Advertising

We collect advertising in many formats, including posters, magazines, newspapers, food labels, billboards, catalogues and even junk mail – all showcasing the art of persuasion in Victoria, past and present.

Advertisements are littered throughout the pages of our large magazine and journal collection. Magazines like the Australian Women's Weekly provide a fascinating snapshot of past fashions and social norms. Another fine record of vintage fashion can be found in the Myer mail-order catalogue, which you can view online in full 1930s glory colour.

Newspapers are another great source for ads and can supply you with information about the rise and rise of house and grocery prices since 1838.

We hold posters of 19th-century theatrical performances as well as the 1960s archive of the Pram Factory and present-day material such as billboards for rock concerts, movies, sporting events and festivals. Melbourne's music scene is also represented in our collection of theatre programmes, which contains band flyers collected from Missing Link, one the city's longest-running independent record stores.

We also have travel posters spanning from the 1930s to the 1960s which include many colourful depictions of Australia and tourist locations around Victoria.

The archive of the printer Charles Troedel includes colour lithographs, show cards, brightly coloured labels for food and drink products and posters advertising theatrical productions, stage personalities, breweries, factories and land sales.

We even collect some of the junk mail that makes its way into the average suburban letterbox – something not many libraries keep. Although fleeting, junk mail is none the less reflective of Victoria's culture, and our collection of it reflects our commitment to capturing tomorrow's history.

More to explore