The John Johnson Collection: an Archive of Printed Ephemera

Project Description:

The John Johnson Collection is the product of a unique partnership between the Bodleian Library and ProQuest to conserve, catalogue and digitise more than 65,000 items drawn from the Bodleian's John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera. Housed in the Bodleian Library in Oxford, the John Johnson Collection is widely recognised as one of the most important collections of printed ephemera in the world and generally regarded as the most significant single collection of ephemera in the UK. It was assembled by John de Monins Johnson (1882-1956), Printer to the University, who was visionary in his preservation of Britain's vulnerable paper heritage. It contains a wide array of rare and unusual materials, which has remained largely unknown to scholars and researchers. The material selected for conservation, cataloguing and digitisation comprises a wide array of different types of printed document, including posters and handbills for theatrical and non-theatrical entertainments, broadsides relating to murders and executions, book and journal prospectuses, popular topographical prints, and a wealth of different kinds of printed advertising material. The resulting online collection will form an invaluable resource for researchers interested in the histories of consumption, leisure, gender, popular culture, commerce, technology, crime, and a host of other areas. With each item presented as a full-colour, high-resolution facsimile, the John Johnson Collection will also be indispensable for researchers studying the development of printing and visual culture in modern Britain.

On completion the John Johnson Collection will offer access to more than 65,000 documents (in excess of 150,000 high-resolution colour images). The John Johnson Collection currently provides access to facsimile images of more than 36,000 items (a total of 98,712 images), including more than 14,900 pieces of theatrical and non-theatrical ephemera from the Nineteenth-Century Entertainment category and more than 4,000 items from the Booktrade category. Over 5,200 Popular Prints are now available in facsimile form, along with more than 11,000 items from Advertising and over 840 from Crimes, Murders and Executions.