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A state lottery ticket from 1858.
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Learn More about the Collection

Catch a glimpse into the daily lives of Marylanders past with our Ephemera Collection. As the name suggests, ephemera are typically written or printed items that were expected to only be used for a short time. Despite their temporary nature, these items can provide invaluable primary source material and give us a unique perspective on the past.


Images: Albaugh’s Bill of the Play, January 23-28, 1882, Theatre Ephemera Collection; Maryland State lottery ticket (inset), 1858, Lottery Tickets and Advertisements Ephemera Collection

Our Ephemera Collection holds over 1 million items encompassing lottery tickets, playbills, and invitations, to billheads, menus, tobacco labels, matchbooks, and a myriad of additional written and printed materials.

Visit our Digital Collections to view some of the items from our ephemera collections.

The Ephemera Collection is broken down into series and arranged chronologically or alphabetically within each series. View the Finding Aid Database to learn more about what is in the collection and request items for research.

Your History Lives Here

Since 1844, we have collected, preserved, and interpreted Maryland's diverse history, art, and culture. Visit and see it at the Maryland Center for History and Culture.

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