Indexes by theme

This is a list of the broad headings of the John Johnson Collection with links to their indexes in PDF format (where available).

To check whether the heading(s) which interest you have been catalogued and/or digitised, consult the list of catalogued and digitised sections.


Advertising is one of the largest and most varied of the main sections of the John Johnson Collection, with 58 subject headings from Advertisers (wrappers of magazine which, normally discarded when the journals were bound, carry advertisements for products and books) to Women's Clothes and Millinery.

Most of this section has been digitised for the JISC-funded ProQuest project The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera.

The Art of Advertising exhibition (2020 – 2021), which showcased a selection of this material, can be browsed online.


The following sections are not digitised:

  • Advertisers
  • Auctions
  • Building Estates
  • Calico Printing
  • Church Furnishings
  • Cookery and Household
  • Electricity and Electrical Appliances
  • Fortnum and Mason
  • Gramophones
  • Horticulture
  • Hotels
  • Housing and Houses
  • Liberty
  • Moveables
  • Musical Instruments
  • Office Equipment
  • Pewter
  • Pottery
  • Publicity
  • Sales by Public Contract
  • Scientific Instruments
  • Shell Mex
  • Silver
  • Television
  • Trade Catalogues
  • Trade Shows.

Art and Architecture

This small section represents the sections which are devoted to art and architecture. Art, especially illustration and commercial and graphic art, can be found throughout the collection. An online guide is in preparation.

You can search our online catalogue and the ProQuest resource The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera by name of artist, by date, and also by the subject of illustration. We use the following iconographic indexing tools: Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials and Iconclass.

(See also Artists' Invitations.)


John Johnson collected three-dimensional artefacts, which complement the two-dimensional ephemera.


  • Beauty Parlour
  • Fans
  • Food and Drink
  • Games and Toys
  • Great Exhibition
  • Household
  • Medals, Badges and Flags
  • Patent Medicines
  • Photographic
  • Playing Cards and Card Games
  • Sewing and Fancy Work
  • Stationery
  • Watches, Clocks and Jewellery
  • Wireless and Gramophone
  • Wood and other artefacts from the JJ Collection at OUP


Art, especially illustration and commercial and graphic art, can be found throughout the collection. An online guide is in preparation.

You can search our online catalogue and the ProQuest resource The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera by name of artist, by date, and also by the subject of illustration. We use the following iconographic indexing tools: Library of Congress Thesaurus for Graphic Materials and Iconclass.

(See also Artists' Invitations.)


Although some sections of the collection are devoted to authors, many of these, except for Dickens and Shakespeare, are small sections. There are many other references to authors, notably in Prospectuses of books and journals, both of which have been catalogued and digitised for the JISC-funded ProQuest project The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera. Playwrights and authors whose works have been dramatised can also be found in the Entertainment section, again with digital images on the ProQuest site. Records (only) for items on the ProQuest site are available through our online catalogue.


John Johnson collected books, maps and music as well as ephemera. Some books were kept within boxes in the collection, either with ephemera or as collections of (often small) books. For books to be findable through Oxford University's online library catalogue (SOLO), they have been removed from the ephemera collection and housed with Johnson books.

This is the case with Chapbooks, Children's Books, Miniature and small books, Moveable books, Penny Awfuls, Penny Dreadfuls, and Song Books. Additionally, books have been removed from Private Presses and from Sex, Population and Eugenics. Lists of such books (where available) will be posted on this page.

Indexes to those sections kept with the collection are linked below.


Albert Smith and Horace Mayhew 
Children's Books 
Christmas Books 
Japanese Silk Books
Miniature and Small Books
Moveable Books 
Nonsense Illustrated 
Novels in Parts
Oriental Books

Pamphlets of 1871
Penny Awfuls 
Song Books
Valentine Writers - Xeroxes

Book Trade and Publishing History

Work is in progress on the Book Trade sections of the John Johnson Collection.  Many book trade trade cards and circulating library labels are catalogued and digitised on the John Johnson online catalogue. Most book jackets are also catalogued (without images).

