The Art of Advertising (2020–2021)
'The Art of Advertising' tells the story of British advertising from the mid 18th century to the 1930s from three perspectives: the development of printing, the birth of commercial art and the extent to which advertising mirrored society. This third theme is explored through subjects such as class, the perception of women, celebrities, royalty, politics, war and local history.
The physical exhibition closed on 31 August 2021. The online exhibition includes images of all exhibits with captions.
The accompanying book, 'The Art of Advertising', addresses the themes of the exhibition through a series of extended essays by Julie Anne Lambert, Michael Twyman, Lynda Mugglestone, Helen Clifford, Ashley Jackson and David Tomkins. 'Vintage Advertising: An A to Z' by Julie Anne Lambert takes a lighter approach to a selection of themes, juxtaposing images of different times and styles.
The John Johnson Collection, 1971
This exhibition showcased the collection (transferred from OUP in 1968) to the world. The catalogue remains the standard work on the collection and its formation, and is available online (PDF, 1.6MB).
A Nation of Shopkeepers, 2001
'A Nation of Shopkeepers: Trade Ephemera' from 1654 to the 1860s in the John Johnson Collection was an exhibition which showcased trade cards, trades and professions prints (which are digitised), and Bill Headings. Themes included The Great Exhibition, Oxford Trade, Juvenilia, and Women in Trade.
The exhibition was accompanied by a website created in 2001, and the website is shown as an example of web ephemera. This was the Bodleian Library's first online exhibition. An archived version of the website is available to view.
Children's Games and Pastimes, 2006
This exhibition drew on the John Johnson, Harding and Opie Collections to showcase the ephemera of children's learning through play, and included board games, paper dolls and protean figures, engraved writing blanks, alphabets, metamorphoses, jigsaws, writing and drawing materials, and a toy theatre. Find out more about this exhibition on our Visit site.