Actors, Actresses and Entertainers in the John Johnson Collection: a brief guide

Actors, Actresses and Entertainers in the John Johnson Collection: a brief guide to resources


Programme for Albert Chevalier's performances at St. James's Hall, Piccadilly, 26 & 27 May 1895.
Programme for Albert Chevalier’s performances at St. James’s Hall, Piccadilly, 26 & 27 May 1895. JJColl: Actors, Actresses and Entertainers 1 (21)

An index to our Actors, Actresses and Entertainers section is online.  However, the resources of the John Johnson Collection for the theatre or family historian go far beyond these nine boxes. Detailed metadata enable users to locate references to performers in thousands of playbills, programmes, prints, music titles, advertisements and other ephemera.

All records are in our online catalogue: (browse: name index).

For the 18th century, images of Entertainment ephemera are available through Digital.Bodleian (under Ephemera).

Playbill for The Rivals, Bridgnorth 2 December 1795
This Bridgnorth playbill of 2 December 1795 announces the appearance of Jane Kemble (youngest sister of Sarah Siddons) in Sheridan’s comedy The Rivals. JJColl: Provincial Playbills box Bradford-Cambridge (10)

For the 19th century, images of more than 20,700 theatrical and non-theatrical Entertainment ephemera can be found on the ProQuest site: The John Johnson Collection: an archive of printed ephemera This is available free to all in the UK (click on Access this collection or use the direct geoloc url

English Opera House programme, [June 18th, 1892]
Advertisement for Mdme Sarah Bernhardt’s ‘Diaphane’ face oowder in a Royal English Opera House programme for her appearance in Victorien Sardou’s ‘La Tosca’, [June 18th, 1892]. JJ Coll: London Playbills Palace box 1 (7)










For the 20th century to 1960 there are no digital images, but our online catalogue includes detailed records for London theatres A-P and basic records for Provincial theatre. For the period after 1960, we are continuing to collect and to sort theatre programmes, which are kept by theatre and arranged chronologically. There are currently no finding aids.