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The West Virginia and Regional History Center preserves the largest collection of printed ephemera related to West Virginia in existence. Estimated to contain more than 100,000 pieces, the Printed Ephemera Collection includes pamphlets, brochures, isolated periodical issues, news clippings, event announcements and programs, and advertisements published primarily from the late 19th century to the present.
The foundations of this extensive collection date back to the early history of the Center, a time when the quantity of such publications was quite manageable in comparison to today’s publishing output. In addition to Central Appalachia and West Virginia political, cultural, and social history ephemera, the Printed Ephemera Collection also includes some general, rare materials.
In 2006, the Center began to create an online finding aid for the Printed Ephemera Collection which will eventually include bibliographic descriptions for all ephemera in the collection. The new online finding aid is Boolean searchable by creator, title, subject, and keyword. In 2008, the Center began to selectively digitize significant historical ephemera, many of which are related to West Virginia statehood. New bibliographic descriptions and digital content are being added to the online finding aid on a regular basis. The online finding aid contains more than 12,600 records representing more than 70,000 ephemera items, more than 870 of which are digitized for online viewing. Searches of the online finding aid can be limited to records that have digital content. The finding aid is accessible through the West Virginia and Regional History Center website at: https://printedephemera.lib.wvu.edu/.