Ephemera is Sexy
Rumors from my documentarian friends about the madman documentarian who runs ATA (Artist's Television Access) down the street, the hub of the ephemeral film movement -- he, Prelinger (the archivist), and others started collecting garage fulls of ephemeral film, stitching them together into new films, yes, and mostly emphasizing the mythic tale of 1960s consciousness raising out of the homogenous world of Wonderbread in the 1950s. And the creatures who direct archive.org are really quite canny. But still, the fact remains that there are garagefulls of ephemeral film in San Francisco.
Man. That is a sexy concept to a historian. Historians generally base their first go at what was going on in particular decade (say, the 1960s) on what the journalists who were there said. But journalists don't always get it right. Or cover everyone who's doing something interesting. And if journalists covered Civil Rights, they didn't tell much about how conversations about sex, race, self, and responsibility were happening in peoples' living rooms and back yards. And nobody talks about what it was like to walk down a street (or a beach) in the 1940s. So we historians get perfectly psyched at the phrase "garagefull of ephemeral film." My skin is already crawling!
As a nineteenth-century historian ("a nineteenth century-ist"),I'm stuck picking at traditional social history, blogging about Google Books, which really is fascinating for what it can do with the ephemera of the nineteenth century. Since no one else in the discipline has caught on to the obvious, I might try to make myself famous doing it.
When I find collections of twentieth century ephemera online, they up here. Here's a sample:
"It generates a critique by using the material left behind by the enemy. Like jujitsu, using the weight of the enemy against himself… I don't want to just reiterate some sort of consensus. I want to strike a blow against consensus."
brief history of the object lesson in c19 pedagogy, excellent footnotes on the history of object study and fetishism
New York City, 1900-1910, in glamor shots of skyscrapers and insect-like crowds below
history of nutrition and home farming from the view of national propaganda
Fort Smith, Arkansas - vernacular architecture in postcards...
from Kent state - some online
sf mime troop, acid test, ming the merciless, and other ephemera.
early ephemeral films - westinghouse, cocacola advertising, animation....
Havana (Prov.): Beaches: Playa de Marianao
5 Habana. Playa de Marianao. Marianao Beach
Note: Verso: No. 64. Edición Jordi
street scene in old havana. c 1940?
The Cuban Postcard Collection is a continuously growing collection of postcards of Cuba and the Cuban experience outside of Cuba produced from the turn of the 20th century to the present. It includes real photo, printed photo, and artist drawn postcards a
the first map libraries, the first postcard libraries