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Abercrombie and Fitch was founded in 1892 as a sporting goods supplier and expedition outfitter. It currently specializes in upscale sportswear aimed at children and young adults. The Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly Catalog Collection consists of a run of lifestyle-oriented clothing catalogs issued between 1997 and 2007. The catalog featured articles on a wide range of youth popular culture and lifestyle topics, along with numerous photographs by Bruce Weber. Articles included advice, music and movie reviews, and profiles and interviews with celebrities and cultural critics such as philosopher Slavoj Žižek. The Creative Director for the catalog series was Sam Shahid, who had previously worked in the in-house advertising agencies for Calvin Klein and Banana Republic. After 2003, the lifestyle content and controversial photography was scaled back to focus more narrowly on seasonal fashion.

The Abercrombie & Fitch Quarterly Catalog Collection consists of a run of lifestyle-oriented clothing catalogs issued between 1997 and 2007. The catalog featured articles on a wide range of youth popular culture and lifestyle topics, along with numerous photographs by Bruce Weber. Articles included advice, music and movie reviews, and profiles and interviews with celebrities and cultural critics such as philosopher Slavoj Žižek. The Creative Director for the catalog series was Sam Shahid, who had previously worked in the in-house advertising agencies for Calvin Klein and Banana Republic. After 2003, the lifestyle content and controversial photography was scaled back to focus more narrowly on seasonal fashion.

The collection is arranged chronologically by issue

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Ben Rosen is an American graphic designer and visual communications consultant. Rosen worked as a designer for J. Gordon Carr and Associates and the Blaine Thompson Company before founding his own firm, Ben Rosen Associates, in 1952, which specialized in corporate identity programs. Rosen is the author of three books on on graphic design and typography: Type and Typography (1963); The Corporate Search for Visual Identity (1970); and Digital Type Specimens (1991). The Ben Rosen Papers span the years 1936 to 2006, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1945 through 1991, and document Rosen's sixty-year career in graphic design and visual communications consulting. The collection contains materials in a variety of formats, including correspondence, writings, graphic design and printed materials, sketches, presentation boards, photographs, and slides, that document design concepts and programs (corporate logos, letterhead, packaging, industrial design, promotion) Rosen developed, through his firm, Ben Rosen Associates, for clients including American Loose Leaf, CCMI McGraw-Hill, Equitable Life Assurance, Exxon/Esso, Food Fair Stores, IBM, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, North American Reinsurance, Philip Morris, Richardson-Vicks, Russ Berrie, and Tishman Realty and Construction. The collection also includes manuscripts and published editions of Rosen's books on graphic design and typography, and touches on several of Rosen's commmemorative projects, including a President Kennedy memorial, a United Nations 20th Anniversary book, and Rosen's submission to the World Trade Center Memorial design competition.

The Ben Rosen Papers span the years 1936 to 2006, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1945 through 1991, and document Rosen's sixty-year career in graphic design and visual communications consulting. The collection contains materials in a variety of formats, including correspondence, writings, graphic design and printed materials, sketches, presentation boards, photographs, and slides, that document design concepts and programs (corporate logos, letterhead, packaging, industrial design, promotion). Rosen developed corporate visual identity programs and packaging designs, first as an employee of J. Gordon Carr and Associates and the Blaine Thompson Company, and later through his own firm, Ben Rosen Associates, for clients including American Loose Leaf, CCMI McGraw-Hill, Equitable Life Assurance, Exxon/Esso, Food Fair Stores, IBM, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, North American Reinsurance, Philip Morris, Richardson-Vicks, Russ Berrie, and Tishman Realty and Construction. The collection also includes manuscripts and published editions of Rosen's books on graphic design and typography: Type and Typography (1963); The Corporate Search for Visual Identity (1970); and Digital Type Specimens (1991); and touches on several of Rosen's commmemorative projects, including a memorial for President John F. Kennedy, a United Nations 20th Anniversary book, and Rosen's submission to the World Trade Center Memorial design competition.

