Marielen Wadley Christensen (pronounced as the names "Mary Ellen"), of Elk Ridge, Utah, United States (formerly of Spanish Fork, Utah) is credited with turning scrapbooking from what was once just the ages-old hobby into the actual industry containing businesses devoted specifically to the manufacturing and sale of scrapbooking supplies. She began designing creative pages for her family's photo memories, inserting the completed pages into sheet protectors collected in 3-ring binders. By 1980, she had assembled over fifty volumes and was invited to display them at the World Conference on Records in Salt Lake City. In 1981 Marielen and her husband Anthony Jay ("A.J.") authored and published a how-to booklet, Keeping Memories Alive, and opened a scrapbook store in Spanish Fork that ended up with the same name, that remains open today.
Following the lead of Keeping Memories Alive (which was originally in the smaller building next door and named The Annex in its early years), many other stores have popped up and cater to the scrapbooking community. These shops provide many of the necessary tools for every scrapbooker's needs. Besides Keeping Memories Alive, these include companies such as Creative Memories, Making Memories, Stampin' Up!, and Close to My Heart.
The following photographs show some of the pages from a "Memorial of Friendship" scrapbook kept by Anne Wagner, a British woman, between 1795 and 1834. She belonged to the same social circle as the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley. Anne Wagner's scrapbook includes pages she created, as well as contributions from friends and relatives. The scrapbook contains handwritten poems, notes left by friends and relatives, and decoupage ephemera like locks of hair, decorative paper clippings, ribbons, and detailed watercolour sketches.
For example, college women around the turn of the century used scrapbooks extensively to construct representations of their everyday life as students. Without photograph albums to provide images of these life events, students created unique representations through scrapbooks in order to illustrate their lives using ephemera and memorabilia. A guest list or group of visiting cards might represent a young woman’s visit to a party. A playbill and ticket stub might serve as reminders of a trip to New York to see a Broadway show. Solid objects such as plants, silverware, or small trinkets were also used when further visual representation was needed.