Feb 15th: Digital Archive Research

I found the topic of cigarette advertising, whether good or bad, very interesting when we first started doing research and wanted to see if I could find another archive that had information on this topic.  I found an archive called ‘The Real Cost’.  The archive deals only with anti-smoking images.  It is organized into three different categories: tobacco basics, effects and taking control.  The archive has little to no information on a given image which is definitely a drawback, but they do give you the sources from which they got the image from, so if you click those you would be led to more information.  In comparing this archive with the archive I originally researched, ‘Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising’, I found this article much less helpful.  The Stanford archive showed both the positive and negative advertisement having to do with tobacco, so you got to see both “sides” to the argument, which would help in terms of writing a research paper.  ‘The Real Cost’ archive is worth keeping and using in terms of research, but it isn’t the most helpful of archives on the given topic. 

Daphne Sellin




Yaochen Du

ChinesePosters.Net                                                                                               http://chineseposters.net/

ChinesePosters.Net is a archive that contains Chinese posters produced by various artists and organizations. The posters have a very diversified themes and time frame ranges from the early 20th century to modern time. Due to such wide variety of posters the archive collected, they divided them up and put the ones that are similar into smaller groups. This feature made the archive very easier to browse for viewers. Apart of theme groups, they also created categories with time frames and events, which made the site even more convenient for viewers. For very poster, the archive provides the name of the artist, production time, size, citation, and a English translation of what is being presented in the poster. These posters are all very beautifully made, and because posters are all produced to deliver a message to the public, they can tell a lot about the history of the Chinese society.

Annie Dobler–“Civil Rights Movement Veterans” http://www.crmvet.org/index.htm

One archive that I found to be interesting was the “Civil Rights Movement Veterans” digital archive. In this archive, when first clicking the link, I was directed to a series of photos. These photos did not include any captions or descriptions, but there was a message in every photo. For example, one of the first photos I saw was a woman with a solemn expression on her face with a sign that read “Justice” in big capital letters. Another photo featured two young men, one with the words “vote” painted across his forehead, and another holding the American flag. This archive is set up exceptionally well with very clear instructions. For example, when I clicked on the “search” button the archive gave me search tips such as what I could look up and types of keywords that are helpful to search. Additionally, there were photo albums, documents, letters, speeches and history from the Civil Rights Movement. In the photo album section, there were captions about what was going on, but no citation information. One of the only places I was able to find any citation information was in the bibliography section of the archive, although it was unclear to me as to whether these sources were used in the archive.

“The Valley of the Shadow” -Kathryn Gimborys

“The Valley of the Shadow” is an online archive by the Valley Project, created by the Virginia Center for Digital History and the University of Virginia Library. The archive displays personal, community, statewide, and national data and records in the interest of exploring responses to the buildup to the Civil War, the war, and Reconstruction. The site is organized into three categories, “The Eve of the War: Fall 1859 to Spring 1861”, “The War Years: Spring 1861 to Spring 1865”, and “The Aftermath: Spring 1865 to Fall 1870.” The archive is simply constructed and very straightforward, with the home page resembling a site map. Each section has a “Reference Center”, and additional sections displaying content, including census and veteran records, newspaper clips, images and maps, letters and diaries, and general statistics from the different years. Each page includes a general introduction, and each image or document in accompanied by explanatory text, along with the name of the artist/author and the year. You cannot search the whole site, but you can search within each section and each subsection (i.e. within “The War Years”, or within “Letters & Diaries” in “The War Years.”) The site puts on emphasize on contextualizing the archived images and documents, and I think it’s a really great resource to begin researching Civil War primary sources.


Ege Ipek – Tobacco Advertising Themes – Stanford School of Medicine

The archive I examined was Stanford School of Medicine’s archive about the impact of tobacco advertising.  It contains various posters used for advertising tobacco. The publication dates, brands, manufacturers, themes and which campaigns they belong to are present with the poster. A homepage containing information about the archive and its organizers, and a very useful search tool is present in the website. The archive is divided into four categories in total, cigarettes, e-cigs, anti-smoking, comparisons of advertisements. In each section, the posters are separated by themes such as adds containing cartoons or targeting teens. These themes are further divided by which advertising campaigns the posters belong to. Most of the posters have a few paragraphs next to them providing background information and explaining the impact of their campaign. A number of posters have remarks by the organizers with them commenting and giving further information about that particular poster. However not all of the information provided have citations with them. Overall, It is a very extensive archive with insight about the content, but resources are not shown for some of the information.

Alice Alperovich-The Holsinger Studio photographs (UVA)


I found The Holsinger Studio photographs (UVA) to be particularly interesting. It contains historic photographs from the early 20th century of the University of Virginia. The archive contains images of the students, faculty and the facilities of the university. These images help to create an authentic perspective on the 20th century college campus. The photographs also help the viewers to created a true outlook of the era and the college experience of the students during that time. The images contain the names of the people and the facilities pictured. The images also indicate date, the name of the photographer, Rufus W Holsinger. The information provided by the archive would help to research more information about the photographer or the objects portrayed. However, the article doesn’t provide the any background information about the people or the facilities captured on the photographs.

Parsa Fallahi: Posters from the First World War, 1914–1918

The Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin features 121 posters from the First World War. There are a variety of posters in English, French, German, and Russian. The topics of the posters range from recruitment advertisements to safety protocols in case of an attack. The database allows one to narrow the search by subject, creator, identifier, date, and format. The search bar searches for key words and returns all posters relevant to the key words entered. The advanced search bar is quite useful, allowing one to search for all words, any words, and exact phrases and by title, creator, date, subject, etc. The posters do not have citations, although there is a contact email that can be used to request additional information. Every poster includes the title, creator, date, language, and description, among other information. Posters that are not in English have English translations provided. Overall, the database is very simple to navigate and provides a great amount of detailed information about each poster.