Welcome to Ephemeriad
An Online Archive of Ephemera

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About Us




 

The Ephemeriad Project (a.k.a. Ephemeriad) aims to be an online museum of ephemera with special focus on accessibility for the visually disabled. The project will archive images of ephemera contributed by the site owner and website visitors. While the initial phase of the project will focus primarily on ephemera, the later phases will expand to provide an archiving space for other objects of historical value and cultural heritage. As of now, the project hosts ephemera instances from the 1920s to the present time.


With the advent of modern technology and digitization of published materials, it becomes important to understand and define what "ephemera" means and preserve it for posterity. At the same time, it is to be acknowledged that ephemera is not just limited to antiquarian interests and hobbies but also goes beyond to become objects of critical study. The project hopes to act as a repository of content for academic researchers who are working on ephemera.


Wikipedia defines Ephemera as objects with text which are transitory and are not meant to be preserved.

To quote the definition:

"Ephemera are any transitory written or printed matters that are not meant to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek ephemeros, meaning "lasting only one day, short-lived". Some collectible ephemera are advertising trade cards, airsickness bags, bookmarks, catalogues, greeting cards, letters, pamphlets, postcards, posters, prospectuses, defunct stock certificates or tickets, and zines."



Ephemeriad's praxis lies in doing the very opposite and engage in an archival project of retaining and preserving these "transitory" objects as markers of cultural heritage. The project will enable people to share images of their collections of ephemera which will be hosted on the website. Further, the scope of ephemera will be left to the contributors to bring in variety.



As with most objects of visual culture, accessibility remains an issue which is not often fulfilled adequately by alt-texts. Ephemeriad will attempt to supply extensive textual descriptions of the uploaded ephemera and visual objects so as to enhance the experience of visually disabled visitors and enable them to engage with ephemera both as objects of research and information as well as cultural entertainment (an aspect detailed and advocated in the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act of 2016).



(For details about the terms and conditions of contributing ephemera images, kindly refer to the website's FAQs section.)


Backstory

The idea of an online museum for hosting images of antiques was conceived by me in 2018 but was shelved temporarily due to lack of time and other engagements. The aim, from the beginning, had been to archive the antique objects that often do not get as much attention as they should. The endeavour was to archive everything old and interesting -from conventional antique objects to the quirky ones.

In 2019, I was working on Swedish matchbox ephemera for my Master's dissertation and decided to launch a project dedicated to ephemera (which again got delayed due to academic engagements). I had also pitched the idea for the same to the Five Million Incidents programme of the Goethe Institut (Kolkata and Delhi) but it did not make it to the selected list of approved projects.

This is the realization of that long-dreamt project. The project can mature into a bigger and richer archive with your contributions. The name of the project was inspired by the Iliad (by Homer), and also Scribleriad and Dunciad both of which are literary works from the 18th century.

Ephemeriad is currently self-funded, and designed and managed by me. We are open to institutional collaborations.



We welcome images of ephemera which are interesting, quirky and meaningful. The image rights will remain with you, while Ephemeriad will only host the image with due credits. We also encourage you to supply textual descriptions to aid the mission of improving accessibility and ensuring inclusion. We would be happy to include backstories of your ephemera and your reflections.


If you have any queries or confusion about what to contribute, feel free to shoot us an email at ephemeriadproject[at]gmail.com and we promise to get back to you within 5 business days.

Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Ephemeriad

Follow us on Instagram: www.instagram.com/ephemeriadproject/

Launch date: 29th October, 2020.


- Subhradeep Chatterjee

Founder, Ephemeriad (The Ephemeriad Project)

M.A. (English), Jadavpur University