Ephemera is the term for printed material originally intended to have a limited life-span, such as pamphlets, posters, tickets and flyers. Libraries collect ephemera because it enhances information found in longer-lasting documents, giving us a more complete picture of life at a given point in time. Some of this 'throwaway' material has considerable visual appeal because it often combines text with images.
Ephemera reflects both changing attitudes in society and technological advances, as can be seen in the following examples of promotional material for the opera La Traviata from 1864 to 2005.
|Ref: OCM Ephemera - Lyster's Royal Italian and English Opera Company, La Traviata, 1864, Sir George Grey Special Collections|