The collection is organized into five series: Personal Files, Writings, Business Files, Client Files, and Photographic Materials. The Personal Files Series includes original student drawings and sketches from Rosen's years at Cranbrook and Pratt, and later artwork; World War II materials, primarily relating to Rosen's proposed plan to the British government for the conversion of U.S. military bases into postwar British housing; and limited biographical material. The Writings Series contains articles on package design and visual communications by Rosen and others; manuscripts, published volumes, and promotional materials for Rosen's books; and unpublished book concepts and manuscripts. The Business Files Series includes administrative records, new business presentations, reference files and scrapbooks of creative output from several advertising and graphic design firms where Rosen was an employee or partner. The Client Files Series consists primarily of visual communications design work for a number of clients, and materials relating to several commemorative projects. The Photographic Materials Series contains negatives, photographs, and slides documenting some of Rosen's designs.

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The Duplex Advertising Company. Billboard Images and Records spans the period 1964-1993 and documents the outdoor advertising work of this company in the central Texas area, primarily through photographs, negatives and slides of billboards. Many of the images are in color. A large number of the images are of national campaigns advertised in central Texas, as well as billboards, signs and posters of local Texas business services. In addition, a handful of articles written by R. V. Miller, Jr. for a number of publications, as well as other printed material and miscellaneous items from the Duplex Advertising Company, are present. Some of these articles, along with the images themselves, provide examples of commercial art and design in the outdoor advertising arena. The collection includes outdoor advertising images from national clients such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chevrolet, Coca Cola, Coors, Wendy's, Hardee's, and Taco Bell, and Texas clients such as Lone Star and Pearl beers.

Related materials may be found in other outdoor advertising collections, including the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Archives, the Garrett Orr Papers, the Howard Scott Papers, the John Paver Papers, the John E. Browning Papers, the R.C. Maxwell Co. Records, and the Strobridge Collection.

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The Gene Federico Papers span the years 1918-2003, with the bulk of the collection dating 1951-1991. The collection documents Federico's sixty years as a pioneering leader in advertising and graphic design, and contains materials from a variety of formats, including correspondence, writings, advertisements proofs and clippings, graphic design and printed materials, posters, sketches/sketchbooks, photographs, negatives, and videotapes. In addition to limited personal and biographical material, the collection primarily documents Federico's creative output as a graphic designer, art director, and advertising executive at agencies including Grey Advertising, Doyle Dane Bernbach, Douglas D. Simon, Benton & Bowles, Warwick & Legler, and as a principal at Lord Geller Federico Einstein; the collection has limited material relating to the specific agencies for which he worked. The collection also documents Federico's extensive freelance and exhibition work throughout his career (most notably the "Love of Apples" and "24-Page Book" designs), in addition to his later consulting work for Brouillard Communications. Client advertisements and graphic design materials compose the majority of the collection. Significant clients represented include: Christian Dior; Elektra Records; Elizabeth Arden; Goldman Sachs; IBM; L'Aiglon Apparel; Lady Pepperell; Napier; The New Yorker; and Woman's Day. Though an art director throughout most of his career, Federico contributed significantly to the graphic design and typographical components of advertising. Through clear and innovative integration of design and typographical components, Federico pioneered the use of visual puns in advertisements, and emphasized clarity of message over design complexity. The collection will be of particular value to researchers interested in developments in print advertising and typographical design since World War II. The collection is organized into six series which focus on Federico's contributions to advertising and graphic design: Professional Files, Personal Files, Graphic Design, Advertising Campaigns, Photographs and Negatives, and Videocassettes.

