To link to this database use: https://libraries.indiana.edu/databases/victorianculture
Spiritualism, Sensation and Magic
This section explores the relationship between the popularity of Victorian magic shows and conjuring tricks and the emergence of séances and psychic phenomena in Britain and America. Contains material from the Harry Price Library of Magical Literature at Senate House, University of London, as well as the Harry Houdini archive at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas.
Circuses, Sideshows and Freaks
This section focuses on the world of travelling entertainment, which brought spectacle to vast audiences across Britain, American and Europe in the 19th and early 20th century. From big tops to carnivals, fairgrounds and dime museums, it covers the history of popular shows and exhibitions from both audience and professional perspectives. The collection features hundreds of posters, postcards, photographs, cabinet cards and illustrations, in addition to handbills, pamphlets, manuscripts, printed ephemera, memorabilia, rare books, children’s literature and memoirs of celebrity showpeople.
Music Hall, Theatre and Popular Entertainment
This section features material on music halls, theatre (legitimate and illegitimate), pantomime, pleasure gardens, exhibitions, scientific institutions, and magic lanterns shows and dioramas. Also includes rare books, periodicals aimed at industry and fans, titles from the scarce popular series ‘Dicks’ Standard Plays’, posters and playbills, visual ephemera, and the archives of May Moore Duprez, the American music hall star who topped international bills with her ‘Jolly Little Dutch Girl’ act.
Moving Pictures, Optical Entertainments and the Advent of Cinema
Provides thorough coverage of Victorian and Edwardian visual entertainments, early optics, magic lantern shows, panoramas, dioramas, early photography, and early motion pictures. The source material is drawn from the collections of the Bill Douglas Cinema Museum. Based at the University of Exeter, the UK’s largest research center for the history of international cinema and pre-cinema.
Coverage: 1779-1930 - Updates vary
Vendor: Adam Matthew Digital
Producer: Adam Matthew Digital
Interlibrary Loan Type: Secure Electronic Transmission Permitted
Simultaneous User Limit: Unlimited simultaneous users