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European sources for advertising and marketing history

Jeannette Strickland (Department of History, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing

ISSN: 1755-750X

Article publication date: 19 November 2021

Issue publication date: 6 May 2022




This paper aims to build on Fred Beard’s study of the world’s archives to identity historical advertising and marketing ephemera, published in this journal in 2018, by focussing on resources available in Europe to augment his survey.


Online searching, supplemented by literature emanating from the business archive sector, led to the identification of 177 repositories or online sites in Europe holding advertising and marketing archives of significance for researchers. These are set out in two accompanying tables.


A wide diversity of European archives that are open to researchers is revealed in this paper. Many are the archives of the business themselves, but a number of collecting repositories are also listed, brought together for the first time.

Research limitations/implications

This paper focusses solely on Europe but does not claim to be comprehensive, as the study was time-limited and readers will, no doubt, know of resources that the author has missed. The findings relate mostly to Western Europe, so there is scope for further study to encompass archives in the former eastern bloc. Exploration of sources in Africa, Asia and Latin America would further supplement Beard’s original study.


This research brings together the broadest list of advertising and marketing sources open to researchers in Europe published to date. As Beard’s focus was more on the Americas, this examination redresses the balance with an array of European sources which, it is hoped, will contribute to the greater use of many little-known or under-researched resources by researchers across the world.



Strickland, J. (2022), "European sources for advertising and marketing history", Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, Vol. 14 No. 2, pp. 213-259.



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