Ephemera are small printed items intended for a short, or ephemeral, lifespan. These include pamphlets, flyers, campaign cards, church bulletins, and menus. Because such items are often stored upright in filing cabinets, they are often referred to as "vertical files."
Among our extensive ephemera holdings are art ephemera going to back to about 1900, political ephemera going back to about 1840, and theatre ephemera going back to about 1820. What makes our outstanding ephemera collection especially significant, however, is the depth of its indexing and that fact that the index is searchable online.
The vertical file collection preserves flyers and brochures from more than 8,000 Louisiana groups, organizations, businesses, and associations, including:
Flyers, brochures, and handouts are often the only sources for a surprising wealth of information:
Three areas of special strength for the collection are:
Your search results will identify file folder titles as listed in the index. To see the folders containing the original items, please bring your print-out to Room 202 of Jones Hall, where the collection is preserved. An attendant will help you retrieve the folders.
No materials may be checked out or removed from the room. Also, because of the age and fragility of many items, photocopying may be limited.
Our ephemera collection is a rare and significant resource for preserving and studying all aspects of Louisiana life and culture. To maintain the collection, we rely on individuals willing to donate brochures, menus, programs, tickets, invitations, and campaign materials.
If you have a box or drawer of Louisiana brochures or menus that you have picked up over the years, we would appreciate your donating them to us. If you go to a restaurant, please ask for a menu and save it for us. If you receive campaign literature in the mail, please set it aside for us.
To donate Louisiana ephemera or to discuss other ways you can help us preserve Louisiana's unique heritage, please contact:
Leon C. Miller
Head, Louisiana Research Collection
Howard-Tilton Memorial Library
New Orleans LA 70118