JISC Funds Partnership of ProQuest CSA and Oxford University Library Services

Mar 09, 2007


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The Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) has announced that it will fund a partnership between ProQuest CSA and Oxford University Library Services (OULS) to digitize more than 65,000 items from the Bodleian Library's John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera.

Housed in the Bodleian Library at Oxford University, the John Johnson Collection is a collection of printed ephemera, and one of the most significant single collection of ephemera in the UK. Containing 1.5 million items ranging in date from 1508-1939, it spans the entire range of printing and social history. It was assembled by John de Monins Johnson (1882-1956), printer to the University, who was visionary in his preservation of Britain's paper heritage. The project will make available rare or unique archival materials documenting various aspects of everyday life in Britain in the nineteenth century and before. The collection features posters and handbills for theatrical and non-theatrical entertainments, broadsides relating to murders and executions, book prospectuses, popular topographical prints, and different kinds of printed advertising material. The collection will form a resource for researchers interested in the histories of consumption, leisure, gender, popular, and commerce. As each item will be presented as a full-color facsimile, it will also be for researchers studying the development of printing and visual culture in the age of industrialization and mass advertising.

The project will make a selection of materials from the John Johnson Collection available throughout the UK. Investment by the JISC and OULS will cover the costs of digitization and cataloguing, including conservation costs associated with digitization, while ProQuest CSA will bear the cost of interface development and long-term sustainability. The online collection will consist of five different categories of material: nineteenth century entertainment material; booktrade material; popular prints; crime, murders, and executions; and advertising.

(www.proquest.com; www.csa.com; www.jisc.ac.uk; www.bodley.ox.ac.uk)