Post-1801 prospectuses of journals and books and the volume of Trade Sale catalogues (auctions of copyrights, 1718 – 1797) have been catalogued, and digital images are available on the ProQuest site: The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera.

Pre-1801 prospectuses are available on microfiches (see record below) and can be found at M07.F06828 and on the open shelves of the Special Collections Reading Room at R6.201 and Upper Reading Room at A.3.828. There are companion microfiches for pre-1801 prospectuses in the Gough Collection.



The Entertainment section is divided into theatres, arranged chronologically within venue, and other forms of entertainment, arranged by genre.

Most of our theatre material was catalogued for the Backstage Project. This resource is no longer online, but our records are available through our online catalogue. We subsequently digitised all our 18th century Entertainment material for an Oxford Digital Library Project 18th century Entertainment Ephemera, now available on Digital Bodleian.

We have recently completed cataloguing and digitisting our 19th century Entertainment ephemera for the JISC-funded ProQuest project.


Although most of the John Johnson Collection is arranged by subject, several sections contain various forms or genres of ephemera. These are listed below. There is, of course, significant overlap between subject and form. Labels, for example, are arranged by the products they were created for, which in turn are represented in the Advertising sections.

Conversely we assign genre terms to everything we catalogue, using a variety of thesauri.


Match Booklets
Match Box Labels
Match Boxes
Music Titles
Note Headings
Orange Papers 
Paper Bags 
Photographic General 
Playing Cards
Pro Formas, Pre-1700
Rhyme Sheets 
Scrap Album, The 
Song Sheets
Songsters (books)
Songsters folders
Stamp Posters 
Street Ballads 
Tobacco Papers
Trade Cards 
Tradesmen's Lists
Valentine Mounts
Watch Papers
Window Bills
Window Pictures and Transparencies
Writing Masters


John Johnson collected first and special numbers of journals. There are no online indexes to these, but individual titles can be found from a handlist. Please consult the Librarian for assistance.


Annuals (PDF 52kb)
Christmas Numbers, Misc
Christmas Numbers, The Graphic
First Numbers, Academic
First Numbers, Advertising
First Numbers, Annuals, Quarterlies, Fortnightlies
First Numbers, Antiquarian
First Numbers, Arts & Crafts & Collecting
First Numbers, Boy's Papers
First Numbers, Comic
First Numbers, Country Life
First Numbers, Education
First Numbers, Fashion
First Numbers, Foreign
First Numbers, Health
First Numbers, House Journals of the Trade
First Numbers, Juvenile
First Numbers, Local
First Numbers, Magazines
First Numbers, Mainly Oxford
First Numbers, Money and City
First Numbers, Monthlies
First Numbers, Music
First Numbers, Naval and Military
First Numbers, Novelettes
First Numbers, Photography
First Numbers, Poetry
First Numbers, Political
First Numbers, Printers' Journals

First Numbers, Publicity
First Numbers, Religion
First Numbers, Sport
First Numbers, Sunday Papers
First Numbers, Theatre and Film
First Numbers, Trades and Professions
First Numbers, Weeklies
First Numbers, Womens
Great War (Includes 2nd World War)
Magazines in Wrappers, Various 18thc
Miniature Newspapers
Newpaper Advertising
Newspapers and Periodicals Misc
Newspapers Misc
Newspapers, 18th and 19th Centuries
Newspapers, 18th Century
Newspapers, Anniversaries
Newspapers, General Strike (PDF 562kb)
Newspapers, Historical General
Newspapers, Imperial and Colonial
Newspapers, Irish
Newspapers, London
Newspapers, Manx, Scottish, Welsh
Newspapers, Provinicial
Newspapers, Second World War, Misc
Newspapers, The Times
Newspapers, USA and Foreign
Pseudo-Historical Periodicals
Special Numbers, Ceremonial and Commemorative
Times, The

Political, Religious, Social and Economic History

This is one of the largest and most varied sections of the collection and the least catalogued and digitised. Digital projects have focussed on the Political Cartoons (available through the John Johnson online catalogue and VADS (Visual Arts and Humanities Data Service) and Crime, Murders and Executions (available through ProQuest).


