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History | Victorian scrapbooks | Birmingham City Council

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Victorian scrapbook page featuring valentine new year and christmas cards scan

History

Compiling scrapbooks has been a popular pastime for hundreds of years and in the twenty first century has reached a new phase with the ability to create online or digital scrapbooks.

The origins of the scrapbook can be traced back to the ‘commonplace’ book of the fifteenth century which people used to preserve facts and ideas such as herbal remedies, prayers, proverbs or letters. By the eighteenth century these albums also contained printed material, paintings, poems and original writing. Young women of the leisured classes used these sometimes beautifully bound scrapbooks to showcase the talents expected of an accomplished lady.