Marlena Jabłońska, Problem definicji druków ulotnych gromadzonych w archiwach, w: Archeion, t. 105, wyd. NDAP, Warszawa 2003, ss. 180-191
"Marlena J a b ł o n´ s k a, Definition issues of ephemera collected in the archives. Though ephemera
have been collected in the state archives for several decades, archivists are still trying to overcome
a number of subject-oriented and substantive problems. The lack of an official terminology and typology
result in doubts as to the subject of elaboration.
Polish archive dictionaries totally neglect such terms as affiche, poster, leaflet or ephemeral prints
while international dictionaries provide general definitions and do not differentiate between the concept
of an affiche and a poster, omitting the terms leaflet and ephemera at all. In order to avoid inconsistencies
and terminological errors, one should consider the definition of terms and the establishing of typology.
In the archivist’s approach, ephemera are printed materials of a very brief currency combining the
content and iconography, of social and cultural character, produced by different groups of interest. This
term is superior and general and covers affiches, posters, leaflets, as well as other ephemera rarely
appearing in the state archives.
The terms affiche and poster were borrowed from fine arts, where an affiche is a piece of printing and
graphic art which evolved between the 17th and the 18th centuries as a means of advertising marked by
moderate form, minimum of graphic elements and modest ornamentation. Those materials are
promotional but first of all informative. If addressed to the public, they should transfer essential content,
play the role of announcements and act as a link between the provider of information and a receiver
The poster, according to the dictionary of fine arts is an artistic genre of applied graphics performing
advertisement, propaganda and agitation functions. It has developed its own character based on the rules
of psychology and analysis of association processes. It is a print influencing the receiver through the
picture, drawing, photograph and emotions triggered out by an aesthetic impression.
A leaflet combines the elements of an affiche and a poster since it transfers information both through
text and image. Mostly used as a tool of agitation and propaganda. Frequently, the author is unknown,
particularly when the leaflet has a humiliating or ridiculing nature.
However, the basic characteristics of a leaflet is reduced form and an individual receiver: a leaflet is
not exposed in public places, placed on newsboards, but rather passed from hands to hands."
Źródło: Archeion, t. 105