Some of you may have heard about the State Library of Queensland’s call for election ephemera in the lead-up to the recent state elections.
The word ephemera, for collection purposes, is interpreted quite broadly to mean paraphernalia, souvenir items, the kind of publication or item you typically find in your mailbox around election time or at the voting booth. Some examples include: how-to-vote cards, posters, signage, flyers, calendars, stickers, t-shirts, magnets and mail-outs from political parties, politically interested community groups and organisations in your electorate.
With local government elections almost upon us we are on the hunt again and our ambition is to receive representative items from as many candidates – and as many local government electorates – as possible. If you live in Queensland and you’re able to help we’d love to hear from you.
But before you decide to contribute your bit of Queensland electoral history you no doubt need to have one essential question answered. What does the State Library do with its election ephemera? The answer is that we preserve it for posterity and we undertake to make it available, via our catalogue, for anyone with a research interest into the future. Over the years election ephemera becomes significant; it fits into the pattern of our political history and it speaks to scholars and students about the iconic battles waged and about the critical concerns of voters.
We received some magnificent contributions in the wake of the 2012 state elections and would like to thank the many people who responded so generously to our appeal last month. We also found, amongst the materials which came flooding in, some quite remarkable souvenirs from past elections which just happened to fill gaps in our existing collection.
Whether it’s an item discovered in the back of your cupboard or something snaffled from the voting booth this Saturday, your contribution will be valued by the State Library. The address, for posting purposes is:
State Library of Queensland
PO Box 3488
South Brisbane Q 4101
Libby Fielding – Legal Deposit Coordinator, State Library of Queensland