From Stores to Stage: printed ephemera online soon

By other museum staff on 10 Nov 2011

In our latest blog from our team bringing our collections online, we hear from Ellie and her work with printed ephemera…

This is a photograph of part of one of the museum’s stores.

Inside these boxes the museum has a remarkable collection of printed ephemera, which is often described as the minor, transient documents of everyday life.

The collection includes things like tickets, posters, flyers and greetings cards: the kind of material which holds lots of information about everyday life but is often thrown away.

My job as collections online project assistant is to work to get some of this material available online.

My blog posts will introduce the collections I am working with to give an idea about some of the fascinating collections that will be accessible through collections online in the coming year.

Recently I have been working on our collection of embellished theatrical portraits.

These images, known as tinsel prints, depict actors in popular roles. They were sold plain and uncoloured, often for a penny each, with metal foil adornments which would be used to decorate the prints.

The museum’s tinsel print collection is extensive and includes completed prints, unfinished pieces, tinsel ornaments and the punches used to stamp out the ornaments.

The tinsel prints will provide an insight into the history of theatre, into theatrical costume and scenery and props as well as the hobbies and souvenir collecting of nineteenth-century Londoners.

They also provide a resource for researchers interested in individual actors and a later blog will elaborate on one actor in particular.

The Tinsel prints should go online during December and I will blog about them in more detail at that time.

I will also update you shortly with a blog post on my work with our collection of trade and valentine cards.

Until then the team would love to hear from you with your thoughts on exploring the 10,000 plus objects currently available from our collections online.

You can catch up on all our collections online blog  posts to date here.

2 thoughts on “From Stores to Stage: printed ephemera online soon

  1. karen Wykes says:

    This looks really lovely and interesting. As some one that is just trying to set up something like this I have an added interest in seeing how you actually do this. I now await more blogs!

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