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Adverts and local history

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This is under development.

Advertisements in newspapers and other publications can be used for various purposes in local history:

They can provide information that might not be obvious from other sources - such as 'trending' changes (eg the spread of telephones/websites and skills, and the changing range of goods on offer).

They can be searched in various ways, depending upon the publications available, the types of adverts and so on.

To some extent a knowledge of what is going on in the rest of the world (or even just the locality) is required - on occasion this indicates why certain items appear.

The viewpoint and coverage of the publication should be considered.

Depending upon the nature of the research it may be appropriate to consider some or all of the areas of advertising (though if partial or sampling there should be an awareness of what else is there).

  • Consider the distribution and types of adverts - 'hatch, match and dispatch', sale of goods and buildings, the labour market, forthcoming events and soon.
  • Are some adverts 'booked by the year'/advetisers always present, or is there a constant change?
  • Where there is a sufficiently long run how do things change - housing and other buildings, the employment market and so on. How do 'key features' of, for example, housing and job description change?

The spread of technology - telephone and other forms of communications (going from 'spotting the occasional one that does' to 'the one who doesn't'), typewriters and so on.

Check the 'Personal/Miscellaneous' adverts if available. Many will be of little or no persisting interest (the seeming tons of lost jewellery for example), but there is likely to be the occasional item of interest.

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