Tag Archives: work experience

Work experience in the John Johnson Collection: a guest post by Amy Shaw

Amy did work experience in the John Johnson Collection in October 2012. She writes:

In October I was fortunate enough to gain work experience looking at the John Johnson collection. This was a really valuable experience which helped me to understand the complexities of cataloguing printed ephemera and allowed me to see some of the collection. I was struck not only by the volume of ephemera but additionally by the range of the collection.

One of the aspects which I found particularly interesting was the opportunity I was given to look at some book jackets from before 1960 as I had studied this period in History and was therefore informed about the contextual background to what I was viewing.

Additionally I was given the chance to explore some of the online facilities offered by the collection which allowed me to see how this collection is made accessible to the public. These facilities enable people to look in detail at an item or to search an individual and see if/where they are mentioned within the collection. These online facilities were brilliant as they were a quick way of viewing the range of the collection and enabling individuals to focus on a single item in detail, and indeed, view the collection as a whole.

I was also able to see how ephemera are used in exhibitions and to look round the Dickens exhibition which was recently displayed at the Bodleian library. This was a really interesting exhibition which enabled me to witness the thought and planning which goes into displaying exhibitions and how ephemera is carefully chosen and displayed to the public.

In October the collection was in the process of acquiring and cataloguing a new donation of games.  It was really interesting to see games from the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth century in order to evaluate how entertainment has developed over the years. It also enabled me to view the complicated cataloguing process which each item has to undergo.

In summary, my time at Oxford was invaluable; it has enabled me to focus on how History is used in the modern world and allowed me to look at the John Johnson collection which was fascinating. I am really thankful to Julie Anne Lambert for allowing me to visit the collection and gain an insight into her line of work. The collection itself was really interesting and thought provoking with regard to how our world has changed particularly with regard to entertainment.

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