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Printed Ephemera Collection

The Ephemera Collection forms part of the Alexander Turnbull Library collections.

The Ephemera Collection contains published programmes, posters, menus, advertising, pamphlets, and other material relating to New Zealand, the Pacific, and New Zealanders overseas.

The Collection has over 200,000 ephemera items dating from the 1840s to the present. Subject strengths include theatre and entertainment, politics and activism, horticulture, war, Māori, tourism, alcohol, environmental issues, everyday life and popular culture.

Formats

You can do a keyword search on a format, or combine any topic word with a term for a specific format as well. For example, search on:

Types of items include

Posters - including advertisements, protest posters, political, theatre, and music posters

L to R: (1) Public dinner on Thursday, 15th April, At Barrett's Hotel, Wellington to commemorate the Intelligence of the Islands of New Zealand being declared INDEPENDENT of New South Wales, and of the adjustment of Differences between the Government and the New Zealand Company. Ref: Eph-B-POLITICS-1841-01 (2) Opera House [New Plymouth]: The Great Levante and his magical extravaganza L-R: (1) Public dinner on Thursday, 15th April, At Barrett's Hotel, Wellington to commemorate the Intelligence of the Islands of New Zealand being declared INDEPENDENT of New South Wales, and of the adjustment of Differences between the Government and the New Zealand Company. Ref: Eph-B-POLITICS-1841-01 (2) Opera House [New Plymouth]: The Great Levante and his magical extravaganza "How's tricks". Opera House June 4th, 5th. Ref: Eph-C-CABOT-Magic-1941-01 (3) Rountree, Harry, 1878-1950 :New Zealand, the sportsman's paradise. [1925-1930]. Ref: Eph-E-TOURISM-1925-01

Other types of items:

  • pamphlets - including advertising, political propaganda, tourist brochures
  • sales catalogues - including plant and seed catalogues, building supplies catalogues, department store mail order catalogues
  • theatre programmes for performances in music, drama, opera, circuses, and other variety shows. For productions after 1950, we concentrate on collecting material from the Wellington Region.
  • agricultural show programmes
  • sports programmes covering major codes and athletics
  • calendars
  • menus
  • postcards and greeting cards
  • bookplates.

More about the Alexander Turnbull Library collections

Access to the Printed Ephemera Collection

Original materials in the collection are available in the Library's Katherine Mansfield Reading Room.

Digital copies of some items are shown online through their catalogue descriptions. To see them, use the Gallery view when looking at a search result. Additional photographic and digital copies of some pictorial items are also available in the Library's Reading Room.

Get copies from items in this collection

The Library can provide copies of available ephemera material if copying does not harm the physical state of the original, or breach copyright. We provide photocopies for research purposes, or digital copies for publication. As an alternative to photocopies, visitors may use their own digital cameras to make copies for private research purposes only.

More about making copies

More about copyright