In the Aftermath of 9/11: A New York City Paper Ephemera and Autograph Collector's Journey

  • By Mr390
  • 431 Items
Beginning the morning of September 11, 2001, I started a unique event-specific paper ephemera and autograph collection - zeroing in on New York City area events I would be working at or attending on my own from then on - occasions which I knew were going to be created and held throughout the area to address a myriad of approaching 9/11-related issues (Those issues turned out to be: recovery, security, war, health, peace, WMD, media support of the wars, civil liberties, war costs, remembrance, rebuilding the World Trade Center, war deaths, Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse, torture, and more).

The result: I was present at over 220 New York City area events, some historic; I witnessed in action political and other figures in from across the globe, U.S. and New York; and these events took place throughout the tri-state area.

At them I secured over 3,000 event materials/handouts and the signatures of around 500 participants. I also obtained over 30 press kits from organizations like NYC Recovers, Tribute WTC Visitor Center, the 9/11 Commission, Americans for Victory over Terrorism, International Commission of Inquiry on Crimes Against Humanity Committed By The Bush Administration, Not In Our Name, the West Point Military Academy and others.

The archive includes the largest collection of post-9/11 anti-war memorabilia in the U.S. (from four major anti-war actions that occurred here), and some of the non-autographed event memorabilia I gathered came from events which featured President George W. Bush, U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney, Iraq president Jalal Talabani, Afganistan President Hamid Karzai, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, New York Senator Hillary Clinton, U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, and others.

I finally ended my collecting efforts seven years and one day later.

It is a paper history unlike any other out there - one which documents not only my aftermath story, but also how the World, U.S. and New York City reacted to the attacks.

Thank you for looking it over. Michael Ragsdale
Joe M

Hi Michael, I read your post on the AAMG group page on LinkedIn and was very interested in your efforts to establish a museum on the West Coast to house your ephemera collection documenting the aftermath of 9/11. I currently work for a private collection of art, antiquities, books and manuscripts in France and Switzerland, and would be keen to help out. I had a few initial ideas, and if you would like to discuss these in further detail, let me know how I can contact you directly.

Sadly, yet another signee within my collection has passed away. Former New York Representative Major Owens. Check out the event I saw him speak at and materials I got him to autograph on page 15 - especially his handout, Rap Poems For Peace.

My latest comment about the collection: After going through it, author Myron Magnet stated, "Goodness, how quickly the emotions of that awful time come flooding back with undiminished vividness!" Thanks for looking it over Myron.

Because he has been in the world spotlight, I bring your attention to my Kofi Annan autograph (on page one). He recently stepped down as a special envoy to resolve the conflict in Syria, and has a new book out titled, "Interventions: A Life in War and Peace."

Gore Vidal, a signee is this collection, has died. Look for the press release I got him and Katrina vanden Heuvel to autograph, and a replay of Mr. Vidal's conversation with Leonard Lopate online at:http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/WarBl A year and a half into my collecting effort, it took place at the New York Society of Ethical Culture on May 4, 2003.

Sadly, Dr. Stephen Levin has passed away. He was co-director of the World Trade Center worker and volunteer Medical Screening Program at Mt. Sinai Medical Center, and someone who warned NYC ledership early about the illnesses workers at ground zero could get. Go to page 13 to look for the flier program he autographed for me with others when they were addressing, of course, ground zero worker health.


Fascinating collection. Reveals the myriad personal stories underlying the destruction of the World Trade Center and its aftermath.

I was on Fox News yesterday (Dec. 16, 2010) in a piece called The Rise of Freedom about my first aftermath collection - separate from this one - which is now in possession of the researchers, designers and chief curator at the HQ of the future 9/11 Museum... and is presently being used as they design some of the permanent showcases. You can view the segment called, "The Rise of Freedom:Paper Man" online at: http://www.foxnews.com/on-air/rise-of-freedom/index.html Do share it with others.

Check out my latest two posts when you can, on page 14 of the collection. They are paper materials I got autographed by architect Michael Arad. He is the designer of the 9/11 Memorial now under construction at the World Trade Center site, and is scheduled to open on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 - September 11, 2011.

I have been receiving a good amount of praise for my collecting effort from all over... from historians, authors, professors, librarians, curators, filmmakers, doctors, activists, bloogers, a retired NYPD, NYC firefighter and a NYT journalist. Do tell others about it. Especially those you know who like anything to do with U.S. history.