The Library of Congress
Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress
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The Printed Ephemera collection at the Library of Congress is a rich repository of Americana. In total, the collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. An American Time Capsule, the online presentation of the Printed Ephemera collection, comprises 17,000 of the 28,000 physical items. More are scheduled to be digitized in the future. While the broadside format represents the bulk of the collection, there are a significant number of leaflets and some pamphlets. Rich in variety, the collection includes proclamations, advertisements, blank forms, programs, election tickets, catalogs, clippings, timetables, and menus. They capture the everyday activities of ordinary people who participated in the events of nation-building and experienced the growth of the nation from the American Revolution through the Industrial Revolution up to present day. A future final release will include thousands of oversize items in the collection.
The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its
resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain
and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future
generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to
offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as
a contribution to education and lifelong learning.
The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of
the past. These primary historical documents reflect the
attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress
does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which
may contain materials offensive to some readers.
Introduction to Printed Ephemera Collection
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