History of Scrapbooking


Some of you have gotten curious and wonder what’s the scrapbooking history about.

Maybe because you’ve become addicted to this hobby and finally wanted to find out more about its roots and gather some scrapbooking information. Most probably, you’re starting out or have just started scrapbooking for awhile, and wonder does scrapbooking go a long way back? Is it a just a new hobby that has exploded in popularity in the last few years?

Can you believe that more than 150 years ago, people have already been collecting scraps and preserving them in albums? That’s something I’ve learned. But the exact date of when scrapbook started isn’t known.

The Early Years

In 1825, the first serial of scrapbook idea book called “The Scrapbook” was issued. It included ideas on how to use pictures and newspaper clippings to fill a blank scrapbook.
In 1826, a book called Manuscript Gleanings and Literary Scrap Book was published and it’s created by no, not a female but by a male John Poole! It’s a book filled with printed poems and engravings. The book also advised people on how to collect scraps and what to do with the scraps.

This book created a scrapbooking craze among the middle-class Americans.
The first scrapbooks in early 1800s were hardly about preserving photos as cameras weren’t created yet during those days. So what sort of scraps did the people collect in their albums? Mainly mementos such as quotes, poems, calling cards (decorated cards left behind at a friend’s home), religious cards, paper cuts, and other ephemera.

It’s not so much about acid-free supplies or archival-quality then but more about collecting whatever scraps the scrapbooker deemed as “scrap worthy”. You can find newspaper clippings, engraved pictures, advertisements, 
personal notes and love letters in those scrapbooks.
The reasons for scrapbooking then still hold today. It’s about expressing one’s thoughts, feelings and sentiments. 
It’s about preserving memories, special moments and recording family stories. Scrapbooks were cherished and kept by families for many years.

With the surge of interest in scrapbooks, the publishers of scrapbooks, scraps and albums quickly responded to meet the demands. They began producing a variety of products that could be displayed in albums. Products that could be cut and pasted.
Scraps were usually printed pieces of paper with ornate designs. Such colorful pieces of scrap were cut and pasted to decorate and embellish the scrapbooks.
Of course, the invention of photography changed the way people scrapbooked in a big way.

Modern Scrapbooking

In the history of scrapbooking, when did modern scrapbooking of using acid-free and archival materials arrive?
1980 was the turning point in the history of scrapbooking.
That’s when a lady, Marielen Christensen first shared her 50 volumes of her family memory books with others. 
Right at the World Conference on Records in Utah. Her memory books created quite a stir among people. So much so that she went on to open Keeping Memories Alive, the first scrapbooking store.

In mid-1990s, with the explosion of scrapbook idea publications, scrapbooking picked up speed in becoming one of the fastest growing hobbies in America.

Thanks to the Internet, scrapbooking continues to gain popularity and spread to other parts of the world, reaching scrapbookers worldwide. Increasing number of scrapbooking websites popped up all over the Internet, and the once rare local scrapbook stores began to mushroom in numbers.
All these helped to scrapbooking to bloom and flourish. 


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