Browsing for Visual Sources: Ad Access and a Sampling of Photographers to Start

For your current assignment, you need to find either an ad campaign or a book of photographs by a single photographer to work with. So start browsing!


Looking for historical ad campaigns? Try Duke’s Ad*Access Archive.

Or try flipping through some magazines at a book store to look for some contemporary ads. Have a favorite organization (e.g., PETA, the Army, World Wildlife Federation, etc.)? Check them online – you’ll probably find their ads posted on the websites.  You might even google “controversial ads” to looks for advertisements that have made headlines in the blogosphere recently.Keep in mind that your ads do not need to be from American companies. In fact, they can be from anywhere in the world – just remember that you need to understand their context and you may need to translate the text, called the copy, that accompanies the image.


You can find books of photographs in the HSSE library on the 3rd floor in the Fine Arts Oversized Book section. Have a seat and flip through a few to find one you like. Here’s a handful of names to get you started with your browsing, but feel free to search beyond these artists:

Josef Koudelka                     Margaret Bourke-White                           Dorothea Lange

Diane Arbus                           Henri Cartier-Bresson                                Walker Evans

Weegee                                    Alfred Stieglitz                                               Annie Liebovitz

Find a photographer whose work you’re really interested in (and focus on the subject matter you find most compelling); zero in on two or three photographs from a particular series or project that capture your attention.


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