Archived Websites for Ephemera
Archived websites are available through the Australian Web Archive. These useful tools allow you to discover Ephemera from Australia and overseas, and more general ephemera related to subjects other than performing arts.
Visit the Australian Web Archive page for:
- In the Spotlight, Tivoli Theatre and J.C Williamson Collections
- Both sides of the footlights: personal and family narratives revealed through collections of theatre programs.
- Preserving our collections, PROMPT theatre scrapbooks at the NLA
- Junk as heritage: the collecting of printed ephemera on a national scale
About the PROMPT ephemera collection
This section of the Performing Arts research guide focuses on the PROMPT ephemera collection at the National Library of Australia.
The PROMPT ephemera collection is derived from the Australian Performing Arts Programs and Ephemera file. The term 'prompt' is also a theatrical term relating to the means by which actors/singers are supplied the lines they have forgotten.
The National Library has been collecting ephemera since 1901 however many of the items in the collection date back much further. The PROMPT collection became a focused area of collection development in the 1980s. Before this time the acquisition and processing of printed performing arts ephemera material was incorporated retrospectively into the Australian printed ephemera collection.
These archives of ephemera material document the long and rich history of live performance in Australia, and Australians performing overseas. The collection has also been the focus of several books, magazine articles and exhibitions in the Library. They include programs, brochures, cast lists, publicity material, posters and flyers relating to professional companies, artists, and productions.
Finding PROMPT ephemera
The catalogue is the primary tool researchers can use to discover PROMPT ephemera material held by the National Library of Australia.
To search ephemera collections related to performing arts, simply add ‘prompt’ to a keyword search, for example: 'prompt Bangarra Dance Company'.
Visit the Finding performing arts material page of this research guide to learn more information about different search techniques and how to find PROMPT material in the National Library collection, including ephemera.
Individual collection finding aids (in alphabetical order)
Some of the larger PROMPT ephemera collections include an individual finding aid and there is a dedicated ephemera collection finding aid, Guide to Australian performing arts programs and ephemera (PROMPT) collections in the National Library of Australia, 2022.
Webinar: Documents of Everyday Life
Watch our webinar Ephemera: Documents of Everyday Life to find out more about the PROMPT ephemera, and general Australian printed ephemera collections, including what you can expect to find in these collections along with useful tips to search the catalogue.