Broadsides are large sheets of paper printed on one side, designed to be displayed on walls in public spaces.  In the Early Modern period, broadsides were the most common form of printed material.  By their nature, they were meant to be temporary ways of communicating information.  Broadsides were used for a variety of purposes, such as advertisements, entertainment, propaganda, and the spreading of local and national news. 

More information on broadsides found within Houghton collections can be found here

Please see below for an example of broadsides from Houghton Library's collections. 



Houghton Library is part of the English Broadside Ballad Archive digitization project.  This project makes "broadside ballads of the seventeenth century fully accessible as texts, art, music, and cultural records."

The Harvard Law Library has a fully digitized collection of English crime broadsides.  More information about that collection can be accessed here