The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850-1920


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About This Collection

The Emergence of Advertising in America 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 for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History* and the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library* at Duke University. The intent is to make a range of important, interesting, and rare advertising items widely available for study and research. Materials were drawn from eleven categories*. In most of those categories the images represent only a portion of a particular collection or series. The representative images selected for digitization include primarily items or pages that are especially informative and visually interesting.

The source materials for this collection are housed at the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University. Please contact the library* at Duke University with any questions or information about the original materials or requests for reproductions.

The digitization of the materials was supported by an award from the Library of Congress/Ameritech National Digital Library Competition in 1998.  The digital reproductions are mounted at the awardee institution.

About the Advertising Collections at Duke University

Duke University's Hartman Center has been active in building research collections in the fields of sales, advertising, and marketing 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.