About the site
About the Project
Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920 (EAA) is a project made possible by grant
funding to Duke University from the 1998
Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition.
The award has enabled the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, in cooperation with the Duke Library's Digital Scriptorium, to make rare advertising history resources available via the World Wide Web. Duke University is greatly honored to be a recipient of one of the 11 LC/Ameritech grants awarded in the 1997/98 competition.
EAA presents over 9,000 images that illustrate the rise of consumer culture, especially after the American Civil War, and the birth of a professionalized advertising industry in the United States. The images are drawn from over a dozen separate collections in the Hartman Center and Duke's Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library. The project organizes the materials into eleven categories. In most of those categories the images shown represent only a portion of a particular collection or series. For EAA we selected representative images, including primarily items or pages that are especially informative and visually interesting. We chose not to scan some items that are "near duplicates," some pages of dense text from books and pamphlets, and items that are very large (technically challenging) or significantly damaged.
The purpose of the project is to make a range of important, interesting, and rare advertising items widely available for study and research, enhancing the usefulness of the illustrative material with essays, a timeline, and bibliographies. Advertising, as has been noted by many commentators, is such a pervasive feature of American life that our culture from the late 19th century onward cannot be fully understood without studying ads and the industry that created them. EAA provides the first broad, web-based collection of documents to aid in that study.
EAA forms a complement to the Duke Library's earlier Ad*Access project, mounted in 1999. Ad*Access contains over 7,000 print advertisements from mainly U.S. magazines and newspapers. The ads cover the period from 1911 to 1955. Five subject categories are covered: Beauty & Hygiene, Transportation, Radio, Television, and World War II. The two projects together present over 16,000 images covering a span of over a century of advertising history. We hope you will enjoy using them and find them to be valuable resources.
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About the Advertising Collections at Duke
Hartman Center for Sales,
Advertising & Marketing History has been active in building research
collections in its topic fields since 1992. The Hartman Center now ranks as
one of the most extensive resources for studying advertising history in the
U.S. Its collections, acquired to preserve documentation that stimulates
interest in and study of historical marketing topics, include the archives of
advertising agencies and trade organizations, as well as the papers of
industry executives and private collectors.
The most extensive collections are those of the
J. Walter Thompson
Company, a major international advertising agency founded in 1864,
and the Archives of the
Association of America (OAAA), the trade organization for the
billboard and other out-of-home advertising industry. Other ad agency
records held here include those of
Wells Rich Greene, and Charles W. Hoyt Company. The OAAA Archives
are complemented by many individual collections relating to outdoor
advertising, including the papers of the R.C. Maxwell Company and files of
commercial artists Howard Scott and Garrett Orr. Other individuals' papers
in the Hartman Center include papers of executives Kensinger Jones, Edgar
Hatcher, and transit advertising salesman John Hogan. Specialized
collections include the Wayne P. Ellis Collection of Kodakiana, the Nicole
Di Bona Peterson Collection of Advertising Cookbooks, the Mobius
Advertising Awards Collection and the McGraw-
Hill Marketing Information Center files. Many other medium and smaller
sized archival collections and a growing collection of books and periodicals
complement these holdings.
On-line access is available to detailed descriptions, or finding aids,
of these and the hundreds
of other manuscript collections held by the Rare Book, Manuscript, and
Special Collections Library. This resource, the
Archival Finding Aids page, allows browsing and
searching of the finding aids. This page also includes links
to additional collections and resources here at Duke University.
The Hartman Center at Duke University is one of a small number of
institutions that have focused on documenting advertising; for a brief
introduction to others, please see the Selected List of Other Repositories.
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