Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Victorian Popular Culture

Victorian Popular Culture is an essential resource for the study of popular entertainment and culture in the 19th century and the early 20th century. From Adam Matthew Digital, the database is a portal for several collections including:

  • Spiritualism, Sensation & Magic 
  • Circuses, Sideshows & Freaks 
  • Music Hall, Theatre & Popular Entertainment 
  • Moving Pictures, Optical Entertainments & the Advent of Cinema 

The database includes full-text reproductions from a variety of printed materials, still and moving images, slideshow presentations, essays, bibliographies and more. The collection of materials are drawn from an impressive list of participating libraries.

Each section can be searched by keyword or by an advanced search option. You can also choose to browse the list of entries. The content is expansive and each time I use this database -- I discover something new and sensational. I love the pictures of the kinora, reproductions of postcards, full-text of "Opportunities in the Motion Picture Industry," published in 1922, includes a wonderful entry on the role of the costume designer, and  "The Sphinx: a monthly magazine for magicians and illusionists." 

If you are interested in early popular entertainments such as vaudeville, magic, circus and the advent of cinema -- this is an essential resource.

Access to this resource through Columbia University Library is limited to current affiliates.

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