Samuel PepysWelcome to The Ephemera Society Website
Image News Image About Us Image Membership Image Events Image Links Image


The Ephemera Society News

London International Antiquarian Book Fair

1-3 June 2017

Image of GutenbergNow celebrating its 60th year, this major three-day event is one of the largest and most prestigious antiquarian book fairs in the world, showcasing rare, unique and unusual items from 180 leading UK and international dealers.

The Fair is the jewel in the crown of Rare Books London, a new week-long festival celebrating old and rare books, with special events and behind-the-scenes activities for bibliophiles.

To celebrate their anniversary and the launch of Rare Books London, the Fair will be running a new “Affordable Collectables” initiative, with books under certain price points highlighted and a special guided tour to introduce them to visitors.

From medieval manuscripts to modern signed first editions, visitors to the fair can literally hold history in their hands as they view and buy museum-quality books, maps, prints, photographs, manuscripts, ephemera and original artwork.

Image: Johannes Gutenberg


Image of advert


London Map Fair

17 & 18 June 2017

Image of GlobesThe largest Antique Map Fair in Europe, established 1980. We exhibit at the historic London venue of the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).

This event brings together around 40 of the leading national and international antiquarian map dealers as well as hundreds of visiting dealers, collectors, curators and map aficionados from all parts of the world.

A very large selection of Original Antique Maps will be available for sale, ranging in age from the 15th C. to the 20th C., covering all parts of the world and priced to suit all pockets: from £10 to £100,000.

  • Royal Geographical Society
    1 Kensington Gore
    London SW7
  • More details

Image: HOMANN, Johann Baptist. Sphærarum Artificialium Typica... Nuremberg, c.1730.


World War Ireland

Until 2018

In summer 1914 a war broke out in Europe that would change the world forever. In Ireland, many supported the cause and joined up or travelled to serve in nursing and auxiliary services. Others objected to the war on moral, social or political grounds. By the time the conflict ended in 1918, its impact had been felt through the length and breadth of the country.

Image of recruitment poster

World War Ireland is a free exhibition at the National Library of Ireland(NLI) that focuses on the unique aspects of the Irish WWI experience and draws on the NLI's collections of letters, diaries, recruiting posters, newspaper reports, cartoons, handbills and leaflets dating from 1914-1918. With original artefacts, first hand personal accounts and eyewitness testimony, World War Ireland brings visitors dramatically inside the lives of those who experienced WWI.


Music Collections acquires Boosey & Hawkes archive

British Library

Image Boosey's Musical Cabinet

The British Library announced in January 2017 the acquisition of a major collection relating to British music publishing: the archive of Boosey and Hawkes.

Comprising many hundreds of boxes of documents relating to the business of the firm for about a hundred years up to around 1980, it is of enormous research value, charting, as it does, the rich role that Boosey and Hawkes played in the musical life of the nation during that period; and of course the company is thriving and still very much in business today.

The modern company was formed in 1930 when the two founder firms merged: one had been established at the end of the 18th century as a lending library by John Boosey, before moving into publishing popular operas as they became fashionable in the mid-nineteenth century.

William Henry Hawkes, on the other hand, was a military musician who set out to provide editions of woodwind and brass music in the second half of the 19th century. The new firm therefore came to cater for all musical tastes, producing editions of light music, popular songs, music for brass and military bands, dance orchestras, as well as publishing the works of some of the greatest classical composers of the 20th century. Today no other British music publisher has a greater international standing.


Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand

Ephemera collections on Tumblr

The Library, a member of the Ephemera Society, has an extensive collection of ephemera which includes material relating to New Zealand covering the period from the beginning of printing there (about 1840) to the present, with a few older items from Britain and Europe.

Detail from Victorian valentine

Note from the curator: A cheery label for a canned plum pudding, traditionally eaten by New Zealanders at Christmas-time despite its being summertime here. Note the logo at the right, showing St George fighting the dragon, in best English tradition. All the appropriate wintry Christmas imagery appears on this label, published by a Dunedin company that also produced jams, soups, tinned meat and fish, and household products such as laundry crystals.

Label: St George Preserving & Canning Company Ltd :Ye olde English plum pudding, prepared
by Irvine & Stevenson’s St George Coy Ltd., New Zealand

View the collection


Books as they were bought by Mavis Eggle

The Social History of a Collection

The title Books as they were bought may be a little misleading. The author has tried to create a picture of the market for all printed items in the state in which they were sold. Books are featured in a variety of bindings, also including paperbacks, part-issues, magazines with original adverts and covers, as well as chap books and broadsides bought in the street. Each of the four volumes covers a decade.

Image of book covers

Image of book pages

Available to be purchased from Scott Brinded (stpaulsbib[at] postal and fairs, Gresham Books and The Antiquarian Book Company at book fairs.


Michael Twyman: Hullmandel’s stones at Kingston Lacy

Association of European Printing Museums

Take the opportunity to read the paper - "Hullmandel’s stones at Kingston Lacy" - given by Ephemera Society President, Michael Twyman, at the conference of the Association of European Printing Museums in November 2016: From stone to chip: Alois Senefelder and the invention of printing in an international context, Nederlands Steendrukmuseum, Valkenswaard, The Netherlands, 3-5 November 2016. It is a summary of a much longer and fully documented article, not yet published.

Association of European Printing Museums




Ephemera - minor transient documents of every day life