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History of Scrapbooking

I recently came across an interesting article regarding scrapbooking on Century Photo.com For those of you engaged in this fabulous hobby, you may be interested in knowing a bit about its history.

From Centuryphoto.com:  

ALL ABOUT SCRAPBOOKING

Scrapbooking today is one of the fastest growing hobbies in the United States, and across the globe. Those who engage in scrapbooking range from individuals who put together simple photo albums, to scrapbooking enthusiasts who utilize specially designed albums to store and display their printed memorabilia, along with a large variety of embellishments.

So what is scrapbooking?

Simply put, scrapbooking is a hobby in which printed memorabilia – photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings, stamps, letters, and any other type of printed paper product – is contained within an album, usually with some type of design on the album cover, its pages, or decorative elements added through personal or purchased products. These can include stickers, decorative paper or die-cut designs, lettering stencils, or a host of other products.

So when did scrapbooking begin?

It's difficult to trace the exact origins of scrapbooking. The history of scrapbooking may possibly date as far back as ancient Greece. But it can be said that one of the earliest forms of scrapbooking that closely mirrors today's modern scrapbooking hobby is the collection of newspaper clippings. In the 1800’s, President Jefferson engaged in this activity, compiling several albums of newspaper clippings. Many individuals also did the same, adding drawings and other materials to their own albums. It was at this point in time that albums designed specifically for this purpose began to emerge on the market, along with journals and friendship albums.

In 1826, a book was published entitled “Manuscript Gleanings and Literary Scrapbook”. Written by John Poole, the book featured an instructional guide on how to display personal memorabilia, such as poems, letters, and pictures. These items were termed “scrap”.

This was a huge turning point in the history of scrapbooking. It created a scrapbooking craze in America, and even Mark Twain became a serious scrapbooking enthusiast, whose albums later sold for thousands of dollars.

The allure of keeping an album filled with preserved memories of personal and important events held sway over many, and these albums easily became cherished family items. But the introduction of photography in the mid-1800’s was instrumental in changing the future of scrapbooking.

Alongside scraps of paper with ornate designs and various colors, and preprinted pages embellished with various images relating to specific themes, consumers could now also find albums fitted with pockets to insert photographs.

However, following World War I and the recession, coupled with a massive production of photo albums as photography became more commonplace, the interest in scrapbooks faded. The spark was renewed in 1980 by Marielen Christensen of Spanish Fork, Utah. At the World Conference on Records in Salt Lake City, Marielen displayed over fifty volumes of her own scrapbook collection and the personally designed pages therein. When Marielen saw what a stir her collection had created, she published a scrapbooking how-to book called Keeping Memories Alive, and opened her own scrapbooking store.

Numerous additional scrapbooking publications began surfacing in the mid-1990's, and the Internet helped to spread the movement even further across America and other countries. Stores selling scrapbooking supplies, and shops devoted wholly to scrapbooking also increased as scrapbooking fever spread tremendously amongst the populace. Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands of websites focusing on scrapbooking, and large scrapbook communites that meet online or in person at homes, scrapbook stores, or even cruises.

To the novice interested in scrapbooking, the amount of products available can seem overwhelming, but the most important item to focus on first is of course the album itself. Even choosing an album can sometimes seem daunting, as there is such a wide variety to choose from. An important feature of an album is its archival quality. Standard photo albums and lesser quality scrapbook albums will not be able to properly preserve photographs and other memorabilia, keeping them in their original state.

Older scrapbook albums were not “acid-free” albums, which unfortunately caused the photos and other items contained within them to be damaged over a period of time. Newer, quality-made scrapbook albums and materials are designed to protect and preserve memorabilia.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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