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Why is Advertising Important?



The D'Arcy Collection is a collection of nearly one million original advertisements published between 1890 and 1970. The D'Arcy collection documents the social, economic, and cultural changes in America over key historical periods. The collection was donated to the University of Illinois Communications Library in 1983 by the St Louis advertising firm, D'Arcy, MacManus, & Masius. William D'Arcy initiated the collection in 1920 when his staff started clipping ads from newspapers and magazines for their own use. Once the staff had created a contemporary file, they began a retrospective search of old issues of trade journals and general magazines. Most of the ads appeared in newspapers, magazines and trade journals. The collection of ads is stored in over 270 file drawers (approximately 800 feet).

Below are a few ads taken from the D'Arcy Collection.

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