Another sub-set of rare printed items housed at the Latin American Library is ephemera. Ephemera are a class of print collectible materials that defy a precise definition but in general, ephemera pieces are made of paper, printed (though sometimes handwritten); two-dimensional (though can be a package or a box); transient and incidental (though often imbued with importance or sentimentality that leads to it being preserved long after serving its original function or intention); and often visually attractive or unique. Ephemera can therefore appear in a variety of formats such as broadsides, brochures, flyers, posters, souvenir cards, pamphlets, invitations, certificates, menus, announcements, and ballots to name just a few examples.
The Latin American Library is constantly adding material to its print ephemera holdings. The largest is the Central American Printed Ephemera collection (CAPE) containing materials categorized by topic as either political, religious, economic, or cultural in nature. The CAPE collection is further subdivided by country of origin. Long-standing printed ephemera collections for Mexico and Cuba exist as well. Our newest collections are those for countries in South America and the Caribbean.
Among our printed ephemera holdings are two thematically focused collections. Latin American Art Ephemera is a print ephemera collection relating to Latin American art, artists, art exhibitions, and the art scene. Latin American Travel and Tourism Ephemera is a print ephemera collection dedicated to the history and marketing of travel and tourism in the region dating as early as the 19th century.
Ephemera items and broadsides may be searched via our Special Collections on-line database via the search box above using collection title, country, keyword, and subject headings. Click on the following link to access our holdings: Ephemera Collections Inventory.