Friday, June 06, 2008

“Historians and archaeologists will one day discover that the ads of our time are the richest and the most faithful reflections that any society ever made of its entire range of activities.” Marshall McLuhan (1911-1980), Canadian communications theorist.

Marshall McLuhan was himself a master of the provocative soundbite, and prouncements like the one above seemed designed not so much to state a case as to dare anyone to refute it.

McLuhan's words also serve as the starting point for PERSUASION: Print Advertising and Advocacy on the Prairies a marvellous new online digital exhibit curated by Neil Richards for the University of Saskatchewan Library's Special Collections Department, the University of Saskatchewan Archives, and the Diefenbaker Centre. Through the presentation of over 600 exhibits it explores how print advertising and advocacy influenced and/or reflected the West's social, economic and political development. A year in the making, the site was released to the public last week: Check it out at And once you have read all the fascinating text and explored the site, treat yourself to the "random images" selection, here.