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Finding Aids

There are several finding aids to the Collection. Please be aware that these are incomplete. If you do not find material relevant to your research, please contact us.


There are around 680 subject sections in the Collection. Indexes are brief guides to the arrangement of the material in the boxes. These are linked from two lists: Alphabetic (all JJ sections in one list) and Broad Theme (grouped by the main sections of the Collection, e.g. Entertainment, Transport).

The John Johnson Collection online catalogue

The Johnson online catalogue contains records for material catalogued to date, including records for projects except the Toyota Project and Ballads which are stand-alone sites.

Please consult this list to check whether a Johnson section has been catalogued at an item level. If not, it might be indexed.

To gain maximum benefit from the online catalogue, please read the Search tips.

The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera (ProQuest)

The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera is a JISC-funded project, partnered by ProQuest. Although the same records can be seen on our online catalogue, images for most of the material in the following categories are only available through the ProQuest site:

  • Advertising
  • 19th century Entertainment
  • Popular Prints (but not Political Cartoons)
  • Booktrade (but not Booktrade Trade Cards, which are currently being catalogued and made available through our online catalogue
  • Crime, Murders and Executions. This section has been further enhanced with links to other online resources through Mapping Crime.

The ProQuest project is cross-searchable with other collections through Connected Histories.


Images which have been created for projects, with the exception of the ProQuest project [see above], are available on the Johnson online catalogue in addition to the project sites. Please see the table to find the relevant sites.

Images created for The John Johnson Collection: an archive of Printed Ephemera (ProQuest) are available exclusively via the ProQuest site which is available free of charge to UK HE, FE, Public Libraries and Schools (the last two through free subscription). Outside the UK it is available through institutional subscription only . The records (without images) are available through the Johnson online catalogue.

Other projects

Items from the John Johnson Collection can be found in the following digital projects: 


A series of subject guides (LibGuides) with detailed hints on how to use the Collection most effectively for various subject areas and periods of research is in preparation.  The John Johnson Collection LibGuides landing page lists the guides and links to them.

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