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Ad Collections

Many historical and current advertisements can be found free online. Below are some of the resources available though Stanford and other institutions.

Historical Ads

  • J Walter Thomson Advertising America
    • A collection of print ads form 1900 to 2000 from one of the biggest and oldest advertisement agency in various industries and categories.
  • Ad*Access
    • Database of over 7,000 historical advertisement printed between 1911 and 1955 in American and Canadian newspapers and magazines from Duke University.
  • American Consumer Culture
    • A database of marketing and advertising materials including ads images in three parts: J. Wlaters Thomson. Market Research and American Business (1935-1965), Trade Catalogues and the American Home (from early 19th century through the 20th century.).
  • ProQuest
    • Find ads across thousands of magazines and journals.
      1. In the top navigation bar select Advanced Search.
      2. Enter search term and select Advertisement in Document Type category.
      3. Click Search.
      4. On the results page, use additional filters in the left panel to refine results as needed.

Specialized Ads

  • Superbowl Ads (print)
  • Popular Medicine in America, 1800-1900
    • Contains books, trade cards, pamphlets, posters, and advertisements for medical information and self treatments marketed toward laypersons in the United States in the 19th century.
  • GlobalData Medical
    • Includes Global Ads Database with multimedia advertisements for medical devices.
  • GlobalData Power
    • Includes Global Ads section with multimedia advertisements for power.

Additional Resources



Answered By: Zina Shapiro
Last Updated: Mar 22, 2021

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    Most resources listed are only available to current Stanford students, faculty, and staff with an active SUNet ID