The Professional Files Series includes business correspondence, professional writings, award/exhibit materials, press clippings and industry publications, in addition to limited files on the Art Directors Club of New York City and Lord Geller Federico Einstein. The Personal Files Series includes biographical and family materials; memorabilia documenting Federico's years as a student at Abraham Lincoln High School and Pratt Institute; World War II materials, including U.S. Army publications/posters produced by Federico and four sketchbooks; and original artwork (drawings, sketches, prints) not related to Federico's professional design and advertising work. The Graphic Design Series documents Federico's extensive graphic design work, including announcements and cards, book and record cover designs, calendars, design concepts, illustrations, letterhead, posters, transparencies, and typographic materials, as well as materials by other artists and designers. The Advertising Campaigns Series includes advertisement clippings and proofs, concepts and sketches, and client reports, representing over one hundred clients in a variety of industries. (Series contains a renowned example of Federico's use of visual puns: a 1953 Woman's Day advertisement - "She's got to Go Out to get Woman's Day " - which features a woman on a bicycle, the wheels of which form the "O"s in "Go Out.") The Photographs and Negatives Series includes both black & white and color images of Federico's advertising and graphic design work, Federico and his associates in a business setting, and a limited selection of personal and family photographs. The Videocassettes Series includes seven videotapes of commercials, short films, and memorial tributes documenting Federico's career in graphic design and advertising. Large-format materials (clippings, proofs, sketches, posters) have been removed from their original series location and relocated to Oversize Materials.

Other materials related to this collection may be found in the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives: Competitive Advertisements Collection and Corporation Vertical Files. For materials relating specifically to the advertising agency Benton & Bowles, consult the D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles Advertisements and Archives. Materials relevant to Lord Geller Federico Einstein and advertising strategy may be found in the Arthur Einstein Papers. For materials relating to Brouillard Communications and Doyle Dane Bernbach Advertising, see the Thomas F. Garbett Papers. Materials relevant to IBM advertising may be found in the Edgar Hatcher Papers.

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John Benjamin Harris is Professor Emeritus of Management and Marketing at Virginia State University. He pioneered governmental and commercial awareness of African American advertising markets and, in the 1970s, became the Director of the Virginia State Office of Minority Business Enterprise and Special Assistant to the Governor for Minority Enterprise. The John Benjamin Harris Papers span the years 1955-1991 and include scholarly articles, corporate reports and proposals, product labels, 16mm film reels, and audio tapes. Materials represent Harris' academic and professional work at New York University and Virginia State University as well as his work for the Virginia State Office of Minority Business Enterprise. Topics touched on in the collection include minority business enterprises; minority markets and minorities (especially African Americans) as consumers; and African American mass media. In addition, the collection reflects Harris' work for the advertising industry with employers including Cunningham & Walsh, Inc., the Leo Burnett Company, Inc., and the Ted Bates Company. Brands represented include Alka-Seltzer (Miles Laboratories), Campbell Soup, Coca-Cola, Cleveland Electric, Eastman Kodak, Pillsbury, and Schlitz.

The John Benjamin Harris Papers span the years 1955-1991 and include scholarly articles, corporate reports and proposals, product labels, 16mm film reels, and audio tapes. Materials represent Harris' academic and professional work at New York University and Virginia State University as well as his work for the Virginia State Office of Minority Business Enterprise. Topics touched on in the collection include minority business enterprises; minority markets and minorities (especially African Americans) as consumers; and African American mass media. In addition, the collection reflects Harris' work for the advertising industry with employers including Cunningham & Walsh, Inc., the Leo Burnett Company, Inc., and the Ted Bates Company. Brands represented include Alka-Seltzer (Miles Laboratories), Campbell Soup, Coca-cola, Cleveland Electric, Eastman Kodak, Pillsbury, and Schlitz.

The collection is organized into three series: Writings, Package Labels, and Audiovisual Materials. The Writings Series includes scholarly articles, reports, and proposals from Harris' academic and professional career in marketing research. The Package Labels series includes images of Campbell Soup Company branded product labels. The Audiovisual Materials series includes reels of television and radio advertisements for various company brands and advertising agencies.

