National Scrapbook Day, celebrated on the first Saturday in May, this year on May 4, has us getting our scissors and glue ready. The process of journaling and recording history to remind us of what has passed is a tale almost as old as time! The first recorded instance of scrapbooking goes way back to the 15th century. People would cut out pictures and make scrapbooks to preserve recipes, landmark addresses, quotations, poems, history, etc. Others also used scrapbooks as a means of predicting what the future may have in store. Scrapbooks, at the end of the day, are much like visual diaries.
History of National Scrapbook Day
While there are no records of when exactly the first National Scrapbook Day was celebrated, it is celebrated on every first Saturday of May. The history of scrapbooks goes back to the 15th century. People would either buy special notebooks or recycle the ones they already had lying around. Scrapbooks were not only objects of historical preservation but they also became an important part of many people’s identities. Some evidence shows that, during the 16th century, people in Europe used scrapbooks as a way of keeping a record of their friendships and relationships. These types of scrapbooks were very similar to the modern-day yearbook, containing people’s signatures, best wishes, quotes, etc. College students, particularly females, would document their college lives.
A well-known figure who was an avid scrapbooker was President Thomas Jefferson. During his tenure from 1801 to 1809, he would collect newspaper and magazine clippings that mentioned the work his administration was doing. A little later on, with Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s invention of permanent photography in 1826, scrapbooking with photographs became all the rage. However, creating photo albums, a cousin of scrapbooks, only became popular much later on, in 1860, as people were of the perception that photos are not to be shared or reproduced for others.
Apart from putting pictures and text into scrapbooks, people would also tape miniature memorabilia into them. A very common example included, and still includes, flowers from either a trip or a loved one. As the years went by, the flower would become pressed and discolored, but the memory of that particular time would remain. Mark Twain, a famous American writer and entrepreneur, capitalized on the popularity of scrapbooks by bringing out notebooks with special nooks attached to the pages for easy photo and memorabilia storage.
National Scrapbook Day timeline
Companies start selling special edition themed scrapbooks to the masses.
During the periods of WW1 and WW2, scrapbooking becomes a popular hobby for many as they document the dangerous and unpredictable times around them.
Scrapbook sales boom in the U.S.
With the advent of the digital age, digital scrapbooks replace manual ones with the latter’s sales dropping drastically.
National Scrapbook Day FAQs
What is in a scrapbook?
“Scrapbooking is a method of preserving, presenting, and arranging personal and family history in the form of a book, box, or card. Typical memorabilia include photographs, printed media, and artwork. Scrapbook albums are often decorated and frequently contain extensive journal entries or written descriptions,” defines Wikipedia.
How do you make a scrapbook?
The best thing you can start by doing is brainstorming about your future goals, passions, what’s important to you in relationships, etc. Once you land on a decision, you can start by pinning down photographs or other paraphernalia that remind you of this.
Is scrapbooking still a thing?
“Yes and no. The scrapbooking that we knew of ten and fifteen years ago is dead. And many people did quit scrapbooking. Today, local scrapbooking stores are hard to find, and big box stores that once dedicated aisles to the hobby are now on to the next big thing,” according to Scrapbooking Bee.
National Scrapbook Day Activities
Make a scrapbook
Preserve the memories you have by revisiting photos and then putting them into a scrapbook. Once that scrapbook is full, you can start the next one with new memories. Enjoy the moments that have passed.
Revisit an old completed scrapbook
Take out an old scrapbook or album from your attic to revisit bygone times. Relive those moments and see how far you have come today. A dose of nostalgia never did anyone any harm.
Gather your loved ones for scrapbooking
Be it online or offline, gather your friends and family for a session of scrapbooking. Not only will the activity be more fun when you are doing it with others, but it will also be a great time for you all to reminisce and talk about your hopes for the present and the future.
5 Facts About Journaling That Will Blow Your Mind
Journaling improves immunity
Studies show that journaling can help boost your immunity by improving liver/lung functions and reducing blood pressure.
Journaling improves memory
Journaling regularly helps improve your memory muscles by increasing your working memory capacity and comprehension skills.
Journaling exercises IQ
Journaling helps increase your IQ because writing as an exercise aids in language learning, which, in turn, shows a positive correlation with intelligence.
Journaling disciplines you
By making journaling a habit, you are disciplining yourself by ensuring you commit to making something a regular part of your life.
Journaling reduces anxiety and depression
Journaling keeps track of your emotions, often revealing the root cause of what might be causing you to feel anxious or depressed.
Why We Love National Scrapbook Day
It’s a celebration of good memories
Life, in essence, is a box of all the memories that we have experienced — the good, the bad, and the in-between. Preserving the good ones takes us back to those times, helping us relive those moments and the lessons we learned from them.
It’s a celebration of creativity
Taking snapshots of life and then preserving them in beautiful ways is an aesthetic many of us live for nowadays. Human creativity has no bounds. Creativity helps us innovate and preserve new things and old, giving them a new identity.
It’s a celebration of history
By preserving history, not just ours but the rest of the world’s, we are taking part in making the planet a better place for future generations. Future generations can learn from our perseverance (and mistakes) to make a better life for themselves.
National Scrapbook Day dates