Book Fairs | January 4, 2024

ESA Ephemera Fair Returns to Connecticut

Ephemera Society of America (ESA)

The ESA Ephemera Fair – officially sanctioned by the Ephemera Society of America (ESA) and produced and managed by Sanford L. Smith + Associates – is set to return to the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Old Greenwich, Connecticut March 16 - 17 for Ephemera 44, its 44th Edition. 

The ESA’s annual conference – themed Conflict/Resolution – will precede the fair on March 15, featuring eight presentations addressing diverse topics related to conflict and/or resolution. Morning lectures include:

  • Looted and Supplied: Ephemera Travels to the Enemy with Richard Thorner
  • Interactive Political Ephemera: Making a Statement with Mechanical Paper with Ellen G.K. Rubin
  • The American War In Vietnam: The Pro-War and Anti-War Movement with Stuart Lutz
  • Printing 1960s High School Student Activism with Jennifer Hoyer

The four afternoon conference sessions will be:

  • English Suffrage: Ephemera of Militancy and Response with Ken Florey
  • How the Union Printing Industry Promoted Patriotism and Profited During the Civil War with Vinnie Vaicekauskas and Heather Locklear
  • Strikethrough: Typography as Protest with Stephen Coles
  • Gay Liberation Movement of the 1970s and 1980s with Corey Serrant

According to the organisers: "While war, national and international, may first come to mind, our topic will also include significant social or political movements where ephemera has been produced to advance an argument or as evidence of what transpired. Ephemera has also been a crucial component in propaganda and disinformation campaigns in a variety of conflicts."

The Ephemera Fair features more than 10,000 items ranging from advertisements, banknotes, baseball cards, business cards and cookbooks to fans, greeting cards, luggage tags, rare maps, playbills, receipts, sheet music, and wood engravings. Examples include:

* an early 20th century lace sample book from a Nottingham factory featuring over 200 large samples in a plethora of colors and designs

* The Adventures of David Simple. Volume The Last published in London in 1753 and signed “John Hancock 1757” on the title page

* a Buffalo Bill Cody signed oversized photograph

Recognized as the country’s largest ephemera show, The Ephemera Fair will showcase more than 50 exhibitors from across the country, including longtime participants such as Evie Eysenburg Ephemera, aGatherin' and Stephen Resnick. Many of the 2024 exhibitors have been part of The Ephemera Fair since its inception, although the event continues to attract new dealers.