EAA, John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University

Advertising Ephemera, 1853 - 1921
Database Info

A database provides keyword, date, and location access to the images in the Advertising Ephemera category of this web project. The database includes terms deemed most likely to be useful to a range of users of the EAA project.

Below is a list of the database fields, with a description of each term, that you will find in the pull-down menus on the Advertising Ephemera Search Page. For simple, narrow searches, just enter the keyword you are searching (e.g. Emerson Institute, leaflets, US Post Office, etc) and choose the appropriate term in the pull-down menus on the Search Page. If there is a match with an advertisement in this category, you will be able to view it; if not, the search engine will report "no hits." (Entering a keyword such as "leaflets" with the term "All" on the pull-down menu will ensure a search across all terms in the Advertising Ephemera Category.)

To search across all eleven categories in the EAA project (not just the Advertising Ephemera images), go to the EAA General Search page. On that page you will find guidance about using search terms for cross-category searching.

The first half of the list below reflects the Keyword or Field terms. Database fields representing Illustration and Special Features searches are grouped together in the second half.

Search the Advertising Ephemera Category

Advertising Ephemera Database Terms and Descriptions

(1) Keyword or Field Terms

    Ad (Database) Number:  A unique letter/number identifier assigned to each item.

    Headline:  Line in text that is set in large or bold type in the advertising item, or a key phrase that draws a reader into the advertisement.

    Year:  Year item was printed; usually taken from the date written on the item itself. "n.d." in this space means no date was found on the item.

    Company:  The name of the company advertising the product. The names are written as they are in the advertisement.

    Product:  What the advertisement is trying to sell - The Storm King Overcoat, Klaxon auto-horn, etc. If there were more than two specific products advertised, the term 'Various' was applied in this field. Additional product names may be found in the "Notes" field.

    Item Type:   The physical form of the advertising item - card, pamphlet, booklet, etc.

    Subject:   General term describing the advertisement (Attorneys, Clothing, Entertainment, etc.). This subject name reflects the original organization of the advertisements in the Advertising Ephemera Collection. The list of Subject names is available on the Advertising Ephemera Browse Page; subject-specific searching is available on this page as well.

    City:   Name of the city noted in the advertisment. The city where the hotel is, the city of the agent for a specific company, etc. This field may be empty if there was no geographical information on the item.

    State:   State noted in the advertisement. "Unknown" is written if information was not on the advertisement. To find all images from a given state, search using the U.S. Postal Service 2-letter codes.

    Illustrator:   Name of the artist of a drawing in the advertisement. This category may include lithographer and engraving company names.

    Notes:   This field was used to enter any overflow information from other fields (such as extra company names), as well as to add information specific to an advertisement that could be useful to researchers. Examples would include notes about images that were unusual, or especially interesting. Searching on "All" fields from the Search page insures that key words in the Notes field will be included in search returns.

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(2) Illustration and Special Features

    Some of the ads in this category may contain more than one kind of illustration. The predominant illustration will be recorded with the appropriate Illustration term. Additional illustrations may be described in the "Notes" section.

    Black/White (B/W) Drawing in Illustration:  The illustration contains a drawing in black and white.

    Cartoon in Illustration:  Advertisement with an illustration that is a cartoon-type drawing, usually consisting of one panel, or containing a well-known cartoon figure.

    Color Drawing or Lithograph in Illustration:  The illustration is in color. This category encompasses drawings and lithographs.

    Engraving or Woodcut in Illustration:  The illustration contains an engraving or woodcut. Often this information was taken from writing on the illustration.

    Photograph in Illustration:  The illustration is a photograph, or includes a photo in a larger illustration.

    Cultures:   This site includes historical materials that may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes reflecting the attitudes toward a culture or language at a particular period or place in the past. These items are presented as part of the historical record.

    Latin Americans/Caribbeans
    Middle East/Arabs
    Native Americans
    Pacific Islanders

    Children:   Noted when children are present in the advertisement in any significant way.

    Sports:   Noted if a sport or athlete is a major feature of the advertisement. The type of sport in the advertisement is usually given in the "Notes" section.

    Military:   Noted if the military (ships, weapons, people in uniform) is prominently displayed in the ad.

    Price List:   This field records the presence of a list of prices for the specific product(s) in an advertisement.

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