The JWT Newsletters digital collection consists of over 1,600 newsletters of the J. Walter Thompson Co. advertising agency from 1916 to 1986. These internally distributed newsletters touch on myriad topics of interest to the company such as account and client news; general and client-specific marketing surveys; developments in print, radio, and television advertising and marketing research; as well as personnel news such as new hires, transfers, promotions, and brief biographical sketches.
Digital Projects and Production Services have been excited to digitize and provide access to the JWT Newsletter digital collection (see more information about the collection on one of our sister blogs, the Devil’s Tale). We recently started using OCLC’s CONTENTdm (an access tool used by many libraries to provide access to digitized materials) as part of our public interface in July with the Duke Chronicle digital collection. Incorporating CONTENTdm with our public interface has allowed us to provide new services to our patrons using collections like the JWT Newsletters. These include:
Full text search of the JWT Newsletters – you can see your search results highlighted in the scanned images!
Patrons can download a PDF of any item
Advanced search by date range and/or full text
Use a page Flip View to turn the pages of a newsletter.
We have more projects planned in the future to take advantage of these exciting features. In the meantime, please enjoy perusing the JWT Newsletter and learn more about one of the oldest and most prominent advertising agencies.
On 5 July 2011, images from one of Duke University Libraries’ digital collections made a guest appearance on Episode 3 (Season 9) of the popular PBS show, “History Detectives.”
The segment, entitled “The Bullet That Fought America’s Secret Siberian War,” investigated the origins of a curious example of “shell art”: a WorldWar I vintage cartridge-cum-letter opener, which was inscribed with the words “Geo. V. Thompson, CO E 31st Inf., A.E.F. Siberia.” As the History Detective assigned to the case discovered, this piece of early-20th-century folk art had once belonged to a U.S. soldier, who was stationed with the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) in Siberia, during America’s brief and unsuccessful intervention in the Russian Civil War. Apparently, it was commissioned from a local artisan, who made his rubles selling souvenirs for American G.I.s eager to have an exotic memento of their stint of service in Siberia. On the PBS website, viewers can watch the full episode (duration: 17:42), download the transcript of the show, and even read letters that George Thompson sent home from Siberia.
Viewers of the “Siberian Bullet” episode, and anyone else interested in further exploring America’s “Secret Siberian War,” can also consult the “Americans in the Land of Lenin” digital collection. This collection contains over 400 black-and-white photographs from Duke University’s Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, including images used in the History Detectives episode. The collection provides unique visual documentation not only about U.S. involvement in the Russian Civil War, but also about daily life during war-time in an ethnically and religiously diverse region on the border of three major 20th-century powers (Russia, Japan, and China). A YouTube video (duration: 2:44) and additional information about Duke’s digital collection of AEF photos can be found in the Fall 2008 issue of Duke University Libraries Magazine, which includes a shorter version of an article eventually published as “‘A Dirty Place for Americans to Be': Images of the Russian Civil War in Siberia from the Robert L. Eichelberger Collection at Duke University Libraries,” Slavic & East European Information Resources, 10 (2009): 29–44.
At this time of year, we here at Duke Digital Collections always like to celebrate the mothers who have been such major influences on us: Marge Simpson … Carol Brady … Clair Huxtable … the mother of all those melon-headed children in The Family Circus …. Oh, also our own mothers. The time of year we are referring to is, of course, Cinco de Mayo. ¡Cinco de Mayo! Also Mother’s Day, which we are also big fans of, although we would like it better if we associated it with half-price margarita pitchers. Let’s take a moment to recognize some of the outstanding moms in our digital collections with the first annual Duke Digital Collections Mother of the Year Awards!
The “You Are Getting Sleepy … Very Sleepy” Award
Sometimes even the most devoted mother has days when every minute the children are still up is like a knife through her soul worrisome because the little darlings need their rest. Back in the days before C-SPAN was invented, parents often eased their kids off to dreamland as early as 4 p.m. by gathering the whole family around the ole seed catalog. Interestingly, at this photo shoot the boy on the left fell backwards off the ottoman immediately after this photo was taken and woke up 3 days later. These days, parents get the same results by having the kids play a few minutes of Wii Seed Catalog after dinner. Continue reading The Duke Digital Collections Mother of the Year Awards→
Since we launched the first batch from the collection back in July 2009, the commercials have amassed over 2.5 million downloads and 700,000 previews in iTunes (viewing a video from within iTunes without downloading). There’s no doubt that AdViews has been popular in iTunes. We have heard from several patrons how easy it is to get the videos using this familiar software. Others have downloaded tracks directly through the iPad’s own iTunes interface for viewing on-the-go outside of a Wi-Fi hotspot. One patron even sent us a virtual hug.
But iTunes isn’t for everyone. We have heard from folks using computers in public libraries where they are unable to install the software. We have also gotten emails from Linux users unable to run iTunes. We aim to make our collections usable through familiar, user-friendly interfaces (such as iTunes), but it’s also important that they are as open and accessible as possible. We are happy to now extend the collection’s reach to a broader audience.
As of this week, you can now access AdViews videos in three different ways:
Our website. Now from our web interface, click any track title and an embedded video player will pop out (courtesy of the Internet Archive). There are buttons to view each video “album” (or “subcollection”) in either iTunes or the Internet Archive.
Internet Archive. View the videos directly in your web browser. You can download different sizes of MP4s, or even Ogg Video, if that’s more your thing.
iTunes U(iTunes software required). View or download MP4 videos through iTunes on your computer, iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. Downloading will automatically add the videos to your iTunes library under the “iTunes U” category.
