Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Tossing this stuff out? Rarely happens. I always wonder if it could be useful some day, just as it was that very moment when I first laid hands on it.
Then, one day, on a trip to Bisbee, Ariz., I came upon the name for what all this paper is that I collect: ephemera. Fancy, yes? Indeed! I discovered the name for it at a vintage bicycle shop, and I've since adopted the name to use for my own purposes. I now collect "old paper," or, ephemera! An elevation of reality, to be sure, but it works for me.
Whenever I pick up a new travel brochure, for example, because I think I might write or want to write about whatever's printed on the glossy pages, I say it's ephemera. I absolutely glorify the printed page. And my boyfriend plays along. When we stay in hotels and he spies the travel brochure case before I do, he points it out to me, "Ephemera," he'll say, knowing I'll head right over and pick through this goldmine of information.
And today I discovered I'm not alone. I found this website via The Candy Wrapper Museum. How lucky can I get?! Now, I have a place to learn more. The owner writes about old photographs, celebrities, collectors, collections, eBay purchases, and many other things that are related to ephemera, most of which I hadn't even thought about. It'll give me a chance to explore how I can further make my own "collection" make sense--or just have more fun with it.
Do you have an obsession, er, collection that you enjoy? What is it and how long have you been storing the old stuff?
(Photo above, taken by me last year in Flagstaff, illustrates an artist's collection of postcard art. Boy, would I love to have that!)