RHETOR R1B: Telling Fictions, Fables, and Lies

Finding Historical Advertising

old california advertisingMany of these databases will let you limit your search results to only images, or only advertisements. The full list of primary source databases available at Cal is here.



  • Ad*Access Project
    Images and information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955. Ad*Access concentrates on five main subject areas: Radio, Television, Transportation, Beauty and Hygiene, and World War II, providing a view of a number of major campaigns and companies through images preserved in one particular advertising collection available at Duke University.
  • American Periodicals
    Periodicals published between 1740 and 1940, including general interest magazines, literary and professional journals, children's and women's magazines and other periodicals
  • Chronicling America
    This site allows users to search and view newspaper pages from 1880-1922 and find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. To date, over 200,000 pages of California newspapers have been digitized.
  • Early American Newspapers
    Access to hundreds of historic newspapers, providing more than one million pages as fully text-searchable facsimile images.
  • HarpWeek
    Full-image reproductions of Harper's Weekly from its beginning in 1857 to 1912. Provides access to information about 19th and early 20th century advertising, illustrations, culture, history, literature, and notable figures.
  • Historical Newspapers (ProQuest)
    Includes Chicago Defender (1910-1975). Chicago Tribune (1849-1988). Los Angeles Times (1881-1988). San Francisco Chronicle (1865-1922). New York Times (1851-1994) with Index (1851-1993). Wall Street Journal (1889-1994). Washington Post (1877-1995).
  • Sixties: Primary Documents and Personal Narratives
    Documents the key events, trends, and movements in 1960s America. Includes 70,000 pages of letters, diaries, and oral histories; more than 30,000 pages of posters, broadsides, pamphlets, advertisements, and rare audio and video materials. Click on Search to restrict your search to Material Type: Image.
  • Vogue Archive
    The entire run of U.S. Vogue (including advertisements, images, etc.) from the first issue (1892) to the present. Includes the ability to search by fashion item and company/brand.
  • 19th Century U.S. Newspapers
    Images of both full pages and clipped articles for hundreds of 19th century U.S. newspapers. For each issue, the newspaper is captured from cover-to-cover, providing access to every article, advertisement and illustration.
  • 19th Century British Newspapers
    Contains full runs of 49 papers selected by the British Library as representative. It contains regional and national papers in England as well as papers from Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Content comes from penny papers read by the working class and papers advocating political or social movements such as Reform, Chartism and Home Rule.

Art Images and Reference Sources

  • ARTstor
    A repository of more than 1 million digital images and associated catalog data. The collection is designed to be used by students and faculty for teaching and research in art history, as well as many other disciplines. Short instructional videos are available online. See: Intro to the new ARTstor, Downloading images to PowerPoint, Batch download tool, and Making an image group.
  • Grove Art Online
    Online version of the 34-volume Grove Dictionary of Art; also includes The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art Terms,Encyclopedia of Aesthetics, and The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Contains articles on every aspect of visual arts including painting, sculpture, graphic arts, architecture, decorative arts and photography. Also includes biographical information on major artists, bibliographical references and links to images.

More Historical Images

  • AP Images
    4.6 million photographs from the Associated Press dating back to 1826 to the present. Historical photos date from 1996 back to 1826. Also includes tens of thousands of graphics, over 4,500 hours of audio files dating from the 1920s, and news stories and headlines dating from 1997.
  • American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library
    Consists of more than 7 million digital items from more than 100 historical Library of Congress collections. The primary source and archival materials relating in the project cover topics from art and architecture to performing arts to technology and applied sciences.
  • American Museum of Photography
    Iincludes over 5,000 images from daguerreotype portraits to Ansel Adams.
  • Calisphere
    Gateway to digitized images from the libraries and museums of 10 University of California campuses and more than 100 cultural heritage organizations in California. Includes more than 150,000 photographs, diaries, documents, oral histories and other resources. Serves as a single point of access for more than 300 UC-created websites and collections.
  • Online Archive of California (OAC)
    A searchable and browseable resource that brings together historical materials from a variety of California institutions, including museums, historical societies, and archives. Contains over 120,000 images; 50,000 pages of documents, letters, and oral histories; and 8,000 guides to collections. Images are organized into thematic and institutional collections, such as historical topics, nature, places, and technology.

Citing Images

Here are some helpful links that should get you started with citing images:image of an African sculpture

Image Citation Guide (from Purdue University)

Citing Images (from the University of Washington, Bothell)

Citation Examples (from ArtSTOR)

Last Update: September 05, 2013 17:37