Allotments and Smallholdings
Beginnings of Reform
Bible Societies
Boy Scouts 
Canada and New Zealand Companies 
Catastrophes and Phenomena 
City Guilds and Companies
Civic and Municipal Pamphlets
Communist Papers 
Creeds, Parties, Policies
Crimean War 
Daylight Saving 
East India Company
Empire and Colonies   
Farmer and Stockbreeder 
Forms of Service 
Free Trade and Protection 
French Wars and Revolutions
Great War
Land and the People 
Land Tax and Valuation
Land Tax and Valuation (Booklets)
Leaders of Free Thought
Leaders of Reform
Martin, William
Memory Systems 
Military and Naval Pageants
Monarchy and the House of Lords

Murders and Executions Broadsides 
Oxford Group
Oxford Societies, City and County
Parliamentary Lists 
Phoenix Assurance Co.
Phrenology and Cheirology 
Police and Public Security
Poor Law
Prayer Book Warrants
Public Services 
Reform Bills
Religious and Ecclesiastical 
Religious Souvenirs 
Russian Bonds
Salvation Army
Sex, Population, Eugenics 
Social Day, The
Socialist Pamphlets
Societies General
Societies, Charitable 
Societies, Health, Vegetarian
Societies, Missionary 
South African War 
South Sea Company
Spanish Civil War
Stocks and Shares
Street Propaganda
Sunday Observance
Tichborne Case 
Votes of the House of Commons
War (General)
War Emergency Workers' National Committee 
Wellington, Duke of 
Wesleyan Circuits
Women's Suffrage
Youth Hostels 

Postal History and Philately


  • First Air Mails
  • Postal Collection
  • Postcard Collecting (Deltiology)
  • Postcards
  • Postmark Collection
  • Postage Stamps



Printing Processes

As Printer to the University, John Johnson aimed to document printing as well as social history through his collection. There are several sections devoted to printers and printing techniques. However, except for a very few manuscript items, the entire collection represents the products of printing presses, of engraving, of letterpress, lithography and a multitude of 20th century photomechanical processes. Through the online catalogue, we have indexed printers, lithographers, engravers, etc. and have identified the printing processes of most items.


Barnes, Halfhide and Standish
Binders and Binding
Binding Fragments
Calico Printing
Colour Printing
Decorative Printer, The
Early Printed Pages
Embossed Bindings
Engraving: Halfhide and Standish
Engraving on Glass
Fourdrinier Papers
Graphic Processes
Leighton Bros.
Mechanical Composition


Many of the prints in the John Johnson Collection have been catalogued and digitised. Political Cartoons and Trades and Professions and some Fashion prints (notably cartoons) are available through the John Johnson online catalogue and through VADS, where they are cross-searchable with other collections.

The Trade in Prints and Scraps (popular prints), the Trade in Cheap Mezzotints and Lithographs, Scraps, Puzzle Pictures and Window Pictures and Transparencies have all been catalogued and digitised. The images are available through the ProQuest resource: The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera.


