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Ephemera Events & Exhibitions

Ephemera Society Fairs 2019

Sunday · 2 June · 1 December

2019 ephemera fair dates

A window into the past for both the curious and the collector — find rare, unusual and historic paper items, priced from £2 to over £2000. A huge range of ephemera will be on display. The fairs will be on for one day only so make a note in your diary now, we look forward to seeing you there!

Holiday Inn London Bloomsbury
Coram Street
London WC1N 1HT
United Kingdom

Entry £3 · 11am - 4pm · All welcome
Members from 10am with membership cards

Interested in booking a table for the fair? Reserve your space - download the booking form

For more details call 01923 829079 or email

Join us! The Ephemera Society is always pleased to welcome new members. Payment can now be made online via PayPal.


ETC fairs logo

Bloomsbury Ephemera Fair

28 April 2019 · 9.30am - 3pm

The fair will include all of the following: books, ephemera, maps, prints, posters, postcards, photographs and many unusual printed items across the whole of the Galleon Suite.

  • Royal National Hotel
  • Bedford Way
  • London WC1H 0DG
  • UK
  • More details


  • St Bride Foundation
  • Bride Lane Fleet Street
  • London EC4Y 8EQ
  • UK
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Emigre Poster Designers

Until 27 June 2019

Poster:Thanks to the Underground, by Zero

During the dark days of the 1930s and 40s, many artists and designers fled Nazi Europe and settled in the UK.

The Vice Chairman of London Transport, Frank Pick, commissioned these talented designers to produce distinctive posters for the transport network.

Here we celebrate five decades of émigré work, featuring well-known artists such as Hans Schleger (Zero), Hans Unger and László Moholy-Nagy.

This display is part of the ‘Insiders Outsiders Festival’, a nationwide arts festival celebrating the contribution made to British culture by émigré artists.

  • London Transport Museum
  • Covent Garden Piazza
  • London WC2E 7BB
  • UK
  • More details


Staging Magic – The Story Behind The Illusion

Until 15 June 2019

Detail from  ‘East Indian Rope Trick’ poster, circa 1928This exhibition is an adventure through the history of conjuring and magic as entertainment, a centuries-long fascination that still excites and inspires today.

It features over 60 stories which focus on magic in the form of sleight-of-hand (legerdemain) and stage illusions, from 16th century court jugglers to the great masters of the golden age of magic in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

These stories are told through the books, manuscripts and ephemera of the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature.

  • Senate House Library
  • University of London
  • Malet Street
  • London WC1E 7HU
  • UK
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  • Image detail: Thurston the famous magician ‘East Indian Rope Trick’ poster, circa 1928.
    Copyright © Senate House Library


Cultural Revolution: State graphics in China from the 1960s
to the 1970s

Until 27 May 2019

Revolution propaganda poster

© Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

In 1942 Chairman Mao Zedong declared that all art should serve the worker, peasant and soldier. During the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-76) this policy was vigorously implemented.

Images of the leader appeared everywhere: bold, colourful posters combined text and image to promote political messages. The predominant colour was red – colour of the revolution – and when Mao was shown it was always amid a glowing light.

Traditional landscape styles were reimagined and now incorporated symbols of modern and industrial achievement. Even the traditional folk art of the delicate papercut, used to decorate windows at home, promoted ‘Mao Zedong Thought’.

This exhibition is a touring exhibition organised by the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford; it displays a selection of Cultural Revolution propaganda posters, revolutionary landscapes, images of the leader and intricate papercuts all of which were collected in China during the 1970s.

  • William Morris Gallery
  • Lloyd Park, Forest Road
  • London, E17 4PP
  • UK
  • More details


Exhibition poster

Until 24 November 2019

This major exhibition explores the life and legacy of the iconic designer Abram Games, focusing on his time as 'Official War Poster Artist' during the Second World War. Always direct, and occasionally controversial, Games's wartime posters have left a legacy that continues to influence the art of persuasion employed by visual designers today.

Inspired by his Jewish heritage, his experiences as a soldier, and the turbulent politics of the time, Games used his talent for visual communication to recruit, educate and influence soldiers and civilians alike.

In helping to transform new conscripts into trained soldiers, encouraging support for the war effort and presenting an idealistic vision of post-war Britain, Games's work offers a fascinating picture of a nation at war.