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Bertram Metter worked for over thirty years as an advertising and marketing executive, most notably as a copywriter, creative director, and Vice Chairman at J. Walter Thompson USA (JWT). In in early years at JWT, Metter worked as a direct response specialist for the Ford Motor Company direct marketing operation. He also served as a primary on the Ford account, during which time he directed print and television promotion for Ford and played a key role in the launching of several new car models. The Bertram Metter Papers span 1908 to 2000, with the bulk of the collection dating 1953 through the late 1980s. Collection contains materials in a variety of formats, including correspondence, writings, newspaper and magazine clippings, sheet music, printed materials, photographs, and photostats. In addition to materials for the Ford Motor Company, the collection documents Metter's work for other major clients, including the Pepsi-Cola Company (Mexico) and Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company. Bulk of the collection consists of advertising and marketing research, client reports and correspondence, promotional materials, and other professional files. Also contains materials related to Metter's later work as a consultant and author, including drafts of an unpublished book manuscript entitled Breaking the Rules at J. Walter Thompson, a chronicle of his career at JWT.

The Bertram Metter Papers span 1908 to 2000, with the bulk of the collection dating 1953 through the late 1980s. The collection includes materials in a variety of formats, including correspondence, writings, newspaper and magazine clippings, sheet music, printed materials, photographs, and photostats, that document Metter's thirty years in advertising and marketing, with a focus on his career as a copywriter, creative director, and Vice Chairman at J. Walter Thompson USA (JWT). The collection provides a record of Metter's early work as a "direct response specialist" for the Ford Motor Company direct marketing operation, and other roles on the Ford account (Metter directed print and television promotion for Ford and played a key role in the launching of several new car models). In addition to Ford materials, the collection documents Metter's work for other major clients, including the Pepsi-Cola Company (Mexico) and Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company. While the bulk of the collection consists of advertising and marketing research, client reports and correspondence, promotional materials, and other professional files, the collection also contains materials related to Metter's later work as a consultant and author, including drafts of an unpublished book manuscript entitled "Breaking the Rules at J. Walter Thompson," a chronicle of his career at JWT.

The collection is organized into four series: Professional Files, Writings, Ford Motor Company Account Files, and Other Clients.

The Professional Files Series contains JWT office (non-client) files, memoranda, and publications; industry publications and press clippings; overviews of Metter's professional biography; and limited files on Metter's consulting work for Ross Roy Advertising. The Writings Series contains Metter's writings on the advertising industry; bulk of series is composed of an unpublished book manuscript entitled "Breaking the Rules at J. Walter Thompson," comprised primarily of chapter drafts and research. The Ford Series, the largest series in the collection, includes materials relating to the launch and promotion of new models (Escort, Maverick, Mustang, Olympic, Pinto, Thunderbird, and Torino); marketing research and strategic reports; Ford direct mail materials and newsletters; television commercial scripts and storyboards; advertisement clippings and headlines; reproduction prints of early photographs of the Model T from the Ford Archives, Henry Ford Museum; photostats promoting the Ford Erika; and photocopies of sheet music of Ford songs from the early twentieth century. The Other Clients Series includes materials relating to general marketing research; new business acquisition; and promotional campaigns for clients other than Ford, including Firestone, Liggett & Myers, and Pepsi-Cola (Mexico). Large-format materials have been removed from their original series location and relocated to Oversize Materials.

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The Information Center Records span the years from the 1890s to 1987 with the bulk dating from the 1940s to 1987. Reports, memoranda, clippings, financial papers, and printed materials that relate to specific J. Walter Thompson Company accounts and offices and to advertising strategies comprise the majority of the collection and are found in the Vertical Files Series and Communications Committee Reports Series. The Information Center Records provide information about a wide variety of J. Walter Thompson accounts, specific details about its operation of domestic and international offices, and an in-depth view of how specific products were evaluated and promoted. The history of the J. Walter Thompson Company, the organization of multinational advertising agencies, and advertising research and marketing are also represented in this collection.

Particularly highlighted in the Vertical Files Series is information about the T-plan and T-square, which documents the foundation upon which the J. Walter Thompson Company sought to market its clients' products. Knowledge about how particular products were studied and marketed are represented by product histories and case studies in the Vertical files Series. Typical information about a product includes its history, government standards, advertising and sales history, advertising investment sales records, packaging and labeling, consumer research, and surveys relating to the product.

