Scrapbooks, albums & notebooks: an act of leisure, a document of leisure, a labour of leisure

Carson, J and Miller, R ORCID: 2011, Scrapbooks, albums & notebooks: an act of leisure, a document of leisure, a labour of leisure , in: Recording Leisure Lives: Everyday Leisure in twentieth century Britain, 19th April, 2011, Bolton Museum and Art Gallery. (Unpublished)

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"Thus, scrapbooks serve as particularly useful sources; not only can they reveal culture through their compilation of ephemera, but they also illustrate an individual’s interaction with that culture." (Kuipers, 2004: 87) Scrapbooks, albums and notebooks share a commonality: they capture a narrative that is often disjointed, constructed from scraps and fragments that are perhaps undervalued outside the framework of these forms. This ephemeral material has a dual relationship to leisure; the production of it is a leisure activity in its own right, but it is also the manner in which a leisure activity might be recorded and archived. Collaborative artists Carson & Miller have examined a collection of scrapbooks, albums and notebooks in order to produce their recent publication Scrapbook (the story of things). This collection is held at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections , and incorporates a range of artefacts of this nature collected by Sir Harry Page . The numerous volumes vary in respect of their authorship and content, demonstrating the fluidity and flexibility of these forms which cross age groups, gender, nationality and time. This paper unfolds from the premise of these explorations, considering examples of this form: the amateur travel journal, the commercially produced souvenir album, the scrapbook that records the maker’s personal life or captures a child at play. Carson & Miller will examine the relationship between the leisure inherent within the production of a scrapbook, album or notebook and how these forms subsequently behave as a document of leisure. "Then there is, of course, the work of producing the scrapbooks [...] where often the mass produced empty scrapbook is filled with the products and effects of an individual’s work of ripping, cutting, glueing, writing and drawing." (Allmer, 2009: iii) Finally, Carson & Miller will consider the tension between the notion of leisure that is attached to this activity and the “work” that is at its heart. (1) Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections - (2) A former City Treasurer of Manchester and prolific collector of a range of scrapbooks, notebooks, albums and commonplace books as well as other ephemera.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Schools > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Refereed: No
Related URLs:
Depositing User: JR Carson
Date Deposited: 17 May 2011 11:11
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 19:56
References: Kuipers, Juliana M.(2004) 'Scrapbooks: Intrinsic Value and Material Culture', Journal of Archival Organization, 2: 3, 83 — 91. Allmer, P. (2009) On Being Touched, Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections.

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