Ephemera Society UK: Collecting old passports

In collaboration with THE EPHEMERA SOCIETY UK, here another article on old passports and passport collecting. If you collect Ephemera, then you should have a look at the Society’s new webshop, where you can also sign up for a membership for only £35 a year. The Ephemera Society is excited to welcome new members. Annual membership entitles you to the following benefits: Ephemera Society UK passports

  • Four issues of The Society’s acclaimed quality magazine, The Ephemerist, a colorful illustrated 32pp quarterly journal with a reputation as a source of expert information on all aspects of ephemera. It brings together new writing by academics and collectors offering insights into their specialist areas of expertise.
  • The Ephemera Society Handbook which lists names and contact details of fellow members and their specialized collecting interests, as well as a subject index.
  • Early access to The Society’s two Ephemera Fairs each year which promote the discovery of fresh collectible material.

By buying a yearly membership, you will be put on the mailing list to receive the next four issues of The Ephemerist. Issues will arrive in Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter.


Passport Collecting – How to Start?
If you want to become a serious collector of passports, then I always recommend beginners to collect quality instead of quantity! Collecting is a leisure activity, but at the same time, you also invest money, and no matter what you collect quality items are always to prefer as they have value – historically and economically.

What to Collect?
I recommend setting a collection focus which you can extend in time. If you start at the beginning with everything, then you will quickly lose your overview. I focus on German including East
German passports of any period. No ID-Cards or other documents – only passports. Other collectors are looking, e.g., just for diplomatic passports or consular passports (issued abroad). In my collection, I still miss a few German Empire passport booklets of the smaller states like Waldeck-Pyrmont, which are very difficult to find!

Where to Find Old Passports?
Your local flea market might be a good start also online auctions offer such old documents. In time, you will be able to build or join a collector’s community, and then you can even swap documents. The classic auction houses are an excellent source too when it comes to medium and high-end collectibles. Ephemera Society UK passports

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    1. These years are not so often to find. So, yes they are somehow rare. However, the age of a document is only one factor for the value of a document.

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