Marketing research studies and media research reports are common types of data found in the J. Walter Thompson domestic and international office records. For example, New York office files contain reports titled "Advertising to Women" and "Advertising and Spanish Speaking Americans." The United Kingdom Files contain a report about the interests of children from four to twelve. While records relating to employees are primarily located in the New York Office files, the Chicago Office files include an Employee Attitude Survey (1969) completed by Elrick and Lavidge, a marketing research company. The domestic and international office files referred to above are located in the Vertical Files Series.

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The J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT), founded in 1864, is one of the oldest and largest enduring advertising agencies in the world. It opened its first international office in London in 1899, and by 1930 the agency had established offices in some 30 countries. At present, JWT manages offices or partnership arrangements in approximately 90 countries. The J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) International Advertisements Collection spans the years 1900-2004 and consists primarily of print advertisements, along with some transparencies, photocopies of advertising, and other collateral material that document some of JWT's international advertising campaigns through the 20th century. Clients include a variety of local, national and multinational commercial firms, as well as government institutions and public service organizations. The holdings of the collection are uneven, with the bulk of the advertisements dating from the mid-1960s up to about 1990. There are limited early advertisements from Chesebrough-Pond's, General Motors, and other clients dating from the late 1920s and early 1930s in print and on microfilm from the various offices established during those years. There are almost no international advertisements from roughly 1933 to the middle of the 1950s. The United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth countries, and Latin America account for most of the advertisements from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s. While the holdings since about 1980 are much larger than earlier holdings, they are by no means complete, and vary substantially from office to office. Key multinational clients represented in the collection include Chesebrough-Pond's, Eastman Kodak, Ford, General Motors, Kraft, IBM, Pepsi, R.J. Reynolds, and Unilever. English translations of foreign-language advertisements are often provided by JWT's Asian and Pacific Offices. European and Latin American Offices provided translations far less frequently. Advertisements for members of the British Commonwealth are generally available in English only or in both English and the local language. Spanish-language advertisements produced by JWT offices in the United States, intended for the domestic Spanish-speaking population as well as for Latin America, may be found in the J. Walter Thompson Company Domestic Advertisements Collection.

The J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) International Advertisements Collection spans the years 1900-2004 and consists primarily of print advertisements, along with some transparencies, photocopies of advertising, and other collateral material that document some of JWT's international advertising campaigns through the 20th century. Clients include a variety of local, national and multinational commercial firms, as well as government institutions and public service organizations. The holdings of the collection are uneven, with the bulk of the advertisements dating from the mid-1960s up to about 1990. There are limited early advertisements from Chesebrough-Pond's, General Motors, and other clients dating from the late 1920s and early 1930s in print and on microfilm from the various offices established during those years. A larger selection of early advertisements may be found on Microfilm Reel #41 (35 mm). Contact Reference Staff for access.

There are almost no international advertisements from roughly 1933 to the middle of the 1950s. The United Kingdom, the British Commonwealth countries, and Latin America account for most of the advertisements from the mid-1950s to the late 1970s. While the holdings since about 1980 are much larger than earlier holdings, they are by no means complete, and vary substantially from office to office. Key multinational clients represented in the collection include Chesebrough-Pond's, Eastman Kodak, Ford, General Motors, Kraft, IBM, Pepsi, R.J. Reynolds, and Unilever.

English translations of foreign-language advertisements are often provided by JWT's Asian and Pacific Offices. European and Latin American Offices provided translations far less frequently. Advertisements for members of the British Commonwealth are generally available in English only or in both English and the local language. Spanish-language advertisements produced by JWT offices in the United States, intended for the domestic Spanish-speaking population as well as for Latin America, may be found in the Domestic Advertisements Collection.

The collection is organized into the following geographical series: Africa, Asia/Pacific, Canada, Europe, and Latin America. The multinational series are arranged alphabetically by country. For countries with multiple offices, the folders are arranged alphabetically by the office of origin. When it has been determined that more than one office within a country has been responsible for a client, the advertisements for that client are housed at the beginning of the country’s collection in a "Multiple Office" group, listed alphabetically by product and the office involved as applicable (for exception, see below).

