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This project uses digital and physical archival collections to document the turbulent relationship between women, feminism, and the advertising industry during the post-war period.


This website is a research tool that brings together collections from the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History and the Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture. It documents the wide array of women’s experiences and activism during the post-World War II consumer boom. This resource enables users to locate materials relating to women’s work in the advertising industry and within advertisements themselves. The collections featured here include documentation of women in the advertising industry, feminist responses to advertising, and depictions of women within actual print adveritisements, along with documentation of the Women’s Liberation Movement.


To demonstrate the intersections between women’s history and the advertising industry, this website presents three separate exhibits that highlight a small portion of what can be discovered within the Hartman and Sallie Bingham Centers. These projects explore technology in advertising, the reproductive rights movement and motherhood, and professional women in the 20th century.

About the Collections

The Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture is part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. Established in 1988, the Sallie Bingham Center acquires and preserves published and unpublished materials that reflect the public and private lives of women throughout history.

The John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History is part of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University. Established in 1992, the Hartman Center holds an extensive collection of print and television advertisements, market research, industry reports, multimedia materials, and more.


This resource does not include all of the collections within the Sallie Bingham Center or the Hartman Center; rather, it describes a selection of the items that present several narratives at the intersection of women’s and advertising history. Researchers interested in this topic can learn about and locate specific documents and collections by browsing this website. You can also find out how to search for related materials through the Rubenstein archives on our “Research Tips” page.

About Story+

This project grew out of the 2019 Story+ program sponsored by the Franklin Humanities Institute. Story+ provides a summer research experience for Duke University students interested in bringing academic, humanities-based research to life through dynamic storytelling. Through Story+, undergraduates work in small teams with graduate student mentors, in a collaborative and creative research environment, to produce a final project for a partner organization. The “Consuming Women, Liberating Women” team, comprised of undergraduates Sonia Fillipow, Julia Nasco, and Sandra Luksic, and project mentor Meggan Farish Cashwell, worked closely with the Hartman Center and the Sallie Bingham Center to create this digital resource.