There are many prints scattered throughout the collection. Genre terms used to describe these in our online catalogue are: Allegorical prints, Art reproductions, Bird's eye view prints, Book illustrations, Botanical illustrations, Caricatures, Cartoons (commentary), Cityscape paintings, Cityscape prints, Commemorative prints, Costume prints, Drawings, Fashions plates, Fashion prints, Frontispieces, Genre drawings, Genre paintings, Genre photographs, Genre prints, Graphite drawings, Group portraits, Hidden image works, Hold-to-light works, Humorous pictures, Illustrations, Landscape drawings, Landscape photographs, Landscape prints, Marine paintings, Marine prints, Medical illustrations, Metamorphic pictures, Micrographical portraits, Military prints, Myrioramas, Mythological prints, Naval prints, Panoramas, Panoramic views, Performing arts prints, Periodical illustrations, Photographic prints, Pictorial alphabets, Pictorial lettersheets, Picture puzzles, Political Cartoons, Portrait drawings, Portrait paintings, Portrait photographs, Portrait prints, Puns (visual works), Rebuses, Religious pictures, Religious prints, Satires (visual works), Scientific illustrations, Scraps, Scrapbooks, Seascape prints, Sheet music covers, Silhouettes, Sporting prints, Still life drawings, Still life paintings, Still life prints, Technical Illustrations,Tinsel prints, Toy theatre cutouts, Viewbooks, Views, Vignettes, Volvelles, Vues d'optique, Wallpapers, and Writing blanks.


Arundel Society 
Chromoxylography (H Knofler)
Coney (John), Engraved Proofs of Cathedrals 
De Bry 
Japanese Prints
Oil Views

Oxford Caricatures 
Oxford Sketches 
Political Cartoons
Printed on the Ice 
Printsellers' Catalogues
Puzzle Pictures 
Steel Engraving (Victorian) 
Trade in Cheap Lithographs 
Trade in Cheap Mezzotints 
Trade in Prints and Scraps
Trades and Professions
Window Pictures and Transparencies 
Woodcuts of the Sixties
Woodcuts, Hand Coloured
Woodcuts, Specimens
Woodcuts, Tintoretto

Private Presses

This section is properly Private Presses and Publishers. It includes a range of ephemera from early printers as well as the output of private presses, many of whose printers Johnson knew personally. Private printing is an area in which Johnson (who mostly collected retrospectively) collected contemporary material. Books have been removed from these boxes to the Johnson Books sequence, so that they are searchable through the University’s online library catalogue, SOLO.  A list of these books will be posted here.

 Many presses contain very little material, housed in slim folders. Others, such as Curwen and the Pear Tree Press, are large sections, taking up several boxes.



View the Private Presses 'A' index (PDF)

Acorn Press
Alcuin Press
Allen, L C Press
Allenholme Press
American Presses
Anacker Press
Anvil Press
Aquila Press

Arber and Grosart Reprints
Architectural Press
Archaisms, Misc
Arden Press
Argonaut Press
Aries Press
Ashendene Press
Ashlar Press
Asperne Press
Asphodel Press
Astolat Press


View the Private Presses 'B' index (PDF)

Ballantyne Press
Barnicott and Pearce
Baskerville (John)
Baylis (Ebenezer)
Baynard Press
Beaconsfield Press
Beaumont Press
Beissert Press
Bell (John)
Bensley and Bulmer
Birmingham Arts and Crafts
Birmingham Guild
Black (A and C)
Blackamore Press
Blackie and Sons

Blades, East and Blades
Blakeney (E H)
Boar's Head Press
Bodoni Press
Bohemian Press
Boydell (J )
Bradley (Will)
Bremer Press
British Publishers Various
Britton (J)
Broadwater Press
Brooks Press
Bulmer (William)
Burgess of Ramsgate
Burns and Oates


View the Private Presses 'C' index (PDF)

Cambridge University Press
Cameron and Co.
Caprivard Press
Caradoc Press
Casanova Press
Cassell and Co.
Catnach (James)
Caxton Press (New Zealand)
Cayme Press
Centaur Press
Central School of Arts and Crafts
Charnley (Emerson), Newcastle
Chelsea Publishing Co.
Chiswick Press
Chubb (Ralph N)
Cleverdon, Douglas
Cloanthus Press
Cloister Press
Club of Odde Volumes

