Sunday, March 1, 2009


I am currently reading a really interesting book called Scrapbooks: An American History. As, I am sure you can guess, it is a history of scrapbooks in America and it includes so many different kinds of scrapbooks. The photos are great and I really am enjoying learning about the history of scrapbooks.

I don't do scrapbooks like people do them today. I actually am not much of a fan of the style of scrapbooking that is so popular now, but I do like the idea of saving souvenirs and pretty paper things that you like and pasting them in a book with words and memories. I save the stuff. I just don't ever seem to get to the pasting down and arranging part.

But, since my interest in Victorian scrap and ephemera has recently been re-energized, I have been thinking more about the scrapbooks that they kept back then.

I love that the the scraps were collected just because they were pretty. Recently I came across some Victorian Scraps that had been pasted in someones scrapbook. They were images carefully cut out of boxes for products and maybe advertising cards.

I love the idea that someone appreciated the art in advertising and liked it enough to take the time to cut it out and paste it in a book. According to this book I am reading, many of the scrapbooks that had these kinds of items in it were mostly only these kinds of items.

There is a great illustration of a Victorian scrapbook using these kind of scraps in the book, but I cannot get it copy well. But, you get the idea. This is from around the 1880's.

From the book Scrapbooks by Jessica Helfand

Nineteenth-century scrapbooks, like this one made by Virginia native Annie Grace Clarke in the late 1880s or 90s, [see below] were a virtual ode to chromolithography, consisting of pages that basically celebrated the colored scrap. Annie's album contains trade cards, token of affection cards, chromolithographs and embossed prints, and exemplifies the Victorian propensity to create decorative, non-narrative pages. Compared to their predecessors — those staid volumes of black and white clippings, poems and prayers that dominated in the earlier part of the century — books like Annie’s are equally notable for their absence of writing. Many compositions like this one operate from a central image, around which an orbit of smaller images seems to radiate, like a quiet explosion on the page.

Some original die cut Victorian scrap I am getting organizing. Some will be listed in the shop soon:

You can view a lot of the scrapbook pages and read about them online, too, at The Daily Scrapbook.

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