Skip to main content
Advertisement for Fluffy Ruffers from Vogue June 24, 1909
Advertisements, as a primary source for research, provide a view into the culture and business of another time. Advertisements are a valuable source for more than history research; business, women’s studies, African American studies, psychology, and many other disciplines will find insights in advertisements.
To effectively use advertisements researchers need to ask a series of questions: 
-Who is the audience for the ad?
-Is the ad targeted at new or existing customers?
-Does the ad have an emotional appeal?
-How does the ad attract attention?
Daniel Pope goes into great detail about using advertisements for research in Making Sense of Advertisements (PDF) from the History Matters website. This is a great resource to share with your students and researchers. 
You can have fun with historical advertisements too.  Advertisements from the turn of the 20th century for appliances, "beauty treatments," and vacation getaways often seem comical from today’s perspective. For a smile and a touch of nostalgia, check out the Vintage Advertisements board on ProQuest's Pinterest page.
See how primary sources inspire research at our Content Diversity webinar on September 9. If you can’t make the webinar, be sure to view the recordings.

Advertisements, as a primary source for research, provide a view into the culture and business of another time. Advertisements are a valuable source for more than history research; business, women’s studies, African American studies, psychology, and many other disciplines will find insights in advertisements.

To effectively use advertisements researchers need to ask a series of questions: 

-Who is the audience for the ad?

-Is the ad targeted at new or existing customers?

-Does the ad have an emotional appeal?

-How does the ad attract attention?

Daniel Pope goes into great detail about using advertisements for research in Making Sense of Advertisements (PDF) from the History Matters website. This is a great resource to share with your students and researchers. 

You can have fun with historical advertisements too. Advertisements from the turn of the 20th century for appliances, "beauty treatments," and vacation getaways often seem comical from today’s perspective. For a smile and a touch of nostalgia, check out the Vintage Advertisements board on ProQuest's Pinterest page.

See how primary sources inspire research at our Content Diversity webinar on September 9. If you can’t make the webinar, be sure to view the recordings.

The advertisement on the right is from Vogue 33.25 (Jun 24, 1909): 1114, The Vogue Archive.

03 Sep 2015

Related Posts

Civilian Conservation Corps

Summer Travel: National Parks and the Civilian Conservation Corps

Contributions to U.S. National Parks by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.…

Learn More

ProQuest at the Making Constitutions Conference

In commemoration of the 800th Anniversary of the Magna Carta, ProQuest featured the House of Lords Parliamentary Papers at the Making Constitutions Conference in London.…

Learn More

Microfilm

Where will you find hit music, legendary movies and microfilm?

Buried deep within the hills north of Pittsburgh, more than 2.4 million reels of ProQuest microfilm and 13 million sheets of microfiche are safely stored alongside other treasures at Iron Mountain.…

Learn More

Search the Blog

Archive

Follow