Celebrating 20 years of Online Exhibitions: 1999-2019

This month’s featured online exhibition is Ephemera Online! The exhibition was curated by Rachel D’Agostino, Curator of Printed Books, and Erika Piola, Associate Curator of Prints and Photographs and Director of the Visual Culture Program. It was on view in the Louis Lux-Sions and Harry Sions Gallery May 13–October 13, 2013.

The Library Company of Philadelphia began collecting ephemera in 1785, when it acquired the Pierre Eugène Du Simitière Collection of Revolutionary War-era pamphlets and broadsides, and has been a pioneer in the emergent research uses of early American printed ephemera. With the purchase of the Joe Freedman Collection of Philadelphia Ephemera in fall 2013, the Library’s printed and graphic ephemera collections number nearly 40,000 items and comprise diverse holdings of material related to popular and visual culture, with particular strengths in the history of women, medicine, African-Americana, German-Americana, and economics. Almost 30, 000 pieces as well as over 7,000 representative digital files of these holdings are available in the Library’s digital online catalog; many thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities completed in 2012.

The online exhibition features both a fun browsing mode, in the style of the popular platform Pinterest, as well as a guided exhibition tour. Designed by Nicole H. Scalessa, Chief Information Officer, this exhibition was LCP’s first use of WordPress as a website platform.