The Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History, Rubenstein Library, Duke University


The Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library acquires and preserves printed material and collections of textual and multimedia resources, making them available to researchers around the world. Through these collections and related programming, the Center promotes understanding of the social, cultural, and historical impact of advertising, marketing, and sales. It provides the most comprehensive archive of industry history available today.

The Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Duke University received the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT) Archives in 1987. Recognizing the opportunity to acquire related collections and to promote their use, the library created the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History in 1992 with funding from John W. Hartman and others. The Hartman Center holds an extensive collection of more than 3 million items that document the history of sales, advertising marketing throughout the past two centuries.

The J. Walter Thompson advertising agency was unparalleled among its peers in the way that it saved documentary evidence. Therefore its archive offers a rare insight into the inner workings of its advertising business over the past 150 years and the thinking and practice of those who created that output.