Ephemeral items are those that have a limited lifespan.
They are generally discarded after serving their intended purpose. For
example, a program for an annual event is rarely kept after the event
unless the event holds certain sentimental value. The program may be
left at the event or, at times, brought home where it sits on the kitchen
counter until finally being thrown away.
"Survivors of a Throwaway Culture: Railroad Ephemera
and its Research Value" focuses on the indispensable research value
of these temporary items. One can refer to the materials for additional
information on railway history, train culture, and the experience of
riding the train. They can also be used to address research topics relating
to how people dressed for train travel and other social and cultural
aspects of the time period. Graphic design techniques implemented in
the advertising pamphlets may be particularly valuable for artists,
advertisers, and graphic designers studying design practices of a particular
The exhibit features examples of railroad ephemera found
at McCain Library & Archives. Highlights include examples of local
and international time tables, railway advertising pamphlets, menus,
newsletters, ink blotters, and other temporary items.
The exhibit will be available until December 13, 2007,
from 8:00-5:00 Monday through Friday on the 3rd floor of McCain Library.
For additional information about the exhibit, contact Jennifer Brannock
at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601.266.4347.
Image: Advertising brochure for an improved relay
produced by Hall Signal Company (1911)