Featured Acquisitions

Paperless Society

Sudbury Ephemera Archive aims to preserve the papers that are often thrown away and provided the evidence of the social history of life in an East Anglian market town. As we move more and more towards a paperless society many pieces of paper that were important and essential in everyday life are disappearing.

Picture of record sleeve

Sudbury, like many towns and cities today has lost many of the independent shops and once again the commercial side of life is undergoing major changes. We have seen the disappearance of paper bags with the graphic designs identifying the store name and type of business. Now we are seeing the plastic bags disappear and the paper bag being reintroduced. There are examples of the earlier paper bags in the archive.

Picture of record sleeve

Another method of advertising for the independent shop was to have its own personalised packaging. Jewellers had envelopes, often specially decorated for Christmas, as well as printed boxes. Record shops had cardboard sleeves for the discs they were selling. Record sleeves did not have glossy colourful print to entice the purchaser to select the product but were usually brown paper or cardboard overprinted with the name and address of the supplier. 

Picture of record sleeve Picture of record sleeve Picture of record sleeve

As time passes people will forget going to the shop and buying items individually which were then wrapped in paper bags. The use of the car for shopping has already seen the way people place goods purchased straight from the shopping trolley into the car boot. The packaging provides an insight into the economy, art and graphics of the period as well as the day-to-day life style of the community.

For more details of all the items we hold, see our Ephemera Catalogue.

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Previous Featured Acquisitions

Ballingdon Hall (Featured Acquisitions September 2019)

St Peter’s Church (Featured Acquisition June 2019)

The Patchwork Players (Featured Acquisition May 2019)

All Saints Middle School (Featured Acquisition March 2019)

Sudbury Dramatic Society Productions (Featured Acquisition February 2019)

Celebrations and Commemorations (Featured Acquisition December 2018)

Sudbury’s war memorial (Featured Acquisition October 2018)

Donated Photographs part 2 (Featured Acquisition September 2018)

Donated photographs (Featured Acquisition July 2018)

Tickets (Featured Acquisition May 2018)

Eating Habits (Featured Acquisition April 2018)

Advertisements (Featured Acquisition March 2018)

Painters and Paintings (Featured Acquisition February 2018)

The Importance of Photographic Evidence (Featured Acquisition January 2018)

Timetables and Public Transport (Featured Acquisition November 2017)

Thornton’s Estate Agency Property Details (Featured Acquisition October 2017)

Local Adverts (Featured Acquisition August 2017)

The Sudbury Parish Recorder (Featured Acquisition July 2017)

The Sudbury Borough Surveyor (Featured Acquisition June 2017)

Elections (Featured Acquisition May 2017)

Trinity Congregational Chapel – Spite Chapel (Featured Acquisition March 2017)

Property Deeds (Featured Acquisition February 2017)

Town Events (Featured Acquisition January 2017

Clubs and Societies (Featured Acquisition December 2016)

Sudbury Grammar School (Featured Acquisition November 2016)

Retail (Featured Acquisition October 2016)

Fire! fire! (Featured Acquisition September 2016)

Carnivals, Regattas and Fetes (Featured Acquisition August 2016)

Autograph books from the Belle Vue Red Cross Hospital Sudbury (Featured Acquisition July 2016)

What can we find out from a receipt? (Featured Acquisition June 2016)

The indenture of Henry Brackett, 6th July 1844 (Featured Acquisition May 2016)

Nuisance Books or Inspectors’ Journals (Featured Acquisition April 2016)