The second release of the JISC-funded John Johnson Collection: An Archive of Printed Ephemera, a collaboration between the Bodleian Library and ProQuest, is now available at http://johnjohnson.chadwyck.co.uk and http://johnjohnson.chadwyck.com.
The project reported that “usage Statistics for the John Johnson Collection resource during the first two months since the launch (March 2008) have been extremely encouraging […] The number of sessions in this period is roughly a quarter (23%) that of the total number of sessions within UK institutions of one of ProQuest’s leading humanities databases during the same period.”
The new release includes additional content in the five categories of material represented in the collection – Entertainment, the Booktrade, Popular Prints, Crimes, Murders and Executions and Advertising – as well as improved search screens.
For example, the new Crimes, Murders and Executions category-specific search screen includes additional fields for Criminal, Victim and Crime, as well as a set of checkboxes that allow the user to restrict searches according to the sentence passed. This makes it easy to find ephemera relating to a particular crime, for example highway robbery or sedition, or particular forms of punishment, such as the death penalty.
In this podcast interview, David Tomkins, Project Manager at the Bodleian and Peter White, Project Manager at ProQuest, talk about what ephemera is, what makes the John Johnson Collection special, their partnership and the challenges around digitising ephemera.