Adam Matthew and Duke University Announce Digitisation of Renowned J. Walter Thompson Advertising Archive

04 October 2016

Award-winning publisher, Adam Matthew, is delighted to announce a major new digitisation project in collaboration with Duke University that will see a selection of the world famous J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) Archive digitised. On publication in 2018, the digital resource will be a major boon for researchers working on the history of American consumer culture, the advertising industry, business history and American corporate brands.

The JWT Archive documents the history, operations, policies, and accomplishments of one of the world's oldest, largest and most innovative advertising firms. JWT played a pioneering role in the development of the advertising industry in twentieth century America and stands alone as the single most complete record on the history of modern advertising. Students and scholars will discover revealing details about the working life of the organisation, the nature of the advertising industry in twentieth century America and ways the company helped a number of clients such as Kodak, PanAm and Kraft turn their products into cultural icons.

Jacqueline Reid Wachholz, Director of Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History where the JWT Archives are held at Duke, commented: “The Hartman Center is thrilled to see such a significant amount of the JWT Archives digitized and indexed as part of the Adam Matthew project. We anticipate that it will increase access to this unique collection for scholars around the world”.

Once published, J. Walter Thompson: Advertising America will be cross-searchable with American Consumer Culture: Market Research and American Business, 1935-1965, which provides online access to the papers of market research pioneer, Ernest Dichter, from the Hagley Museum and Library. The selection of content from the official JWT archive at Duke will complement Market Research and American Business by including material from the following, ranging from 1885-2000:

  • Domestic and International JWT Office Publications and Newsletters.

  • Client Account Files and New Business Records.

  • Images from across the Domestic Advertisements Collection and the International Advertisements Collection.

  • Research Department Records from the New York and Chicago Offices.

  • Documents from the Writings and Speeches series including the work of JWT executives Burt Manning, Stanley Resor, James Webb Young, Dan Seymour, Jeremy Bullmore, Charlotte Beers, Rena Bartos, Arno Johnson, and the Creative Forum.

  • Review Board Records and Staff Meeting Minutes.

For more information and to register your interest in the collection, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.