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Scrapbooking Ephemera

 

Ephemera is transitory written and printed matter, not intended to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek, meaning things lasting no more than a day. Some collectible ephemera are advertising trade cards, airsickness bags, baseball cards, bookmarks, cigarette cards, greeting cards, letters, photographs, postcards, posters, stock certificates, tickets, and e-zines.

The earliest collectibles were included as incentives with other products, such as cigarette cards in packs of cigarettes. Popular items developed a secondary market and sometimes became the subject of collectible crazes. Eventually many collectible items came to be sold separately, instead of being used as marketing tools to increase the appeal of other products. To encourage collecting, manufacturers often create an entire series of a given collectible, with each item differentiated in some fashion. Examples include sports cards depicting individual players, or different designs of Beanie Baby. Enthusiasts will often try to assemble a complete set of the available variations.

The early versions of a product, manufactured in smaller quantities before its popularity as a collectible developed, sometimes command exorbitant premiums on the secondary market. In a mature market, collectibles rarely prove to be a spectacular investment. Decks of personality identification playing cards from the war in Iraq are a recent example. In library and information science, the term ephemera also describes the class of published single-sheet or single page documents which are meant to be thrown away after one use. This classification excludes simple letters and photographs with no printing on them, which are considered manuscripts or typescripts.

Large academic and national libraries and museums may collect, organize, and preserve ephemera as history. Ephemera is a noun, the plural neuter of ephemeron and ephemeros, Greek and New Latin for epi = on and hemera = day with the ancient sense extending to the mayfly and other short lived insects and flowers and for something which lasts a day or a short period of time. The earliest collectibles were included as incentives with other products, such as cigarette cards in packs of cigarettes.

Popular items developed a secondary market and sometimes became the subject of collectible crazes. Eventually many collectible items came to be sold separately, instead of being used as marketing tools to increase the appeal of other products. To encourage collecting, manufacturers often create an entire series of a given collectible, with each item differentiated in some fashion. Examples include sports cards depicting individual players, or different designs of Beanie Babies. Enthusiasts will often try to assemble a complete set of the available variations. The early versions of a product, manufactured in smaller quantities before its popularity as a collectible developed, sometimes command exorbitant premiums on the secondary market.

In a mature market, collectibles rarely prove to be a spectacular investment.Occasionally, a series of circumstances will take place that result in an item from a collectible series becoming exceptionally valuable. These objects are referred to as collector’s items due to their rarity, and these objects have occasionally been valuable enough to be sold for substantial amounts of money. Some even later destroy remainders of such items to cause forced scarcity.

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