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Art Research: Advertisements

Main Research Guide for Library Resources used in Art History, Studio Art, and Visual Studies

Proquest Historical Newspapers and Periodicals

Proquest Historical Newspaper Database: Allows you to cross search many newspapers and provides a field to limit your searches to ads. This is a valuable resource because the papers are fully scanned. However, be warned that the images are not always the best quality. 

CLICK HERE to access all Proquest Historical Papers. From this page you can select historical papers you would like to cross search such as LA Times, New York Times, etc. Note that you must scroll down to get to the historical papers section.

For step by step instructions click on the link below:

Advertising Resources


AP Images  Associated Press archive of over 1 million current news photos (with some historical material as early as the 19th century) including graphics such as tables, maps, and time lines

Vanderbilt TV News Archive  This index database of national network television news programs includes streaming video of CNN news broadcasts as well as commercials from the mid-1990s to the present.

Encyclopedia of Major Marketing Campaigns


The Advertising Educational Foundation  AEF provides educational content to enrich the understanding of advertising and to expand and elevate the advertising discourse... on-campus... in our society... and in the industry.

American Academy of Advertising  The Academy fosters research that is relevant to the field and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas among its academic and professional members.

American Advertising Federation  The AAF protects and promotes the well-being of advertising. We accomplish this through a unique, nationally coordinated grassroots network of advertisers, agencies, media companies, local advertising clubs and college chapters.

American Association of Advertising Agencies  (AAAA) is the national trade association representing the advertising agency business in the United States.


Other Resources



Ad History Repositories  

University of Washington Ad Guide  

Life Magazine  Life Magazine partnered with Google Books to digitize the magazine's entire run as a weekly: over 1,860 issues, covering the years from 1936 to 1972.Users can browse, search and view a retrospective of Life magazine photos and ads. Users have free access to share, print and post images for personal use.

PSA Central (free, registration required)  The Ad Council, the producer of public service ads (PSAs) on TV and radio, in newspapers and magazines, on billboards and on the Web, makes a wide variety of these ads available for preview or download on this site