Over the past 20 years, scrapbooking has grown from an obscure, kitschy craft stereotypically practiced by grandmothers and Mormons, to an economic powerhouse practiced by men and women of all walks of life. Though economically scrapbooking has leveled off, it is still an incredibly popular hobby. Scrapbooking involves arranging photographs, journaling a story, and placing embellishments (e.g., stickers), memorabilia (e.g., a ticket stub), or both on archival paper and then placing the page in a scrapbook album (i.e., an album specially designed to hold scrapbook pages) telling a story about a life or a subject in a way a conventional photo album does not.
I realize that some of my readers are not scrapbookers, so I will try to define scrapbooking-related terminology the first time they are used. Posts with definitions will include the tag “definition” so that later, you can click on the tag “definition” and find the definition of the term when I use it and don’t define it at all. Now, a few terms used in the first paragraph:
Journaling: the words on the scrapbook page that tell the story of the photographs.
Embellishments: decorations such as a sticker, chipboard, or ribbon; embellishments are items included in the scrapbook that are not the paper background, photographs, or journaling.
Memorabilia: items collected from everyday life serving as souvenirs, such as ticket stubs or wedding invitations.
Archival paper: paper especially designed for use in scrapbooks that is acid-free and lignin-free. Acid and lignin are both naturally occurring in wood and will damage and degrade photographs over time.
What did I do?
For my dissertation, I interviewed 38 scrapbookers, 10 family and friends of scrapbookers, and 11 industry workers. I also reviewed a selection of scrapbook pages with the scrapbooker and his or her family or friend. In a future post, I will provide a more detailed breakdown of the demographics of my sample.