Or even paper: these days the field has been expanded to include such things as tobacco tins, photographs, radio premiums, textile swatches, vinyl record albums, items made of celluloid or wood. Also included are various items which were indeed likely to be saved, such as wedding invitations, marriage certificates, passports, birth certificates, wills, deeds, divorce papers, stock certificates, promissory notes, and many other vintage documents. The word originally denoted a plant said to last only one day, or an insect with a short lifespan, and hence was applied to a thing of short-lived interest. Current use has been influenced by plurals such as trivia and memorabilia. Ones which have been mailed are valued more highly than ones which were unused.
Ephemera are any transitory written or printed matters that are not meant to be retained or preserved. The word derives from the Greek ephemeros , meaning "lasting only one day, short-lived". The ancient sense extended to the mayfly and other short lived insects and flowers, and for something which lasts a day or a short period of time. In library and information science , the term ephemera also describes the class of published single-sheet or single page documents which are meant to be thrown away after one use.