Today marks the first anniversary of the Adverts 250 Project as a daily blog, an upgrade from its origins as a Twitter project. Thank you to all the readers who visited during 2016!
In the past year, the Adverts 250 Project has republished and analyzed 366 advertisements (bonus advertisement for leap year!) printed 250 years ago to the day or week. Guest curators, students enrolled in my Colonial America and Public History courses, selected 140 of those advertisements. In addition, the project has included several special features, including a series of more extensive essays on advertising in eighteenth-century America, reviews of public lectures and events, essays on the advantages and shortcomings of working with digitized primary sources, and vignettes honoring some of the most innovative printers who shaped eighteenth-century advertising. Along the way, the Slavery Adverts 250 Project emerged as a companion project on Twitter, with a daily digest featured here.
Over the past year, the Adverts 250 Project has been recognized by a variety of scholarly institutions and organizations. Many friends of the project – faculty, public historians, and independent scholars as well as archives, libraries, and museums – have supported the project by linking to it from their own websites or retweeting daily announcements about the most recent featured advertisement. Thanks in part to their help, more than 5000 readers from more than 100 countries visited the Adverts 250 Project in 2016. Many thanks as well to the institutions that have provided eighteenth-century newspapers for digitization (especially the American Antiquarian Society, where I regularly consult original and digital sources in tandem) and their corporate partners who have designed and distributed databases of early American newspapers, including Accessible Archives’ South Carolina Newspapers, Colonial Williamsburg’s Digital Library, and, especially, Readex’s America’s Historical Newspapers. I owe a particular debt of gratitude to Molly O’Hagan Hardy, digital humanities curator at the American Antiquarian Society, for her advice and encouragement to launch the project as well as her consistent and enthusiastic willingness to consult with me on various aspects of the project over the past year.
Curating the Adverts 250 Project throughout 2016 was pleasurable, exciting, and, most importantly, intellectually invigorating. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all the readers and supporters of this experimental digital humanities project over the past year. I hope that you will continue to explore the world of eighteenth-century advertising with me throughout 2017.