Modern ephemera

How do we define modern ephemera?

In the context of the John Johnson Collection, modern ephemera are post-1960 (the nearest decade to Johnson's death in 1956). Broadly, single items of pre-1960 ephemera acquired since Johnson's death have been added to the original collection (annotated to distinguish them from ephemera collected by Johnson). Post-1960 ephemera are kept in a separate sequence. 

General information about modern ephemera

  • John Johnson collected retrospectively, but when his collection came to the Bodleian in 1968 a decision was taken to collect contemporaneously.
  • There is a gap in our holdings in most areas from 1939 (Johnsonís cut-off date) to the late 1960s.
  • Material from the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s is generally not yet sorted to a level to enable access.
  • Material from the mid-1980s onwards has been sorted. This list shows the main categories of post-1960 ephemera. Please contact the Librarian of the John Johnson Collection for further information about access.

Named collections

Since Johnson's death, we have also acquired Named collections, both pre- and post-1960. These are substantial donations usually relating to a specific theme or genre of ephemera. 

Bulkeley (Protest)

Jones (Protest)

Pateman (Protest)

Kay Robertson (paper napkins)

Golden Jubilee (PDF 82.8 kb)


Oxford University Societies (see below)

Oxford Jewish Congregation

Private Presses (post-1960)

Oxford University Society ephemera

John Johnson collected a small corpus of material relating to Oxford University Societies. Since the Collection came to the Bodleian, we have made every effort to acquire material of all kinds relating to Oxford University Societies, notably by collecting at Freshers' Fair each year and distributing a letter (now by email) asking societies to donate material, printed and manuscript, to the Bodleian. The corpus of ephemera is now large.  The sequence also includes non-confidential material (term cards and posters) originally submitted to the Proctors.

The Oxford University Society index is now online. There are also indexes to holdings of minutes, record and account books, etc in the Department of Western Manuscripts. Journals, newsletters etc are catalogued and can be found through SOLO (Search Oxford Libraries Online).

If you have any old term cards for Oxford University Societies, please consider donating them.

Special events

In addition to collecting modern ephemera widely we collect more intensively at times of national importance (jubilees, the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the Millennium, elections, etc).

We are currently collecting material commemorating World War One and the Second World War. We are also collecting EU Referendum ephemera.

In May 2015, we launched an appeal for a group of volunteers to collect Oxford trade and entertainment ephemera four times a year, systematically. Volunteers for this initiative, Help us to Save Oxford's Present for the Future, are very welcome, as are any donations of local Oxford material.

Please send contributions of ephemera in these categories (hard copy only) to: The Librarian of the John Johnson Collection, The Bodleian Library, Broad Street, Oxford OX1 3BG

Thank you.

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