Scrapbooks as we know them today became popular around 1825.  “Scraps” were printed offcuts which became more attractive to collect in the late 1790s with the advent of colour printing, and these were collected by people who saved them and stuck them in books.  Other ephemeral items of everyday life, such as newspaper cuttings, prints, printed scraps and engravings and, later in the 19th century, photographs were also stuck in scrapbooks as a way of collecting, or saving, them.  Whilst some scrapbooks were simply collections of items which appealed to the owner, others were annotated with notes and some were more like illustrated diaries.

CH has had several dedicated compilers of scrapbooks in which ephemera relating to the school has been saved. One key benefit of scrapbooks is that they preserve ephemeral items which would otherwise be lost.  A second key benefit is that they save ephemera in a coherent and systematic way which enhances the value of items which, looked at individually, would be of less interest.  

Some scrapbooks in the collection consist of items on particular themes, such as a set of three scrapbooks containing printed musical pieces from the years 1923 to 1940, including recitals at CH, whilst others record special events, such as the quatercentenary celebrations in 1953, or relate to a particular person, such as Charles Lamb or Sir Pierre Cavagnari.

Towards the end of the 18th century, a practice developed of adding printed material to published books, a practice known as extra-illustrating or “Grangerising”, so named after the Rev William Granger who first published a book in 1769 in which he included some blank pages for this purpose.  The museum has some fine extra-illustrated books in the collection, including a book which was extended to four volumes by John Thomas Bell, Head master of CH, Hertford from 1880 to 1902.

The image on the left is of one of nine volumes kept by CH, Hertford in which a handwritten account of every year from 1897 to 1985 was given by the Head Girl, with copious ephemera stuck in.