Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 4:00 PM EDT
Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 4:00 PM EDT

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Hyatt Regency Greenwich Hotel 
1800 East Putnam Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT 06870

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Mary Beth Malmsheimer 
Ephemera Society of America 

Ephemera 38 Conference and Fair 

Mark your calendar for the Ephemera Society of America’s thirty-eighth annual conference, “Let Me Entertain You.” As far back as we can remember, people have sought refuge from the day to day in various forms of entertainment.  And for their part, entertainers have devised ways to amuse us, to edify or astonish, to elevate our spirits or simply to loosen our inhibitions, transporting us outside our ordinary lives.  Public entertainments are woven into the very fabric of a culture - and, in the United States of the 19th and 20th centuries, traditional amusements developed distinctive American forms.

This year's conference selects eight subjects from the vast field of entertainment, dating from the early 19th century to the present day.  Our speakers — museum curators as well as entrepreneurs and independent collectors and scholars — will use ephemera — broadsides, posters, invitations, tickets, handbills, programs, advertisements, articles and other memorabilia — to illustrate their subjects:  the early days of the American circus, traveling entertainers at the turn of the 20th century, one of New York's earliest pleasure gardens, American's oldest winter festival, a controversial female silent film director, the age of jazz, the short-lived national craze for competitive aviation, the birth of the crossword puzzle, and the history of rock and roll.

In other words, they will use ephemera to take us ‘backstage’ at the traveling shows of the large circuses, the smaller peripatetic acts, and barnstorming aviation racers; the dramatic performances of early “garden” theaters and controversial silent films; as well as quintessentially American winter carnivals, crossword puzzles, jazz, and rock’n’roll. What drew people to these diversions, and what characterized the lives of these performers and their managers? As a 2017 audience we will experience the hucksterism of the past.

Schedule of Events:
(For full description of presentations and speaker bios, click here.) 

9 a.m.– 4 p.m. — Board of Directors’ meeting, Belle Haven conference room.

4:30 p.m. Roundhill Room
Young Scholars Sessions
The Young Scholars Session provides a forum where undergraduate and graduate students can discuss the ways in which ephemera has informed their studies. Student presentations are lively, varied, and always offer thoughtful insights into the role ephemera has played in American cultural and social history.

Three morning conference sessions: Roundhill Room

8:45 a.m.
Welcome and Introduction
Barbara Loe, Chairman and Bruce Shyer, ESA President

Three morning conference sessions: Roundhill Room

9:00 a.m.
Join the Circus!
Matthew Wittmann, Houghton Library

10:00 a.m. — 10:15 a.m. Break

10:15 a.m.
Niblo Gardens
Ben Feldman

11:10 a.m.
On Tour at the Turn of the Century
Patrick Sweeney

12:10 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
Lunch Break

Four afternoon conference sessions:
Roundhill Room

1:30 p.m.
All That Jazz -- CANCELLED
Hank O’Neal

1:40 p.m.
Lois Weber, of Silent Films
Martin Norden

2:35  p.m. - 2:55 p.m. Break

3:00 p.m.
Winter Carnival in St. Paul
Moira Harris

3:55 p.m.
Competition in the Air 
Art Groten

Also Friday:

• 11:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Dealer Set-up

7–8 p.m. — Silent Auction Preview in Roundhill.

SATURDAY — Ephemera Fair Opens today!
• 8:15 a.m. — Memberships will be sold at the Ephemera Society desk at the entrance to the fair in the Grand Ballroom.

• 9 a.m. — Members-only fair preview ($10) for the Society’s 38th Annual Ephemera Fair in Grand Ballroom. Membership cards will be available at registration desk.

• 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. — Exhibits open in Laddins Rock.

• 10 a.m. — General public entry. Admission is $15.

• 12 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. — Silent Bid Auction in Roundhill. Many Lots. Bid early and often!

• 5 p.m. — Fair closes; reopens 11 a.m. Sunday.

• 5:30 p.m. — Silent Auction final bids close in Roundhill Room.

• 5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. — Cash Bar outside Mead ABC.

• 6 p.m. — Live Auction outside Mead ABC

• 7:00 p.m.Ephemera 38 Banquet and Presentation — Mead ABC. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED. 

After Dinner Presentation
Rock ’n’ Roll all Night
Craig Inciardi, Curator and Director of Acquisitions for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum 


8:45 a.m. Members annual meeting, Roundhill
All members are urged to attend.

9:45 a.m.
A Century of Crosswords Mead ABC
Will Shortz, Crossword editor of The New York Times and Puzzlemaster for NPR 

• 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. — Ephemera Fair in the Grand Ballroom.

• 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. — Exhibits open in Laddins Rock.

• 4 p.m. — Ephemera 38 closes.