About the Collection
The R. C. Maxwell Company was incorporated in 1894. Until its sale in 2000, it was the oldest surviving outdoor company in the U.S. The company retained thousands of 8" x 10" professional photographs of its billboards and other advertising. Dating from 1917, the earliest images are on glass negatives. Most of the scenes show places in New Jersey, with smaller numbers from Pennsylvania and other localities. Because the excellent photos show outdoor advertising in its urban or rural setting--with cars and people, movie theaters and shops, boardwalks and beaches--they record valuable vignettes of American culture in the early part of the 20th century.
Duke University Libraries originally created the descriptive metadata for the collection as part of the Resource of Outdoor Advertising Descriptions (ROAD) database, an NEH grant-funded project to provide access to Duke's outdoor advertising material.
- Guide to the R.C. Maxwell Company Collection
- Inventory of the R.C. Maxwell Company Records, 1891-2001 and undated
- Resource of Outdoor Advertising Descriptions (ROAD) 2.0