Advertisements are arranged according to the parent company of the product being marketed (i.e. Miracle Whip, Philadelphia cream cheese, Miracoli pasta and tomato sauce, and various salad dressings are all filed together under Kraft, within a given country). Because of corporate buyouts and name changes, it may be useful to search for a product under an older or more recent parent company (for example, Standard Brands and Nabisco, or Unilever and Brooke Bond Oxo). In some cases, the parent company may not be as well known as the brand name (such as Reckitt and Colman, parent company of Gerber Baby Foods), or could not be determined, so some flexibility in searching for products and companies is recommended.

The collection of advertisements from the Montreal Office is an exception to some of the notes and guidelines above. With 28 boxes of advertisements in French and English spanning 1921 to the 1990s, the Montreal Office Subseries is almost as large as the remainder of the entire collection. To maintain the integrity of these holdings, all advertisements from JWT/Montreal are housed together in the Montreal Office Subseries, even when Toronto and/or Vancouver also produced advertisements for the same client (for example, Labatts).

In addition, a small collection of international advertisements, mounted on foamboard for display purposes, is itemized at the end of this finding aid under the heading Mounted Advertisements.

Large-format materials have been removed to Oversize Materials. A dummy folder indicated by text in brackets has been inserted at the logical location of the removed material.

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Advertising executive, art director and graphic designer with the Cunningham & Walsh advertising agency in New York City. Collection includes prints, sketches, gels, photos, catalogues, correspondence, a set of logo design sketches for Cross Westchester Corporate Park, a drawing of an automobile by George or Robert Giusti and a sketch on a linen napkin from the restaurant Nicola Paone. Companies represented in include Amerika-Haus, Cunningham & Walsh, Boise Cascade Paper Company, St. Regis Paper Company, Herman Miller, Inc., Jaguar automobile, Sunshine Biscuits, Inc. (Kellogg), Western Electric Company (AT & T Technologies, Inc.), and Yellow Pages. Acquired as part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing History.

Collection includes prints, sketches, gels, photos, catalogues, correspondence, a set of logo design sketches for Cross Westchester Corporate Park, a drawing of an automobile by George or Robert Giusti and a sketch on a linen napkin from the restaurant Nicola Paone. Companies represented in include Amerika-Haus, Cunningham & Walsh, Boise Cascade Paper Company, St. Regis Paper Company, Herman Miller, Inc., Jaguar automobile, Sunshine Biscuits, Inc. (Kellogg), Western Electric Company (AT & T Technologies, Inc.), and Yellow Pages. Acquired as part of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing History.

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The Outdoor Advertising Association of America Slide Library spans the years 1891 through the 2000s, with the bulk of the collection originating in the 1950s and later. The collection documents over a hundred years of outdoor advertising primarily in the United States, plus some international campaigns from several other continents. The Slide Library is a large collection, almost entirely comprised of slides of billboards, exhibiting a grand range of graphic artistry, advertising campaigns, and marketing strategies. A smaller group of images supports the ad collection with views of artwork, billboard construction and other related images. In addition to over 62,000 slides, there are a few early glass slides, as well as transparencies, a small number of paper files, and six audiocassettes accompanying slide presentations. Many images were submitted by outdoor advertising companies over a number of years to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) as entries in annual national competitions to determine the best poster designs. The OAAA currently sponsors the OBIE Awards, which were preceded by awards programs under various names and sponsorships starting in the early 1930s. The award is modeled after the ancient Egyptian obelisk, considered by many the earliest form of outdoor advertising. Indeed much of the collection can be seen as evidence of this awards program although only the Award Nominees Series contains slides labeled as such. Other slides probably were transferred to OAAA when companies cleaned out their back files, though the precise sources of many items are unknown. The slides were maintained at OAAA primarily as a large supply of creative examples for member companies. Researchers interested in the following subjects may find the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Slide Library especially helpful: the outdoor advertising medium itself, advertising awards, advertising design, billboard construction, and commercial art, as well as the many outdoor advertising companies, advertisers, and advertising campaigns represented.

