Documents and Ephemera

Documents and ephemera are metaphors for the value and context of select information imparted through the publication. The style, format, form and content alters for each document or piece of ephemera to appropriately reflect this value and context. This design response came about when I acknowledged that a major part of my grandparents’ immigration experience was physical documentation — tickets, official documents and other analog recordings. Even today, they record information on paper — address books, calendars and notebooks. The notion of recording information through documents and ephemera is best understood in my context through the words of Lisa Gitelman who writes that

Things, value, and people circulate: they move through space and across borders, from and to, out and in; they get caught and kept, or they pause and pass… recorded in increments and thus amid intervals.

— Lisa Gitelman, Paper Knowledge 2014

Just as documents and ephemera were relied on by my grandparents through their migration, so too are they relied on to navigate through the publication. A new chapter is titled with the participant’s name, the number of the chapter and a sentence on said participant’s current living situation. It made sense to format this information as an address book page.

The passport gives form to information such as the place of birth, date of birth and full name of the individual.

Small labels catalogue the objects photographed with names, descriptions and numbers.

© Emily Kraljevic 2021