New Collection: Advertising America

Digitized selections from the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives at Duke University. Although the archive has not been digitized in its entirety, the size of the digitized portion is nevertheless enormous. The J. Walter Thompson Company was one of the most important American advertising agencies of the twentieth century, and this digital collection documents its work in sixteen industries:

  1. Automobile
  2. Banking, Finance, Insurance
  3. Beverage, Alcohol
  4. Clothing, Fashion, Jewellery
  5. Computers, Electronics, Telecommunications
  6. Domestic Cleaning
  7. Food
  8. Gasoline, Fuel, Oil
  9. Government, Politics, Military
  10. Health, Medicine, Pharmaceutical
  11. Home Furnishings, Home Improvement
  12. Photography, Cameras
  13. Restaurant
  14. Soap, Perfume, Cosmetics, Toiletries
  15. Tobacco
  16. Travel, Transportation

The collection comprises a wide range of document types, including completed advertisements; product packaging; project artwork; scripts; press releases; annual reports and financial data; internal brochures; meeting minutes; memoranda; company correspondence; staff newsletters; newspaper and magazine clippings; and research reports. Documents have been digitized in full color.

The centerpiece of the collection, however, is the set of complete case files for nine major accounts:

You will find several different ways to interact with the collection, and every document is exhaustively described and tagged with multiple access points, including series, sub-series, brand name, client name, industry name, product types, topical subjects, and sub-collections.

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