The History of Scrapbooking

Thu, Sep 23, 2010

Scrapbook Ideas

With a history extending back to Greek and Roman times, scrapbooking is not a modern invention, rather, it has evolved over thousands of years into one of the most popular hobbies of modern times. As early as the 4th Century BC, philosophers were keeping notebooks of discussions, logic, and ideas related to religion, the arts and the sciences. Although these notebooks were not considered a scrapbook, they were precursors to later scrapbooks and were meant to keep a record of what was important to the owner.

By the late Middle Ages and Renaissance period, a practice of keeping commonplace books became popular. These were a way to keep and share information. They were filled with quotes, poems, prayers, illustrations and medical knowledge. Serving as a repository for passages that had personal meaning to the owners, students kept them to record knowledge learned, and people of a literate persuasion could create a lifetime collection of information.

By the middle of the 19th Century, the new invention of photography was used to record family events. Photo albums with carved leather covers and fancy locking mechanisms gained in popularity. Along with mementos such as calling cards, pressed flowers, quotations and prayers, the photograph was incorporated into scrapbooks.

The advent of modern scrapbooking occurred in the 1980s with Marielen Christensen’s display of fifty family albums and later publication of a book about scrapbooking. Archival materials, fancy papers, tools for cutting paper, and a plethora of design ideas launched scrapbooking into one of America’s most favorite pastimes.

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