Catalogue the ephemera collection

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There are 6 archival boxes of “ephemera”, spineless works as Benjamin Forster has described them, in The Frontyard Library collection. We estimate that there are about 900 items in the boxes. Benjamin has been through all the boxes, but there's no general knowledge or documentation of what these items are. They have not been catalogued. The boxes currently live inside the library vitrine.

On the 27th, September, 2017, a small group at Frontyard kicked off a process to create a catalogue of these ephemera items.

In mid-October 2017 some of the people who gather at Frontyard went on an off-yard excursion to maintain a ‘Frontyard table’ at VOLUME 2017: Another Art Book Fair at Art Space in Wolloomooloo, Sydney.

Benjamin made a book of the photos taken of the items as part of the cataloguing process at the book fair.


The boxes that the ephemera currently sit in are too heavy to lift and there's no way to know what's inside them, except to take out all the items. This makes this part of the collection totally inaccessible. We think more people should be able to work with this collection, and we think it needs to be physically easier to handle as a starting point.

So we want to reorganise to collection into some kind of storage solution that enables people to open a box knowing that something they're looking for will be inside. We think that before designing and building this solution, we need to know what's in the boxes. We'd like to design a system that responds to the context the collection finds itself in. Our first step to inviting people to contribute to this design is to discover what is in the collection by cataloguing it.


We need to set up some backup system of our catalogue and the item cover photos. Sending them over to the Internet Archive using something like could be a good solution.