Canada's Advertising History No Longer Collecting Dust, Large Archive of Material Heading to McMaster University
There is a corner of Terry O’Reilly’s office that smells like a basement.
The culprit is a bag full of cassette tapes, sent to him after he asked a former creative director if he had archived any of his old radio commercials.
“You know that smell? That’s the state of our advertising archives right now, in this country,” Mr. O’Reilly said, speaking from the office at his agency, Pirate Toronto.
Lacking in storage space – or the time and resources to catalogue past work – many advertising agencies have been lax about building archives. Much of the Canadian industry’s heritage has been gathering dust in piecemeal personal collections.
But a new movement to organize and preserve Canada’s marketing history has taken a step forward: Pirate Toronto has donated a massive catalogue of about 50,000 pieces of advertising to McMaster University in Hamilton, creating the largest industry archive in Canada.
“This is an outstanding collection of truly iconic commercials and advertising campaigns,” says University librarian Jeff Trzeciak. “It is a remarkable source of information for our students and faculty, providing them with concrete examples of the entire creative process.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.