Monday, September 10, 2012

LCP in the New Yorker—Burma Shave Style!

The Library Company has launched an advertising campaign in The New Yorker magazine modeled on the old Burma Shave signs that dotted the edges of America’s highways from the 1920s through the 1960s.  Beginning with the ad pictured here, which appeared in the September 10 edition, and running through the end of the year, each week a new ad will highlight some noteworthy aspect of our history and our collections.  The tiny ads give out just enough information to entice readers to a website that will give them a more in-depth discussion of the week’s topic and—ideally—lead them deeper into the Library Company’s regular site to learn more about the institution.  

The ad campaign is the brainchild—and generous gift—of Library Company Trustee Davida Deutsch, who has long felt that the readership of the magazine was a natural constituency for the Library Company. While The New Yorker ads are not consecutive the way the Burma Shave messages were, we hope that by adopting the same playfulness we will intrigue and delight a whole new audience.

This is not the first time that the Library Company has benefitted from the creative marketing genius of Ms. Deutsch, an independent scholar with interests in women’s history, the history of education, and material culture and art history.  Always convinced that what everyone really wants—whether they realize it or not—is to know more about the Library Company, and always alert to ways that her contacts can help us, she convinced Swann Auction Galleries to feature an exhibition of our African Americana on the basis of how much our early work had done to build this market. She was also instrumental in prevailing upon the editors of Antiques Magazine to devote an issue to the Library Company at the time of our 275th Anniversary in 2006.  We still use this beautiful edition with articles on our color-plate books, clocks, bindings, and other subjects today as an introduction to the institution. Most recently, Ms. Deutsch was able to interest a New York Times writer in our recent acquisition of a volume owned by 18th-century Library Company bookagent Peter Collinson.

We look forward to the increased traffic as The New Yorker readers rush to the new site.  Be sure to check back each week for the newest installment.  

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