Monday, August 15, 2011

Digital Resource: John Johnson Collection at the Bodleian Library

The Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford has a number of on-line exhibits of interest to business and economic historians. Perhaps most relevant is "A Nation of Shopkeepers: Trade Ephemera from 1654 to the 1860s in the John Johnson Collection." Images include a wide range of trade cards, bill heads, advertisements, and other ephemera related to trade in the period.
   A second exhibit also draws on the John Johnson collection. The "Toyota City Imaging Project" provides access to over 1,200 images focusing on motoring and transport. One can browse the whole database or narrow the selection by type of transport--trams, cars, air travel, bicycles, carts, ships, railroads, and carriages.
   Interested readers can find more about the John Johnson collection here (including search options). A huge selection of the Johnson materials have been digitized and licensed to ProQuest; these items are available freely to educational institutions and libraries in the United Kingdom but require subscription elsewhere. However, a small selection of the images in the ProQuest project is available by topic through a series of Image Galleries; these include relevant subjects such as "Advertising" and "Transport." Finally, there is a blog, "Curator's Choice," highlighting Johnson materials selected for digitization; various images and topics are featured there, many of them relevant to business history.
   The Bodleian also provides a complete listing of its digital collections here.