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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 ephemera 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

Sales catalogues

Including plant and seed catalogues, building supplies catalogues, department store mail order catalogues

L-R: (1) George Harrison & Co (Bradford): Linoleum, 2 yards wide. [Victorian scroll and classical pattern]. No. 122/2. Pattern shown half size. [1880s?] Ref: Eph-B-DECOR-1880s-01-06 (2) Te Aro Seed Company :Garden annual, 1931; seeds, bulbs & plants. Te Aro Seed Co., 58 Courtenay Place, Wellington. [Front cover. 1931] Ref: Eph-A-HORTICULTURE-TeAro-1931-01-front (3) McFarlane & Co (Auckland, N.Z.) :Malvern Star, the world's super cycle. Sole N.Z. Distributors McFarlane & Co, 134 Symonds St., Auckland, C.3. [Front cover of sales catalgue. 1939] Ref: Eph-B-CYCLE-1939-01-cover
L-R: (1) George Harrison & Co (Bradford): Linoleum, 2 yards wide. [Victorian scroll and classical pattern]. No. 122/2. Pattern shown half size. [1880s?] Ref: Eph-B-DECOR-1880s-01-06 (2) Te Aro Seed Company :Garden annual, 1931; seeds, bulbs & plants. Te Aro Seed Co., 58 Courtenay Place, Wellington. [Front cover. 1931] Ref: Eph-A-HORTICULTURE-TeAro-1931-01-front (3) McFarlane & Co (Auckland, N.Z.): Malvern Star, the world's super cycle. Sole N.Z. Distributors McFarlane & Co, 134 Symonds St., Auckland, C.3. [Front cover of sales catalgue. 1939] Ref: Eph-B-CYCLE-1939-01-cover

Labels

Including canning labels and crate or bottle labels

L-R: (1) Gear Meat Company :Prime quality. The Gear Meat Preserving and Freezing Co. of New Zealand Ld. Wellington, N.Z. [Sheep. 1880-1890]. Ref: Eph-F-MEAT-Gear-004-1 (2) New Zealand National Airways Corporation :NZ NAC. New Zealand National Airways Corporation [Circular gummed label. ca 1950s?] Ref: Eph-A-AVIATION-Labels-03
L-R: (1) Gear Meat Company: Prime quality. The Gear Meat Preserving and Freezing Co. of New Zealand Ld. Wellington, N.Z. [Sheep. 1880-1890]. Ref: Eph-F-MEAT-Gear-004-1 (2) New Zealand National Airways Corporation: NZ NAC. New Zealand National Airways Corporation [Circular gummed label. ca 1950s?] Ref: Eph-A-AVIATION-Labels-03

Other types of items

  • pamphlets - including advertising, political propaganda, tourist brochures
  • 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