Cobden-Sanderson (Richard)
Collingwood (S)
Compagnie Typographique
Constable (T and A)
Cooke (Charles)
Corvinus Press
Country Life
Covici Press
Cowell (WS)
Cranach Press
Cresset Press
Crosby (B)
Cuala / Dun Emer Press
Cundee (J)
Cupid Press
Curwen Press
Cygnet Press



View the Private Presses 'D' index (PDF)

Daniel Press
Dartington Hall
Davies (Peter)
De La More
Devana Press
Dixey (H G)
Dolman (Ireland)
Dolphin Press
Donaldson, Alexander
Douglas, David
Dove, John
Doves Press
Dutch Presses
Dwiggins (WA)


View the Private Presses 'E' index (PDF)

Edinburgh Printing
Egerton Press
Egoist Press
Elston Press
English Transitional
Enschede Haarlem
Eragny Press
Essex House Press



View the Private Presses 'F' index (PDF)

Faculty of Arts
Fanfrolico Press
Favil Press
First Edition Club
Fisher (Henry)
Fleuron Press
Florence Press
Fortune Press
Foulis (Robert & Andrew)
Fountain Press
Franklin (Benjamin)
French Modern
Fuller, Temple of Fancy


View the Private Presses 'G' index (PDF).

Gardner of Paisley
Gayton Studio
Gentry (Helen)
German Presses
German Typography
Gill (Eric)
Golden Cockerell Press
Golden Hours Press
Gosnell (S)
Goudy Press
Grayhound Press
Gregynog Press
Gresham Press
Grey Bow Press
Grolier Club
Grolier Society of Great Britain
Gruyon Press
Guthrie (James)


View the Private Presses 'H' index (PDF)

Halcyon Press
Hand and Flower Press
Harbor Press
Harding and Wright
Harris (J)
Haslewood Press
Haworth Press
Hawthorn House
Haycock Press
Hazard of Bath
Heal (& Son)
Henderson and Spalding
Hermes Press

Hesperides Press
High House Press
Hill of Bristol
Hills (Henry)
Hilton (Robert)
Hodgson's and Co.
Hogarth Press
Holinski, Alfred
Hookham Press
Howe Press
Hulbert (Charles)


View the Private Presses 'I' index (PDF)

Ibbett (W)
Institute of Graphic Arts
Institute of Graphic Arts (America)



View the Private Presses 'J' index (PDF)

James Press
Jones (G W)
Jones and Co


View the Private Presses 'K' index (PDF)

Kelmscott Press
King and Queen Press
King's Stone Press
Knight (Charles)
Knight (J) and Lacey
Koch (Rudolph)
Kynoch Press


View the Private Presses 'L' index (PDF)

Laboratory Press (Pittsburg)
Lakeside Press
Landauer (Bella C)
Lane (John)
Lardner (Dr)
Latin Press
Leadenhall Press
Lee Priory Press
Limbird (J)
Limited Editions Club
Lumsden (J)
Humphries (Percy Lund)



View the Private Presses 'M' index (PDF)

Maclin (Thomas)
Major (John)
Mandrake Press
Manor House Press
Marchbanks Press
Malborough College
Mathews (Elkin)
McCreery (J)
McLean (Thomas and Hector)
McPharlin (Paul)
Medici Society
Meredith Press
Merrymount Press
Mill House Press
Miller (William)
Minerva Press
Modern Continental General (Presses)
Molyneux Press
Moor Platt Press
Morison (Stanley)
Morland Press
Mosher (Thomas Bird)
Moxon Press
Moyes (James)


View the Private Presses 'N' index (PDF)

Nash (John Henry)
Nichols (J B)
Nicholson of Totteridge
Nonesuch Press
North Country Printing
Norwich Printing
Nutt (David)




View the Private Presses 'O–Q' index (PDF)