The images, designed to attract mass audiences, depict part of American society's history - a history of consumer attitudes and desires. The collection is therefore a valuable tool in formulating not only a pictorial development of the outdoor advertising industry but of societal norms and opinions. The ads speak to the creativity of artists and designers, but they also convey a rich story of how these creators saw society at large, especially in the United States. Perhaps more importantly, ads reveal how corporations and designers felt America wanted to see itself. Such visual richness underlies the primary goals of selling goods and services and promoting ideas for the public good. There are thousands of product advertisements but also many public service ads, political issue ads, and even Happy Birthday greetings in the collection. Billboards are one direct link from corporate America, various interest groups, and their advertising specialists to consumers; and a succinct one-sided conversation designed to spur them to action.

In contrast to other types of advertising, outdoor ads were designed with the fast-moving traveler in mind. The collection documents well the evolution of the billboard's attempt to reach those on the move, especially drivers. With careful thought to what would quickly provoke interest, advertisers presented a huge range of thought from text-free images of abstract artwork to direct discourse (e.g. Vote for Nixon). Because posters were displayed for only limited time periods, and because their physical size makes them impractical to store, photography is the primary method of capturing billboard images. Most billboard photos - whether print or slide - were created to document the work of the company which posted them for their business use.

Within the Slide Library, the creative output of many outdoor advertising companies is documented, although particular creators of many of the ads are unknown. Foster and Kleiser is well represented in the collection. Other companies named in the collection include Naegele, Pacific, Turner, Eller, Donnelly, Columbus, General Outdoor, Patrick, Gannett, Lamar, United, and many others. Thousands of national campaigns are represented, but many local ads are present as well. Outdoor formats range from 19th century posters to "multi-vision" boards that automatically change views with the use of three-sided boards. Most images are of actual billboards, posters, and other outdoor advertising formats in the field, while a sizable portion are just images of the ad design itself with a plain background. There are some slides of stock posters ("Your brand name here") and other forms of outdoor advertising such as bus cards, street furniture, and truck side advertising. The vast majority of the advertisements are in English.

The first three series make up the bulk of the collection: the Award Nominees Series, the Chronological Series, and the Topical Series (by far the largest of the three). These series are made up almost completely of slides showing advertisements, usually in billboard format. All series are described further within the container list. The only other series with a sizable number of advertisements is the International Posters Series. This is where the largest concentration of international ads is found, although there are a few scattered within the other main series. Ads may also be found scattered throughout the Presentations and Presentation Slides Series.

Several additional small series contain images of related content, providing support and context to the advertisements. These include the Construction and Creation Series, the Artwork Series, the Street Scenes and Approaches Series, and the Other Outdoor Advertising Related Images Series. The Presentations and Presentation Slides Series adds insight by showing some of the internal conversation between directors and trainees, advertisers and advertising creators, and more.

The most direct route to locate any identified ad is through the Resource for Outdoor Advertising Description (ROAD) database, available in early 2003. Information about most slides in the collection has been added to this database. Researchers will be able to search for specific attributes of ads such as brand or company name, product type, and headline, as well as other types of information including slide number, date, collection name, image type, image color, outdoor advertising type, and special notes. Many database records also contain a searchable field with the outdoor advertising company's name (posting company), a field indicating if the billboard is in a rural or urban setting, information on the presence of women, children, ethnic individuals, or famous people in the ad, and the billboard's geographic location. Various slide series were entered into the database differently. Multiple searches may be required for comprehensive searching. For more information, consult Research Services Staff (special-collections@duke.edu).

For more contextual information, use this collection in conjunction with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Records, especially that collection's Physical Structure Series, and Photographs, Slides, and Negatives Series. Closely related collections in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library include the John Brennan Outdoor Advertising Survey Reports, the John Paver Papers, the John Browning Papers, the Duplex Advertising Co. Records, the H.E. Fisk Collection of War Effort Mobilization Campaigns, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Records, the Outdoor Advertising Poster Design Collection, the Garrett Orr Papers, the R.C. Maxwell Company Records, the Howard Scott Papers, and the Strobridge Lithographing Company Advertisements.