What is Ephemera & how does it relate to music? Ephemera is a broad collection of disposable items such as post cards, ticket stubs, sheet music and programs, or fragile paper products of historical significance. Ephemera can also consist of buttons or pins that are not made of paper. The collection of ephemera provides a historical record of American culture.
You can see our picture gallery of sheet music dating from the mid 1800s to early 1900s. These selections are categorized according to the guitar, banjo or mandolin and can be viewed in each of the studios. In some cases, the sheet music will pertain to more than one instrument.
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The presentation of the sheet music is to demonstrate the historical journey that the instruments have taken. In the 1800s, the popularity of minstrel show is prevalent and the unjust portrayal of the African American can be seen in these artifacts. Yet, the sheet music is a record of the history of music and the origin of these instruments.