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A broadside is a single sheet, printed on one side only.  It may be a poster, music score, proclamation, advertisement, sheet of uncut hand-colored playing cards, or other imprint.  Unless specifically marked for HD, these items do not go in prefabs.   Each broadside is placed in an acid-free folder that corresponds to its size and classification.  The majority of broadsides are stored on the sub-basement level, in custom-made boxes.  Therefore, it is important that the folder provided for a new accession is one of the following size designations:

  • 10" x 13"  (25 x 33 cm.) – for items given a regular Houghton Library accession number.

    Used for material classed according to the main author scheme, AB-ZB.

    For the main Houghton author class, the b to indicate broadsides is applied internally, to the second digit of the first part of the call number (therefore AB85 replaces AC85). For other classification schemes used at Houghton, the b precedes the call number.

    Applicable Aleph codes:  HOU GEN


  • 11" x 15"  (28 x 38 cm.) – for items given a P&GA or Theatre Collection accession number.

    Used for Typ classed material and TS or otherwise classed Theatre material.  The call number will have a prefix “b” to indicate it is a small broadside.  See Hollis no. 013616355 for an example.

    Applicable Aleph codes:  HOU B ; HOU LCB ; HOU HYDB ; THE B ; THE TLCB


  • 18" x 24"  (46 x 61 cm.) – for any accession too big for the previous folders.

    Used for pAB-ZB and pTyp.  The call number will have a prefix “p” to indicate it is a large broadside.  See Hollis no. 013379264 or 013314496 for an example.

    Also used for TS classed flat files (but given the prefix "PF" (1/2 drawer))

    Also used for Theatre flat files classed in LC (but given the prefix "PFD" (1/2 drawer))

    Applicable Aleph codes:  HOU P ; HOU LCP ; HOU HYDP ; THE PF ; THE PFD


  • OVER-SIZED – for any accession too big for the 18" x 24" folder.

    When an item is too big for the 18”x24” folder, the cataloger will consult with the curator and/or end-processing to arrange for its final housing and destination.  Over-sized materials may be given the prefix PP (meaning over-sized, stored in a box) or the prefix PFC (meaning they do not fit the PP box sizes, and are stored in the black filing cabinet instead).  Theatre Collection broadsides larger than the 11 x 15" folder are usually placed in either a case-range half drawer (PFD), or a case-range full drawer (PPF) in Pusey.  End-processing can assist with procuring or cutting down to size a folder suitable for the item’s ultimate destination.  For accessioning purposes, place the broadside in an 18 x 24” for minimal protection while it is waiting to be cataloged. 

PP Broadsides - Locations and Dimensions

Stacks Location


Folder Size*


ppAB-EB box

24 x 28”


ppFB-LMB box

24 x 28”


ppAB-ZB box

24 x 33”


ppTyp box

24 x 33”


ppTypTS-TypW Box 1

24 x 36”


ppTypTS-TypW Box 2

24 x 33”

*note: these sizes are not currently available for ordering, and would have to be cut by hand.


PFC Broadsides - Locations and Dimensions

All PFC broadsides are located in drawers of the black filing cabinet on the basement level.  Each drawer contains folders of varying sizes.  The maximum size a drawer can hold is 35 x 49”.  The recommended folder size is 28 x 38”.

Drawer 4:  AB-ZB

Drawer 5:  Typ

Drawer 6:  TypDr

Drawer 7:  TypTS

Drawer 10:  HOU-LC


Theatre Collection Broadsides - Locations and Dimensions

Theatre Collection broadsides larger than the 11 x 13 folder size are stored in case ranges in Pusey.  Items are stored in half-drawers (PFD) or in full drawers (PPF).

Stacks Location

Aleph Code

Recommended Folder Size

Pusey P1


22 x 28” or 18 x 24"

Pusey P1


28 x 38”


Procedure for accessioning broadsides:

  1. Ascertain whether the item is a P&GA, Theatre, or regular Houghton Library accession.  Assign an accession number to the item, and write it on the verso of the broadside.
  2. House the item in a folder size that corresponds to its accession and ultimate destination.  Make sure there is at least 1/2 inch of extra space beyond the edges of the broadside inside the folder.
  3. Establish a bibliographic record for the item in Aleph cataloging module. 
  4. Create a holdings record as per usual.  Be sure to change the 852 location code to THE if the item is a Theatre accession. 
    • If the item is in a 10x13 folder, leave the prefix code as “GEN” in your holdings
    • If the item is in an 11x15 folder, indicate “B” as the prefix code in your holdings. 
    • if the item is in an 18x24 folder, indicate “P” as the prefix in your holdings (unless the location code is THE)
    • if the item is over-sized, it will be given either a “PP”, “PFC”, “PFD” or “PPF” prefix by the cataloger.  Leave it as “GEN” in your holdings.

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