Monday, August 22, 2011

New Digital Collection: Outdoor Advertising

ROAD 2.0 (Duke University Libraries) provides more than 27,000 images of billboards, wall paintings, electric “spectaculars” (such as the neon signs New York’s Times Square), bus shelters, taxi displays, and behind-the-scenes shots of outdoor ads under construction and sign painters at work. The site offers multiple options for searching and browsing (company, product, date, medium, etc.) the collection. Researchers may need to be creative in finding relevant images because subject-based access is limited; although "women" is not used as a subject heading in this collection, try keyword searches for terms such as woman, women, girl, lady, mother, etc. However, this approach will still miss numerous billboards that depict women or that target women as consumers.

Related Sources
Don't miss Duke's other Advertising Collections, such as Ad*Access, AdViews, and the Emergence of Advertising in America, 1850-1920.  Women and Advertising Pathfinder is an annotated guide to archival collections at Duke's Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History.

Basten, Fred E. Great American Billboards. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2007. WorldCat Record
This work includes images of 260 posters, signs, and billboards.

Gudis, Catherine. Buyways: Billboards, Automobiles, and the American Landscape. New York: Routledge, 2004. WorldCat Record
This history of billboards in the United States includes a good selection of images, such as a set of Atlantic Gasoline advertisements that feature sportswomen. Chapter 10, "When Separate Spheres Collide," covers the efforts of women to stop the proliferation of billboards across the American landscape. 

Hill, Daniel Delis. Advertising to the American Woman. Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 2002. WorldCat Record

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