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:

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Halloween Reads at the Library

It is that time of year again! The leaves are changing and the weather is dramatically fluctuating between warm and astonishingly cold as Fall tries to get its footing. The perfect time to curl up under a blanket and read something eerie. If you’re looking for a good non-fiction book to read in honor of Halloween then this is the list for you.

Here are a few of the books in our collection that are excellent for this season:

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Flash Newspapers: New Digital Collection

Flash newspapers were a type of “underground newspaper” that catered to people interested in reading about, or participating in, illicit activities, such as gambling, prostitution, and other forms of vice. Flash newspapers were often published and circulated secretly, so as to avoid detection by law-enforcement, and consequently these newspapers were  rarely collected by libraries. The best collection of flash newspapers in the United States is held by the American Antiquarian Society, and a large portion of that collection has now been digitized by Readex. The University of Illinois Library is pleased to announce that we have acquired this digital collection, American Underworld: The Flash Press.

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Latin American Newspapers Series 2

Now available: Latin American Newspapers Series 2. Part of the World Newspaper Archive (which also includes African Newspapers, and South Asian Newspapers), Latin American Newspapers Series 2 is the second module in what is arguably becoming the best digital collection of Central and South American newspapers available anywhere.

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Introduction to Scholarly Research: Pilot Instruction Series

Introduction to Scholarly Research is a multipart workshop series designed to assist undergraduate and graduate students with the research process, from start to finish. Join a team of librarians for this series of five workshops, during which you will learn how to become a more successful researcher. These sessions are open to students in any discipline. (Although taught by librarians from the Slavic Reference Service, the course content will not be specific to Slavic studies or any other discipline.) You will also learn how the University Library can support you in your research.

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The Mad Gasser of Mattoon

In September of 1944 the front pages of the Daily Illini were covered with updates about the ongoing war. The newspaper readily chronicled major developments in the war as well as the deaths of young men who, just a few short years before, had once walked the university’s halls. Given the amount of bloodshed that was unfolding around the world, it is easy to miss the newspapers’ coverage of one particularly strange event, one that would come to be called the Mad Gasser of Mattoon.

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Digitized Pittsburgh Newspapers

The Library now has permanent access to a collection of digitized Pittsburgh newspapers. Although the database is called ProQuest Historical Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the collection is actually a couple dozen different newspapers related to the Post-Gazette, which did not begin publication under that title until 1927. This collection boasts newspapers dating back to 1786.

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New Digitized Newspaper Collection: Historical Communist Newspapers

The Library now has permanent access to ProQuest Historical Communist Newspapers, a collection of nine labor, socialist, and communist newspapers published in the United States. All nine newspapers are connected to the Daily Worker (either preceding or succeeding titles).

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2 New Digital Collections of Women’s Magazines

The Library now has permanent access to the second series in ProQuest’s Women’s Magazine Archive. Series 2 adds six more titles to the collection (for a total of twelve magazines), and like its predecessor the magazines are, wherever possible, digitized in full color. Series 2 is also notable for the addition of Essence magazine, a publication for African American women.

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A Brief History of Advice Columns

In March of 1912 a lovelorn young woman wrote into the Rock Island Argus with a problem. At 20 years old she found that her boyfriend of 2 years was starting to hint that he was interested in marriage. Overcome with doubt, she wrote a letter to Mrs. Elizabeth Thompson, the Rock Island Argus’ resident advice columnist. After explaining the situation, she ended her letter with one simple question: Am I too young? The answer she received was quick and straight to the point: “No”.  This short and straight to the point style of answering questions seemed to be Mrs. Thompson’s specialty. Another woman in the same issue asked for advice on what to wear to an upcoming masquerade and was told curtly to dress as a French maid. Mrs. Thompson’s knowledge base was expansive and she seemed to be able to answer questions over a broad array of topics from skincare to food to fashion. She also dealt with much heavier topics, telling people, women in particular, how to survive and provide for their children when they had nowhere else to turn.

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