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Ad*Access, online image database David Goodman 13 Dec 1999 20:39 UTC

> > Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 11:31:16 -0600
> > From: Naomi Young <>
> > Subject: Value of Microforms
> >
> > Most current electronic newspaper and journal archives are text-based,
> > not image based. Researchers will still have the words and
> > intellectual content of the original item, but will lack contexual
> > information such as the placement of the item; size and style of
> > headlines and other graphics; and the presence, placement, and content
> > of nearby advertising. Indeed, for some researchers, the advertising
> > is the *primary focus* of study. It seems unfortunate at best that,
> > just as popular culture studies are gaining legitimacy, we are busily
> > planning to undercut much of their primary source material by
> > replacing a rich context with a plain-text interface.
> >
> > Naomi Kietzke Young * Periodicals/Microforms Librarian
> > Southern Methodist University * PO Box 750135
> > Dallas, TX 75275 * (214) 768-2759

Apropos of Naomi's comment, readers of this list might like to know about:

Subject:  [DIGLIBNS] Announcement: Ad*Access project from Duke University
    Date: Tue, 26 Oct 1999 13:42:04 -0700 (PDT)
   From:  Paolo Mangiafico <>
      To: Multiple recipients of list <>

Duke University's Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library
is pleased to announce the availability of Ad*Access, an online image
database of over 7,000 advertisements printed mainly in U.S. newspapers
and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Generously supported by The Duke
Endowment "Library 2000" Fund, Ad*Access is a collaboration of the John
W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History and the
Digital Scriptorium.

The advertisements included in the site are drawn from the J. Walter
Thompson Company Competitive Advertisements Collection and include
examples selected from five major categories: Beauty and Hygiene; Radio;
Television; Transportation; and World War II.

Rather than including just a few advertisements on many topics, this
approach offers researchers and students enough material to begin to
understand advertising for a certain product or time period.  Each of
the categories has previously attracted considerable research interest,
and each also reflects major developments in American society, culture,
business, and technology in the first half of the 20th century.

Every advertisement has a separate record.  This record includes a
thumbnail image of the ad and two possible viewing sizes (full size and
2x magnification), with descriptive information about the advertisement.
Past research requests provided the basis for determining what criteria
would be most useful to researchers for accessing the advertisements.
A 42-field database was created with categories such as 'company',
'product', 'date', 'type of illustration', etc.  The database was
converted into SGML format in EAD (Encoded Archival Description).

Consistent with other Digital Scriptorium resources, Ad*Access has been
enhanced with added-value features including brief histories of the
various industries and background on World War II advertising campaigns
such as those for war bonds and v-mail.  Additionally, searching with
Boolean operators is available.  This complex search option allows
researchers the ability to more narrowly limit their returns, thus
increasing the flexibility of the database.

Ad*Access provides a rich introduction to advertising in the middle of
the twentieth century and a unique resource for studying advertisements
online.  The John W. Hartman Center
( at Duke University is one of
the nation's pre-eminent programs for the study of sales, advertising,
and marketing. The Center's mission is to promote understanding of the
immense cultural impact of these fields by expanding its vast collection
of textual and multimedia resources and increasing the access to these
materials by students, scholars, and businesses worldwide.

You can visit the Ad*Access web site at

-- Paolo

Paolo Mangiafico              
Director, The Digital Scriptorium
Rare Book, Manuscript, and              Telephone: 919-660-5941
Special Collections Library             Fax:       919-660-5934
Duke University                         Durham, NC  27708-0185 USA

David Goodman
Biology Librarian, and
Co-Chair, Electronic Journals Task Force
Princeton University Library
phone: 609-258-3235            fax: 609-258-2627