The art of persuasion examines the techniques Games used to communicate his messages effectively. From stark imagery and visual puns to innovative use of the airbrush, his unique artistic approach changed the face of British graphic design.

The exhibition includes posters from the National Army Museum’s collection alongside objects on loan from the family of Abram Games.

  • National Army Museum
  • Royal Hospital Road
  • London, SW3 4HT
  • UK
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Max Gill: Wonderground Man

Until 28 April 2019

Book jacketThe once forgotten work of Brighton-born MacDonald (Max) Gill (1884 – 1947) will be celebrated at Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft.

Max Gill, younger brother of Eric, was a well-known illustrator, letterer, map-maker, architect and decorative artist. His often humorous work, with its distinctive Art Deco flourishes and tones, charted the rise of new technologies such as electricity, flight and radio communication.

Gill’s work was once prominently in the public eye, particularly his brightly-coloured pictorial maps, graphic designs for book covers, and posters for transport and communications companies in the first half of the twentieth century. His best-known piece, the large 1914 Wonderground Map, was hung at every London Underground station.

Gill’s work caught the eye of London Underground titan Frank Pick, who commissioned him to create promotional transport maps, including an early version of the London Underground system map (1922), London Underground Bus Services Map (1928), as well as Theatreland, Peter Pan Map and, of course, Wonderground.

Pick went on to set up the Empire Marketing Board poster sub-committee and brought in Gill to create a number of posters there, including the magnificent Highways of Empire (1927). Attracting a great deal of contemporary interest, his advertisements reflected changing attitudes to Empire and global trade, as well as approaches to cartographic representation.

Image: The Week-End Book (by Francis Meynell) Dust Jacket by Max Gill (1926) private collection

  • Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft
  • Lodge Hill Lane
  • Ditchling, East Sussex, BN6 8SP
  • UK
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Friendship Before Facebook: Social Networks in a Pre-Digital Age

Until 12 May 2019

How were friends selected, collected and put on display, before the digital era?

Image of pocket sized Victorian album

Explore the Library’s collection of pocket-sized friendship albums – made between the 16th and 19th centuries – full of celebrity autographs, music, miniature paintings and bawdy lift-the-flap pictures.

  • The Sir John Ritblat: Treasures Gallery
  • The British Library
  • 96 Euston Road
  • London NW1 2DB
  • UK
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Instruction and Delight: Children’s Games from the Ellen and Arthur Liman Collection

Until 23 May 2019

Image of The Majestic Game of the Asiatic Ostrich

By the beginning of the eighteenth century in Britain, parents and teachers had begun to embrace wholeheartedly a suggestion from the philosopher John Locke (1632–1704) that “Learning might be made a Play and Recreation to Children.”

The material culture of this period, and the subsequent generation, reveals a significant shift in thinking, as adults found fresh value in childhood and in play for its own sake. British publishers leapt at the chance to design books and games for both instruction and delight.

This small display celebrates the recent gift of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century children’s games and books to the Center by Ellen and Arthur Liman, Yale JD 1957.

Image: The Majestic Game of the Asiatic Ostrich. London: William Darton,1822.

  • Yale Center for British Art
  • 1080 Chapel Street
  • New Haven
  • Connecticut
  • USA
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Five Hundred Years of Women's Work

Until 15 June 2019

Detail from  ‘East Indian Rope Trick’ poster, circa 1928

Women’s work. The phrase usually conjures up domestic duties or occupations traditionally associated with women—such as teaching, nursing, or housekeeping.

The Lisa Unger Baskin Collection upends those assumptions and makes the true breadth of women’s contributions visible. By bringing together materials from across the centuries, Baskin reveals what has been hidden—that women have long pursued a startling range of careers and vocations and that through their work they have supported themselves, their families, and the causes they believed in.

Over the course of forty-five years, Baskin acquired more than 11,000 printed books, thousands of manuscripts and photographs, and artifacts ranging from an anti-slavery token to Virginia Woolf’s writing desk.

In 2015, Baskin placed her collection at the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History & Culture in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University so that it might be used by scholars, students, and members of the public. This exhibition and accompanying catalogue provide a first glimpse of the diversity and depth of the collection, revealing the lives of women both famous and forgotten and paying tribute to their accomplishments.

  • Duke University Library
  • 411 Chapel Drive
  • Durham, NC 27708
  • USA
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  • Image: Mme. Demorest — seamstress. Mme. Demorest’s Reliable Patterns, [ca. 1870-1900]