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EN 121: English Composition

About Ad Assignments

Do you have to find advertisements and analyze them in terms of cultural, social, and/or historical context?  Try the suggestions on this page!


Search for books, ebooks, articles, and more

Search tips for OneSearch

  • advertising (not advertisement) , alone or with a category or brand, e.g.' advertising perfumes'  'advertising Coca Cola'
  • just the brand or company name
  • advertising pictorial works for books mostly of images.

Selected books from our collection:

Find Articles/Reports in Library Databases

•  Try databases with search limits for advertisements:
Vogue Archive (1892-current) [choose Advanced Search : Search options : Document type : Advertisement];

Harper's Bazaar Archive (will be 1867-    ; current content available: 1940-2015, with gaps)
Women's Magazine Archive
New York Times Historical (1851-2009)  [choose
Advanced Search : Search options : Document type : Display ad]; 
HarpWeek (1857-1865) [select Search : Full Article Text - Standard Search : feature: Advertisement; limit dates to 1857 to 1865]

Using magazines to find ads

•  Check FIT Library's collection of magazines with ads,  Periodicals Collection, 6th floor.  See the Periodicals by Subject Research Guide to find titles owned by the Library.

Browse popular magazines for ads, such as: Life (Library has 1936-2000; also online available through Google books), Better Homes & Gardens (1950-current; also available through Women's Magazine Archive database, link below), House & Garden (1926-1993), Good Housekeeping (1885-1924; 1947-current; also available through Women's Magazine Archive database), Vogue [American] (1892 to current; also available through Vogue Archive database),  Seventeen (1947-1949; 1967 to current),  Esquire (1964 to current).  Periodicals Collection 6th floor.

•  Try Google Magazines, for digitized magazines, including ads, such as Life (1936-1972) & Ebony (1959-2008)

E-books in Databases / Websites for History/Social Life/Culture


Try searching the catalog by decade ("1960s" or "ninteen sixties") or by the name of an era or an event ("Vietnam War"). 

Here are some examples of books that might help with your research: 

Advertisements and Commercials

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