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Long Eighteenth Century in the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera: The catalogues

A guide to accessing ephemera and prints from the Long Eighteenth Century in the John Johnson Collection, with a particular focus on historians and students of English Literature

Finding your way around the catalogues

The Eighteenth Century

18th century coverage is very good. You just need to know where to look!

Most  18th century letterpress items in the John Johnson Collection were catalogued at the British Library for the original Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue, now the English Short Title Catalogue (ESTC) . This means that, where a box of John Johnson Collection material is uncatalogued, the 18th century items within it probably are.

You can find the records on ESTC. The location is only given as: bO = Oxford University Bodleian Library (includes The Vicar’s Library, ST. Mary’s Church, Marlborough) - Oxford, England.   They are also on SOLO, where they are identified as John Johnson Collection, sometimes with a shelfmark.  So, to find material in the John Johnson Collection relating to the East India Company, for example, search JJ East India Company in SOLO.  However, be aware that engraved items are excluded from ESTC.

These records are also present in the John Johnson online catalogue, but at a very minimal level.  You can, if you wish, search the Johnson online catalogue by ESTC number (Browse, set scroll bar to Reference numbers and input the number in the form: estc t19101). To order materials, please contact the Librarian of the John Johnson Collection.

Playbills, Prints and engraved Trade Cards are all excluded from ESTC but have been catalogued and digitised as follows:

Playbills.  All records are on the John Johnson Collection online catalogue. For the 18th century, images are on the JJ online catalogue and through Digital Bodleian (18th century Entertainment project).  For the 19th century, the images are only available through The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera (ProQuest). This can be freely accessed from anywhere in the UK.

Prints  These fall into three categories:  Political Cartoons, Trades and Professions Prints, and Popular Prints.  Political Cartoons and Trades and Professions Prints are avalable through the John Johnson Collection online catalogue and through the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS). VADS offers a better browse facitlity, but the data is richer through the Johnson online catalogue.  Popular Prints are available through The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera (ProQuest). The records (without images) are also in the Johnson online catalogue.

Trade Cards.  These are catalogued (with images) in the Johnson online catalogue.. They also formed the basis of the 2001 Bodleian exhibition: A Nation of Shopkeepers. The catalogue for this (with images of all the exhibits) is online.

The Nineteenth Century

19th century material is simpler: for records of everything (except Ballads and the Toyota Project) see the John Johnson Collection online catalogue.

For Advertising, 19th century Entertainment, Popular Prints, Crime, Murdersand Executions, and (some) Booktrade, see The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera (ProQuest).   Do use quick search in this resource. You will be rewarded by lots of (often unexpected) cross-references. For example, there are .730 references to Napoleon, none of which are from French Wars and Revolutions.

The Connoisseur

Composite print titled The Connoisseur. The image of the lady is made up of prints

(C) John Johnson Collection: Trade in Prints and Scraps 2 (1)