Over the weekend, Riel Nason, a columnist for the Canadian-based Telegraph Journal, wrote a great story about ephemera collecting. In it, he wrote:
"Often termed ephemera by collectors, paper items make up a large portion of the impermanent pieces sought today. Old calendars are a good example of ephemera because their time period of use is so clearly marked. Come Dec. 31, a good portion of calendars are never seen again. Part of the fun of collecting items not originally touted as collectible is that by the time these pieces have earned collectible status, the quantity left has considerably dwindled. Because so many were disposed of over the years, those few that remain make a challenging search for collectors. Old phone books, travel brochures, catalogues, programs from shows or sporting events, postcards, greeting cards, magazines, and tickets are all examples. Other items that either started out free or were not specifically bought for collecting include matchbook covers, plastic swizzle sticks, or cereal boxes."
Riel does a nice job summing up one of the motivating factors behind collecting ephemera—the thrill of the hunt.
He also talks about the future of collecting. What's next, he writes, "With email, social networking sites like Facebook, and ecards so popular now, I think paper greeting cards, postcards and even old-fashioned mailed paper letters will certainly at least retain, if not increase, their collectible status as the quantity of these items circulating in society lessens over the years."
Riel also thinks that plastic phone and gift cards are possible future ephemera collectibles. What are some currently produced items that are not meant to last, that you think might become collectibles?
Photograph by UpNorth Memories.