Ephemera: Defining, Collecting and Researching the Fragmentary Past

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Julie Anne Lambert (Bodleian Library): ‘Ephemera: Defining, Collecting and Researching the Fragmentary Past’
Chair: Dr Abigail Williams

This seminar sets out to explore the interrelating ways in which ephemera is defined, how it has been preserved and the significance of collections – past and present – and, finally, the ways in which it has recently grown in significance within a range of different disciplines.

'The John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera is one of the largest and most important collections of printed ephemera in the world. It offers a fresh view of British history through primary, uninterpreted printed documents which, produced for short-term use, have survived by chance – including advertisements, trade cards, handbills, ballads and playbills. The Collection encompasses a diverse range of material, mainly from the 18th to the early 20th centuries: it is physically arranged under some 700 subject headings<http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/johnson/search/indexes>, and has been made searchable through detailed cataloguing<http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/johnson/search/catalogue/online-catalogue>, selective OCR and digitisation<http://www.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/johnson/jj-images/digitsed-sections>.

Recommended reading:

Kevin D. Murphy and Sally O'Driscoll, ‘Introduction’ Studies in Ephemera: Text and Image in Eighteenth-Century Print (Lewisburg, Bucknell University Press, 2013) - http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=aXX8dev1xj0C&printsec=frontcover&dq

Paula McDowell, ‘Of Grubs and Other Insects: Constructing the Categories of “Ephemera” and “Literature” in Eighteenth-Century British Writing’ in Book History 15.1 (2012): 48-70. http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/book_history/v015/15.mcdowell.html

This is part of RECSO's Trinity Term 2014 Programme 'Crossing the Disciplines’

All seminars take place within the Radcliffe Humanities Building on Woodstock Road. Unless otherwise stated, a light buffet lunch precedes the talk, so please arrive at least 5 minutes early. To be notified of updates and additional events “follow” the RECSO Blog. Also see the Network page for further details, recommended readings, and other activities.


Romanticism and Eighteenth-Century Studies Oxford

Contact name: Adam Brigden

Contact email: adam.bridgen@linacre.ox.ac.uk

Audience: Open to all

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