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John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera for English Literature students: Home

How to use printed ephemera from the John Johnson Collection in the study of English literature

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students/researchers studying English Literature at the University of Oxford and elsewhere, although students/researchers from any field may find it useful.

Use this guide to find out how to find playbills, prospectuses, etc. in the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera.

A Gaiety Girl. Theatrical souvenir (Dudley Hardy)


Cover by Dudley Hardy for the theatrical souvenir of A Gaiety Girl

(C) John Johnson Collection: Theatrical Souvenirs (1)


The John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera has many resources for the study of literature. This guide will show you how to maximise the potential of the Collection for your research and to identify what is and what is not online.

It is not intended that this Guide should replace the John Johnson Collection website, where all general and user information can be found.



To get you started

How can you use the John Johnson Collection?

Here are two excellent examples:

Clive Hurst's 2012 exhibition: Dickens and his world used ephemera from the John Johnson Collection extensively to contextualise Dickens novels. Missed the exhibition?  Have a look at the accompanying book, The curious world of Dickens by Clive Hurst and Violet Moller.

Dame Professor Marina Warner's essay Imagining the Orient goes far beyond its theme in showing how ephemera can inform the literary historian.

Key web sites


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Jo Maddocks
Department of Special Collections,
Weston Library,
Broad Street,
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