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HIST 2020: Survey of US History, 1877-Present: Ads

Television Commercials

UCSF Tobacco Industry Videos
(University of California, San Francisco)
In addtion to commercials, this collection includes recordings of focus groups, internal corporate meetings, depositions of tobacco industry employees, government hearings, corporate communications, both internal and external.


Topical Collections

The Emergence of Advertising in American, 1850-1920
Duke University Libraries
More than 3300 advertisements from newspapers and magazines illustrate the rise of consumer culture and the emergence of the professionalized advertising industry in the United States. Browse options include company, product, date, format, publication, subject, medium, and headline. Brands such as Coca-Cola, Kodak, Pond's, and numerous cigarette companies  are well-represented in the collection. 

Finding Ads in Newspaper and Magazine Collections

Chronicling America (Library of Congress) View content from historic newspapers pages from 1836-1922 or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present.

ProQuest Historical Newspapers - searches the following historical newspapers: Atlanta Constitution, Chicago Defender, New Amsterdam News, New York Times, Norfolk Journal and Guide, and the Washington Post. Users can limit a search to a specific date or  date range under "Search Options." 

Billboard Ads

Red Cross Billboard

Outdoor Advertisting Association of America Slide Library (Duke University Libraries) More than 11,000 images of ads covering a wide range of products (cars, soft drinks), services (banking), destinations (San Diego Zoo), and social issues (alcohol and drug abuse).

Edward Dougherty Collection (Oak Ridge Public Library) Dougherty worked as a sign painter and illustrator in Oak Ridge during World War II, specializing in security billboards ("Silence Means Surprise") and posters ("For World Peace ... Protect the 'Know How'"). This collection also includes photos of billboards created by his Park Sign Company after the war.

Books with Reprints of Ads

The All-American Ads  - this seven-volume set includes ads that were published from 1900 through the 1980s.