Special thanks go to Skip Elsheimer at A/V Geeks, Jeff Kaplan at the Internet Archive and Will Sexton here at Duke University Libraries for their contributions to this project.
This is our first project to be completed using our new suite of tools for creating digital collections at Duke, including our newly redesigned web interface. We will introduce some enhancements to the Russian Posters site over the next few weeks.
Please feel free to leave feedback and suggestions for this collection in the comments.
Many of us awoke this morning to the sad news that legendary actress Elizabeth Taylor died today in Los Angeles. She was best known for her amazing film work (we particularly like her in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and her colorful personal life, but like many other Hollywood stars of the era, she also appeared in a number of advertisements during her early career. We have a couple of her print ads in our Ad*Access digital collection, and are highlighting them here. You can click on the images to see larger versions and learn more about them.
This 1952 magazine ad for Lustre-Creme shampoo showcases Ms. Taylor’s famous beauty. In addition to her two Oscars, we learn here that she was also voted by “Modern Screen” and “a jury of famed hair stylists” as one of the world’s 12 loveliest-haired women. The film that’s also being promoted here, Ivanhoe, was released in 1952 and also starred Robert Taylor (no relation) and Joan Fontaine. It was one of the four top money-making films of the year and was nominated for three Academy Awards.
In this comic strip-style ad, Elizabeth Taylor says “Like satin … that’s my skin with new Woodbury Powder!” and also, apparently, “I love the super-smooth finish Woodbury gives my skin.” Here she’s identified as one of the stars of the 1949 film version of Little Women, in which she played Amy, starring alongside June Allyson as Jo, Peter Lawford as Laurie, Margaret O’Brien as Beth, and Janet Leigh as Meg.
It’s been an unusually cold and snowtastic winter here in Durham, with what’s felt like a constant threat of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and the dreaded “wintry mix” hanging over our heads for weeks. The local news has been in nonstop Winter Weather Crisis mode, with round-the-clock footage of what we believe is the same group of itinerant (and possibly feral) children, who follow camera crews around with their pieces of cardboard and garbage can lids so we can see IDENTICAL FOOTAGE of them sliding down a snowy hill and squealing ALL THE TIME.
Most winters we have maybe one dusting of snow, or a few sleet pellets mixed in with the rain once or twice, so being threatened with the Icepocalypse every few days is something we’re not accustomed to. Every time we turn around, we are back at the grocery store kicking somebody in the back to get the last loaf of bread or punching somebody in the windpipe to grab the last gallon of milk. This is really more exercise than we are used to getting. And we won’t even talk about how the schools are constantly letting out early or just plain closed, resulting in selfish children wanting to be picked up or fed or whatever kids are into these days.
So to combat the winter doldrums, we here at Duke Digital Collections present some sunny, tropical images from Ad*Access to help you think warm thoughts. Put on your sunscreen, change into your skimpiest and most scandalous swimsuit, crank up “Vacation” by the Go-Go’s, and let’s hit the beach! (You can click on any of the images to see a larger version and more information about it.)
January is the perfect time of year to visit fabulous Runway Beach! Yes, nothing is more relaxing or romantic than lying on the beach sipping a margarita as you are strafed by a jet that fills your eyes and mouth with sand and blows the drink out of your hand. The smell of cocoa butter mixed with jet exhaust will make you contentedly lie back and say, “AaahhhhhAIIIEEEEEARGGGH KOFF KOFF KOFF.”
Thanksgiving is upon us, and this time of year we all have many things to be thankful for: the sound the cranberry sauce cylinder makes as it blorps out of the can; sitting in a dazed stupor in front of the Detroit Lions as your body struggles to process the food cataclysm you hath just wrought upon it; a pre-dawn fistfight with other shoppers over the last $3 curling iron…. Good times. But since many of us are so abundantly blessed that we have trouble keeping track of everything we should be grateful for, let’s consult Duke Digital Collections for reminders of reasons we should give thanks.
Be thankful … for consumer electronics. Finally, Dad got the hint and got us that Pentron tape recorder we’ve been Tweeting, Facebooking, texting, graffitiing the bathroom walls, and whining around the dinner table about! It’s just what we need to record the sounds of Little Susie stomping on his feet and holding his arms while Big Sister (or Mom or Crazed Neighbor or whoever that is) chokes him from behind. Family togetherness!
It’s October, so everyone’s thoughts have turned to football. Or the Great Pumpkin. But because we don’t have any images of the Great Pumpkin in our digital collections, let’s say football. It’s hard to imagine, but in olden days we somehow managed to enjoy football without luxuries like high-def, Doritos commercials, high-def Doritos commercials, and four guys all yelling at the same time on The OT. There were six quarters lasting 90 minutes each, the field was eight yards long, a common trick to confuse the other team was to have the homecoming queen run onto the field to kick the extra point, and the football was a big rock. We are pretty sure all this is true. Let’s look at some of the historic football images in Duke Digital Collections and see what else we can learn about the ol’ pigrock. You can click on any of the images to see a larger version and learn more about the digital object.
In the 1930s, players often wore sesame-seed buns as helmets, as seen on the cover of this Duke/Davidson program from our Duke Football Programs digital collection. We originally thought the Davidson player here was falling down and throwing up, but upon closer examination we realized he has bitten the trousers of the Duke player. We like our original interpretation better. Either way, we love the 3-D Viewmaster-y style of the whole tableau. Continue reading What It Wasn’t, Was Football→