The entire John Johnson Collection is a major source of Social History and historians can uncover surprising facts about our past in unexpected places.
The main boxes relating to Social History are listed online, often with indexes. If the index is missing, please contact us. It may well exist but not (yet) in pdf form.
The Johnson online catalogue provides access by subject (of text and image), keyword, name, place, etc to all items which have been catalogued at item level.
The ProQuest project (now available easily throughout the UK) goes beyond this in sophisicated search screens, tailored to each of the five sections it covers: Advertising, Booktrade, 19th century Entertainment, Popular Prints, and Crime, Murders and Executions. Crucially, it also provides full-text searching (through Optical Character Recognition) to letterpress text. Results are hit-highighted within the metadata (where present) and within the image. Try a Quick Search for "disease", for example. The 1129 results are divided between all five sections and can be found in a wide variety of documents: advertisements, prints, programmes, prospectuses, etc. Filtering and limiting by date facilitates finding the results you want.