See our information on our Printed ephemera collections for hints on locating this unique material.

National Library of Australia News (February 1994) includes an article 'Ephemera: A lasting transcience' on the ephemera collections of the National Library.


Originally widely published in newspapers 'The Blood Vote' was also placed directly into letterboxes as part of the anti conscription campaign.

Ephemera is material which is designed to be short lived and which is often not kept by its recipient. The National Library has been collecting ephemera for over 100 years and the collection includes all kinds of material: minor publications and pamphlets as well as leaflets, handbills, invitations, cards, menus and junk mail.

The value of this material for researchers of the First World War is that it records the life of everyday Australians, as well as reflecting their views on an event which touched all aspects of life both at home and abroad. Many of the items date from the first days of the war, and range from the personal sourvenir to the record of public commemoration.

Types of material include leaflets and posters, as well as programs and invitations to First World War related celebrations and commemorations both at home and abroad.

Catalogue search tips

Descriptions for material in the collection are progressively being added to the Library's catalogue.  To find relevant material add 'ephemera' to any keyword search.  Some examples are listed below:

  • 'ANZACS and ANZAC Day ephemera'
  • 'Australian War Memorial ephemera'
  • 'Conscription ephemera'
  • 'Peace celebrations ephemera'
  • 'War Loans World War 1 ephemera'
  • 'World War 1 ephemera'


The Australian War Memorial contains extensive collections of ephemera relating to all conflicts. 

Fragments of the everyday

Stone, Richard. & National Library of Australia.  (2005).  Fragments of the everyday : a book of Australian ephemera.  Canberra :  National Library of Australia

Not sure where to start?