from Maurice Rickards
Ephemera - minor transient documents of every day life