Johns Hopkins University Press, in partnership with the Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries, has received a $200,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities to create digital editions of more than 200 significant but currently out-of-print scholarly books published by the Press. The grant also makes it possible for these new digital editions to be accessible for free through MUSE Open, a new publishing initiative by Project MUSE, the highly-regarded online collection of scholarly journals and books. The books selected for the project include works in American and European history, literary studies, and philosophy, and represent some of the most intellectually and academically consequential scholarship published by Hopkins Press. In the field of U. S. History, selected works offer insights into the shifting contours of historiographic methodologies and explore the disciplines of American economic history, political and legal history, and the history of technology.
Our very own Dr. Pamela Laird’s book, Advertising Progress: American Business and the Rise of Consumer Marketing (1998) is among the selected titles. Drawing on both documentary and pictorial evidence, this book explored the modernization of American advertising to 1920. Laird linked advertising's rise and transformation to changes that affected American society and business alike, including the rise of professional specialization and the communications revolution that new technologies made possible. Laird observed a fundamental shift in the kinds of people who created advertisements and their relationships to the firms that advertised. Advertising evolved from the work of informing customers (telling people what manufacturers had to sell) to creating consumers (persuading people that they needed to buy). Through this story, Laird shows how and why -- in the intense competitions for both markets and cultural authority -- the creators of advertisements laid claim to "progress" and used it to legitimate their places in American business and culture. The History Department is looking forward to having an accessible digital edition of this text for future scholars to utilize.