The Scrapbook in American Life

The Scrapbook in American Life

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This book explores the history of scrapbook-making, its origins, uses, changing forms and purposes as well as the human agents behind the books themselves. Scrapbooks bring pleasure in both the making and consuming - and are one of the most enduring yet simultaneously changing cultural forms of the last two centuries. Despite the popularity of scrapbooks, no one has placed them within historical traditions until now. This volume considers the makers, their artefacts, and the viewers within the context of American culture. The volume's contributors do not show the reader how to make scrapbooks or improve techniques but instead explore the curious history of what others have done in the past and why these splendid examples of material and visual culture have such a significant place in many households.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 175.3 x 246.4 x 25.4mm | 612.36g
  • Temple University Press,U.S.
  • Philadelphia PA, United States
  • English
  • 65 b&w illustrations
  • 1592134785
  • 9781592134786
  • 1,179,517

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"This is not a how-to but a 'why' book; a serious, systematic investigation of the history of an enduring tradition." Library Journal "delightful...The 65 b&w images scattered throughout are a visual feast: a prostitute's business card, newspaper photos of FDR, late-19th-century advertising cards, paper dolls, postcards, awards, Singer sewing machine ads, Bible cards. Scholars and scrapbookers alike will enjoy these slices of social history." Publishers Weekly "This compilation is very important because it brings so many different topics and approaches together... It provides insights into ways in which scholars might be able to use scrapbooks as important historical documents." Georgia Barnhill, American Antiquarian Society A wondrous, captivating book on a unique topic: the history of scrapbooking in the is a book requiring time for in-depth reading." Booklist "[T]he book shows that the ephemera of daily life people choose to preserve, and how they preserve it, are appropriate topics of study for historians of material culture, specialists in American literature, and indeed anyone interested in how people make meaning, memory, and identity out of transient events and materials...Highly recommended." Choice "This is a useful collection...The essays provide a backdrop that illuminates continuities and divergences in scrapbooking past and present." Journal of Folklore "The Scrapbook in American Life is a welcome addition to the research on collections people keep." The Journal of American History "The Scrapbook in American Life explains how and why our ancestors pursued this enduring'll enjoy this look into an old-fashioned hobbyodoubly so if you're lucky enough to have your ancestor's scrapbook." Family Tree Magazine "The work begins with an excellent historical introduction...While many of the essays included in The Scrapbook in American Life could stand alone as interesting works on various historical aspects of the scrapbooking tradition, together they provide the first methodical and wide-ranging examination of a widespread but often ignored aspect of material culture. At a minimum, this work will draw scholars' attention to these individual and social constructions of material culture." H-Net Reviews "An eclectic and electrifying anthology of social history...It's a collection that serves as a testament to the ways in which individuals throughout history have captured the essence of their culture for themselves as well as for curious, kindred souls." The Courier-Journal "Compilers of The Scrapbook in American Life, known researchers in American history and culture, make an important effort to place the scrapbook within the historic tradition. They preface the volume with an introduction to the theory of the genre, which reveals deep, as well as extensive, research and analysis and considers the scrapbook as a separate domain of American culture studies. This vision of the scrapbook reveals interesting interconnections...collections of ephemera, short-lived by definition, prove to be surprisingly enduring and offer unique opportunities for visualizing epochs of the past, of which all articles in The Scrapbook in American Life are bright evidence." American Studies "Scrapbook compilers are as different as what they created, and this is one of the important messages of The Scrapbook in American Life... It is a welcome addition to the literature of a number of areas of study." Winterthur Portfolio: A Journal of American Material Culture

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