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Printed Ephemera Collections at Tamiment Library: Formats

A guide to the Printed Ephemera Collections at NYU's Tamiment Library


The Printed Ephemera Collections contain a variety of formats including fliers, brochures, pamphlets, constitutions, contracts, tickets, membership cards, bumper stickers, stamps, and postcards, all of which highlight the diversity of the Collection.

Images from left to right:

First Row:

Bumper Sticker - Collection: PE 029, Box: 1, Folder: Anti-War Movements

Second Row:

Postcard (front and back) - Collection: PE 029, Box: 11, Folder: Postcards: Various

Third Row:

Pamphlet - Collection: PE 008, Box: 4, Folder: Pamphlets and Publications, 1944-1961

Stamps - Collection: PE 036, Box: 82, Folder: Public Citizen

Ephemera Defined

Use ephemera to add another dimension to your research!  The online glossary from the Society of American Archivists defines ephemera as:

Ephemera:  pl. n. (ephemeron, sing.) ~ Materials, usually printed documents, created for a specific, limited purpose, and generally designed to be discarded after use.

Notes:  Examples of ephemera include advertisements, tickets, brochures, and receipts. A repository may collect ephemera as examples or specimens. Individuals often collect ephemera as mementos or souvenirs because of their association with some person, event, or subject; personal collections of ephemera are often kept in scrapbooks.

From The Glossary of Archival and Records Terminology by Richard Pearce-Moses,


In addition to the above, the Printed Ephemera Collections at the Tamiment Library consist of well over a thousand pamphlets. The Library cataloged many of these at the item level and they can be found via BobCat. Others are in the Printed Ephemera Collection on Organizations, PE 036 under the name of the press, such as New England Free Press and the Appalachian Movement Press. Still  others are located with the organization for which they were published, such as International Publishers and New Century Publishers (Communist Party of the USA Printed Ephemera Collection, PE 031), and New York Labor News Company (Socialist Labor Party Printed Ephemera Collection, PE 028).


Researchers should also consult other pamphlet collections, as well as serials and the boxed newspaper collection in Tamiment.