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William Van Duyn Tobacco Advertisement Collection

Call Number: Ms Coll 20

Scope and Contents

The first and main part of the collection contains cigarette advertisements from popular magazines arranged by tobacco company, brand, and year. The companies are those in business when Van Duyn was collecting (1994-2002), not the original nor current companies. Many advertisements in this section can be identified by magazine and date. Although the advertisements are predominantly from American companies, there are also advertisements of British and Continental brands. One can trace advertising campaigns by different companies in different eras. The second part of the collection contains advertisements for cigars and other forms of tobacco, examples of cigarette packaging, photographs by Van Duyn of billboards and other outdoor advertisements for cigarettes, images of cigarette sponsorship of auto racing and other sports, and advertisements in which smoking is used to promote other products. The third part of the collection includes magazine and newspaper articles on legislation limiting smoking, litigation against the tobacco companies, and the settlement of 1997 with state attorney-generals. There are anti-smoking brochures and advertisements from the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the American Lung Association, and other organizations, and advertisements for products and methods to quit smoking.


  • 1898-2002


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Yale does not own copyright. Almost all the advertisements in this collection are under copyright to the tobacco companies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by William Van Duyn, 2002


Organized into two series, Regular and Oversize. Each series is subdivided into three subseries: 1. Magazine advertisements for cigarettes by brand. 2. Other tobacco advertisements. 3. Anti-smoking movement and tobacco politics.


46 Linear Feet (187 binders)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


William Van Duyn, a former smoker, collected advertisements and news articles related to tobacco, especially to cigarette smoking. These include cigarette advertisements by company and brand; other forms of tobacco advertisements including billboards (photographs taken by Van Duyn), merchandise catalogs, and sponsorship of racing; and newspaper and magazine articles and ephemera related to the anti-smoking movement and tobacco regulation and litigation.

Biographical / Historical

This collection of magazine advertisements, ephemera, articles, and photographs, was begun in 1994 by William Van Duyn, then a resident of Voluntown, Connecticut, who became fascinated by the ubiquity and deceptiveness of tobacco advertisements as a byproduct of his own effort to quit smoking. In addition to collecting, he founded a website to help others to quit. Van Duyn organized his advertisements, etc. into labeled looseleaf binders with the overall title "Gnikoms!" for smoking spelled backwards. At the time of his gift, Van Duyn and his family were living in Guilford and about to move to Canada.

Processing Information

The original finding aid was compiled by a student. Binders after 67 have since been renumbered.

Guide to the William Van Duyn Tobacco Advertisement Collection
Finding aid revised by Toby A. Appel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Medical Historical Library, Cushing/Whitney Medical Library Repository

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