Scrapbooks An American History

If I could do it, I’d do no writing at all here. It would be photographs; the rest would be fragments of cloth, bits of cotton, lumps of earth, records of speech, pieces of wood and iron…
James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

I was probably around eleven when I started my first scrapbook. I pasted in cards, awards from school, photographs, ticket stubs and a lot of other ephemera. It wasn’t particularly popular to scrapbook back then, there weren’t any scrapbook stores, magazines, layouts, classes or websites…but when my mom brought home a big red book filled with plain manila paper, stamped with the word Scrapbook in gold cursive writing I was hooked.

I just got this beautiful book out of the library and I’m fascinated with it! It immediately got added to my Amazon Wishlist. One of the featured scrapbooks in the book is also from my hometown Waterbury, Connecticut.

If you’re into ephemera, stories, history and the lives of ordinary Americans who scrapbooked their personal history you might find this as intriguing as I did.

Here’s a video of author Jessica Helfand describing one of the featured scrapbooks.

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2 Replies to “Scrapbooks An American History”

  1. I think vintage scrapbooks are so unique. I've only made two (one in high school which was more of a visual guide to me, and one for the Disney College Program), but I can't help but wonder if they're beginning to be a thing of the past. Even after years of regaining popularity, people are starting to do to their blogs what people did on paper.

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