Ephemera are transitory creations which are not meant to be retained or preserved. Its etymological origins extends to Ancient Greece, with the common definition of the word being: "the minor transient documents of everyday life". Ambiguous in nature, various interpretations of ephemera and related items have been contended, including menus, newspapers, postcards, posters, plastic champagne glasses, portable classrooms and stickers.
Since the printing revolution, ephemera has been a long-standing element of everyday life. Some ephemera are ornate in their design, acquiring prestige, whereas others are minimal and notably utilitarian. Virtually all conceptions of ephemera make note of the matter's disposability.
Ephemera has long been collected by the likes of families, hobbyists and curators, with certain instances of ephemera intended to be collected. Literature by collectors and societies has contributed to a greater willingness to preserve ephemera, which is now ubiquitous in archives and library collections. Ephemera has seen academic interest as a beneficial prospect to humanities and in of its self, illustrating or providing insight into diverse matters, such as those of a sociological, cultural or anthropological background.