18th and 19th century playbills and programmes from the John Johnson Collection are online. As well as those for theatrical performances, we have digitised ephemera relating to Actors and Actresses, Animals on Show, Circuses, Dioramas, Human Freaks, London Play Places, Magic and Mystery, Miniature Theatre, Museums, Minstrels, Playbills on Silk, and Performances in Royal Residences.
18th century material is on the Oxford Digital Library 18th century Entertainment site. Access is free to all. Images and (more detailed) metadata are also available through the John Johnson Collection online catalogue.
19th century programmes and playbills are online in The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera (ProQuest). As well as being cross-searchable with Crime, Advertising, Booktrade ephemera and Popular prints, Entertainment resources have their own search screens.
The ProQuest project is free in the UK, through Higher and Further Education, Schools, and Public Libraries. Access to the last two requires the completion of a form. Outside the UK, the resource is available through institutional subscription only. Records (without images) for 19th century Entertainment are also available through the John Johnson Collection online catalogue.
The image gallery below gives a tiny glimpse of the sort of material you will find.
|(C) Bodleian Library, University of Oxford: John Johnson Collection|