I have a confession. I collect ephemera for two main reasons. First, I save 50's (and sometimes other) era invitations and note cards for possible future use. If I marry and breed, I've got some killer baby shower invites stored for use. It's reason enough to procreate, really. Secondly, I like to cut. A pair of Fiskars, ye olde X-acto, one of my razor-sharp fingernails...it matters not. I like to cut up paper. And I'm sorry if you now hate me.
From the standpoint of someone who appreciates bygone eras, nostalgia and random beauty found in the odd stamped rail ticket, I can recognize something that needs to be left "as-is." Of course, most of this visual assessment comes from myself, so I figure there may be a possibility that I cut into the uncuttable gem. This is just one of many reasons I'd like to study more on ephemera: to avoid desecrating a gold mine.
What I do cut gets a second chance at life via a recycled, reused, reincarnation. My little mixed-media art assemblages are generally witty, sometimes profound, and usually pretty nice. Every now and again, I make a error in clipping and snipping, and my whack job ends up serving as confetti but fear not, as even that gets used. Waste not, want not.
Many times, I score some worn out books from a Goodwill and snip freely. Occasionally, I find something and have an inkling it's a treasure, so it gets put on a shelf for further study and future admiration. I check out eBay for bulk lots and weed out what seems super special for my own selfish saving and clip other pieces for reborn creations.
Do I deserve to put in ephemera exile? Am I violating cultural laws of preservation? I'd love to hear your thoughts.