Officina Bodoni see Bodoni
Orpheus Press
Overbrook Press
Oxford University Press
Paladin Press
Pauper (Peter)
Pear Tree Press
Pegasus Press
Pelican Press
Perpetua Press
Phillips (Sir Richard)
Pichon (Leon)
Pickering (William)

Poetry Bookshop
Pony Barn Press
Printing Schools
Priory Press
Private Presses Misc.
Proctor (Robert)
Provincial Presses 1875-1895
Provincial Schools (Printing)
Prowett (Septimus)
Pushkin Press



View the Private Presses 'R' index (PDF)

Rampant Lions
Random House
Raven Press
Relfe (Lupton)
Ritchie (Ward)
Rodker (J)

Rodwell and Martin
Rogers (Bruce)
Rollins (Carl P)
Rota (Bertram)
Roycrofters (USA)
Rudge (William Edwin)


Samson Press

Samurai Press
Schmoller Press
Scholartis Press
Scott (Walter) Co.
Seizin Press
Seven Acre Press
Shakespeare Head Press
Sharpe (John)
Shenval Press
Sherwood, Neely and Jones
Simons (Anna)
Smeeton (George)
Smith (Percy)
Smithers (Leonard)

Society of Printers
Soncino Press
Speight and Walpole
Spottiswoode Ballantyne
St. Dominics Press
Stanhope Press
Stanton Press
Stead (W T)
Stourton Press
Strangeways Press
Straus (Ralph)
Strawberry Hill Press
Studio, The
Sylvan Press
Symonds (HD)


View the Private Presses 'T to Z' index (PDF)

Talbot Press
Talboys Press
Tallone (Albert)
Tarr (John)
Taylor (J)
Tintern Press
Totem Press
Totham Press
Trovillion Press
Vale Press
Van Voorst
Vase Press
Vincent Press

Vine Press
Walker (Emery)
Walpole (Printing Office)
Ward (Marcus) and Co.
Westminster Press
White Owl Press
Whittock (Nathaniel)
Wolpe (Berthold)
Woodstock Press
Woolly Whale
Zeitlin Press





Few sections of the collection are devoted to a geographical area or city, but several are sub-sorted by place, for example: Booktrade; Educational; Noteheadings; Seaside, Lakes and Spas; Theatre, Provincial. The collection is rich in provincial as well as London ephemera and is a good resource for local history. Places are indexed both by venue (where applicable) and town (e.g. Theatre Royal, Newcastle upon Tyne and Newcastle upon Tyne, Theatre Royal). Please note that work remains to be done on standardising the names of towns in the place index.


  • Lichfield
  • Oxford 
  • Sheffield
  • Sheffield Trade

See also Oxford Trade.


The first digital project of the Bodleian Library, the Toyota Project (now archived), focussed on the Motor Car section of the collection. All motoring ephemera was catalogued at a page level. It also includes 1,000 sample images from the other Transport sections, detailed indexes of which were created at the same time.

Motoring in Britain, 1895–1940 by Julie Anne Lambert and Nick Baldwin was published by Toyota City in association with the Bodleian Library, with text in both English and Japanese. The Bodleian Library’s copy is at M99.L00055. There is also a copy in the Japanese Library. In 2010, there was a small display of London Transport posters.

Bridges and Tunnels
Carriages for Hire 
Carts, Coaches and Conveyances
Coach Building 
Harbours, Docks and Piers
London Transport Board 
Motor Cars

Ports and Harbours
Public Highway
Shipping Lines
Shipping, Cunard Line
Toll Gates and Tickets
Tram Tickets

Travel and Holidays

The Travel and Holidays section of the Collection covers Exploration, the Grand Tour and Travel Agencies as well as Guides in various formats. There is much overlap with the Transport section, notably Railways (Excursion bills etc), Shipping Lines and Cunard Lines.

Broadside Guides
Guide Books
Guides Litho
Seaside, Lakes and Spas
Tourist Agencies

Tourist Information
Travel Agents
Travel Booklets
Travellers' Announcements