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: Broadside

Category: Social Sciences, Broadside

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Introduction The Special Collections at the Toronto Reference Library reveal a wonderful diversity of focus, form, age and content. Together, they form a cultural legacy that began in the late nineteenth century with the opening of Toronto's first public library. They continue to grow through acquisition and donation to ensure that users today and tomorrow have free access to their cultural and literary heritage. From the humble to the exquisite, each item in the collection has been treasured and preserved, and its story maintained by the librarians of the Toronto Public Library. In celebration of the Toronto Reference Library's thirtieth year at 789 Yonge Street, we proudly present a special exhibition from these collected works.

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History of the Susan H. Douglas Collection The central goal of the project is to preserve, digitize, and catalog all items in the Susan H. Douglas Collection of Political Americana. Acquired from an individual collector between 1957 and 1961, the Douglas collection includes approximately 5,500 items of American political campaign memorabilia and commemorative items dating to between 1789 and 1960.  Mrs. Douglas characterized them as: ballots, bric-a-brac (larger three-dimensional objects), broadsides, buttons, cartoons, maps and charts, pamphlets, paper miscellaneous, parade items, posters, prints, ribbons, sheet music, songbooks, textiles, trinkets, and wearing apparel.

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Center for Digital Scholarship Box A, Brown University Providence, RI 02912 About This Collection Lincoln broadsides were created and used to advertise and educate Americans about, as well as to commemorate, the Sixteenth President of the United States. They document the didactic use of Lincoln's image in the public sphere and suggest Lincoln's important place in American culture as a national role model to citizens at all levels of society. Adult and child, manufacturer, seller and purchaser, artist and businessman, private civic organization and public institution — all are represented as producers and consumers of the print materials included in this collection.

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Kirk Collection Box A Brown University Library Providence, RI 02912 Tovah Reis Developed & hosted by Center for Digital Initiatives Box A Brown University Library Providence, RI 02912 cdi@brown.edu About This Collection The digitized items in the Alcohol, Temperance and Prohibition Collection are from the Alcoholism and Addiction Studies Collection , as well as from various collections in the Brown University Library — broadsides, sheet music, pamphlets and government publications.

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In the centuries before there were newspapers and 24-hour news channels, the general public had to rely on street literature to find out what was going on. The most popular form of this for nearly 300 years was 'broadsides' - the tabloids of their day. Sometimes pinned up on walls in houses and ale-houses, these single sheets carried public notices, news, speeches and songs that could be read (or sung) aloud.

The National Library of Scotland's online collection of nearly 1,800 broadsides lets you see for yourself what 'the word on the street' was in Scotland between 1650 and 1910. Crime, politics, romance, emigration, humour, tragedy, royalty and superstitions - all these and more are here.

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Just as programs are sold at sporting events today, broadsides -- styled at the time as "Last Dying Speeches" or "Bloody Murders" -- were sold to the audiences that gathered to witness public executions in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Britain. These ephemeral publications were intended for the middle or lower classes, and most sold for a penny or less. Published in British towns and cities by printers who specialized in this type of street literature, a typical example features an illustration (usually of the criminal, the crime scene, or the execution); an account of the crime and (sometimes) the trial; and the purported confession of the criminal, often cautioning the reader in doggerel verse to avoid the fate awaiting the perpetrator.

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