The Scrap Album - Site Guide
The Scrap Album - Introducing the drawing-room archive: the cherished treasure of the 19th century

Album page compiled by Emily Stregen
Fourth Sammelsurium Freiwaldau 1876
Album writings
Album page created, and entries, by artist Emily Stregen (1817-1886)



In the sixteenth century the commonplace book was used to record “good sayings and notable observations”, for the owner it served as a personal repository of wisdom and information.

The development of scrap books and albums date from the 18th century, they contained a wide variety of printed material, as well as paintings, drawings and “...a medley of scraps, half verse and half prose and somethings not very like either, where wise folk and simple alike to combine, and you write your nonsense, that I may write mine.”

With its elaborately embossed binding the scrap album or scrap book was an object of admiration, giving endless and pleasant recreation for its owner. Early albums, compiled mainly by young ladies of some social standing, were neatly arranged with poetry and original writings, often florid and sentimental together with the other accomplishments expected of every intelligent and well informed young lady - drawing and painting. Suitable items were added with care and enthusiasm for when the book was complete it would be her most precious possession commanding a place next to the family bible upon the drawing-room table.

From the mid 1860s Valentines and Christmas cards, with their paper laced and embossed decorations, colourful scraps and beautifully printed chromolithographs provided a ready supply of material for pasting into albums. These items of printed ephemera lovingly preserved as mementoes in those “great swollen scrapbooks” have survived into the twenty-first century to delight our eyes and minds.

Within this site the visitor will find refreshing imagery from the Victorian era which is suitable for young and old alike, so please take a look - the past is waiting to be revealed.



Albums & Scraps
Saint Valentines Day
Easter & Fairyland
Christmas & New Year
Printed Ephemera