Whether you’re an avid ephemera collector, or just dipping your toe into this exciting hobby, one of the BEST ways to start collecting ephemera is at an actual show or event. But, how can you find an event that’s worthwhile, has good ephemera, and near you? Keep reading to find out!
As a beginner collector myself, I learned a ton from my first paper show which you can read all about HERE. Was it the best event to attend? Maybe not. So, I’ve done some research, and compiled a list of the TOP 5 EPHEMERA SHOWS AND EVENTS TO ATTEND. These are some of the most popular and well-organized events nationwide. You’re bound to find ephemera worth adding to your collection.
If you find these events are too far from where you live, have no fear. There are a number of smaller events scattered across the country which I will link to in this article.
Top 4 Ephemera Events
This is one of the most well-attended ephemera events. Because it’s put on by the Ephemera Society of America themselves, you won’t want to miss it. Not only do they pick a specific theme each year, this year being, Coming to America —The Immigrant Experience, but they also plan a multi-day, jam-packed event! They are going on their 39th fair, so you know it’s going to be good. If only I lived closer, or I’d go and check it out myself. This year’s fair will be located in at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Old Greenwich, Connecticut. The dates are March 14-17! Grab your tickets online before the event to save an extra $5!
With over 200 exhibitors showcasing their collected items, you’re sure to score something at this fair. This fair has been known for captivating all collectors because of the wide range of items at reasonable prices. If you’re new to collecting ephemera and not ready to fork over a hefty payment, this is the fair for you! You’ll certainly find something within your price range. Fine Books and Collections even stated that this book fair is “widely considered the finest antiquarian book fair in the world, [and] has been a must-see event for seasoned connoisseurs and scholars.” You won’t want to miss this exciting event. This year’s event will be on March 7-10 at the Park Avenue Armory in New York. Tickets can be found HERE.
3. Papermania Plus.
This show contains a huge variety of paper memorabilia and other ephemera and has been running in Hartford since 1975. Going on their 76th show, they have quality exhibitors who have anything from movie posters to baseball cards and everything in between. You’re sure to get first-hand views of the huge amount of possible ephemera to collect. This year, the show will be held at the XL Center in Hartford, CT. To get a glimpse of what this show will be like, check out this VIDEO. For those of you who have items you’d like to get appraised, this show allows you to bring them for an appraisal! Come prepared for a full day of ephemera fun!
This is one of the largest indoor monthly antique shows. That being said, it contains a whole lot more than antique ephemera. Whether you collect antique furniture or other memorabilia, you’re sure to find something. This show boasts over 2,000 vendors! Talk about a lot to look through! This antique show occurs in three different locations: Atlanta, GA, Colombus, OH, and Washington Court House, OH. To find out more about the exact dates and pricing, click HERE.
Smaller Events Near You
Because the bigger events aren’t always close to home, there are a number of smaller events put on across the country. To find a complete list of events, feel free to check out any of these sites which list current shows! Hopefully, you’ll be able to find an event near you. If, however, you can’t find an event or show nearby, there are a number of other ways to collect/view ephemera. Check out, Searching High and Low for Ephemera for some awesome ideas!
- Ephemera Society of America Upcoming Events
- Book and Paper Fairs
- Antiques and Auctions News
- Book Fairs
If you decide that appearing in person isn’t going to work out for you, there are also a number of ways to purchase ephemera online. One of those ways is through online auctions. Check out Online Auction Tips for Purchasing Ephemera to learn the basics of navigating an auction.
Other Helpful Information
When it comes to attending your first paper show, I’ve compiled some helpful information in my article about my first show. You can read it HERE. It gives helpful tips on what to bring, what to expect, and how to go about purchasing your first item of ephemera. This is all information I wish I had known before attending my first show, so be sure to read it!
Once you’ve purchased your first ephemera item, it’s important to store it correctly so as to preserve its quality. Here’s a great article about the proper storing techniques- How Should I Store Ephemera? We’ve also compiled the Top 5 Amazon Must-Haves for Ephemera Collecting. These are all items that will prove useful once your collection starts growing.
And finally, if you’re on the fence about whether or not you’d like to start collecting ephemera, you’re not alone. It’s a fascinating hobby that takes time and effort but when done correctly, can bring a sense of personal fulfillment. Read 6 Reasons Why You Should Start Collecting Ephemera to find out more!
Whatever your reason for collecting ephemera, attending a show or event is a great place to start. If you’re lucky enough to live near one of the four listed above, definitely check it out! Good luck with your ephemera collecting endeavors! Comment below if there is a show you regularly attend or want to attend!