Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Web Exhibit: R. R. Donnelly & Sons

"Printing for the Modern Age: Commerce, Craft, and Culture in the RR Donnelly Archive" is the digital portion of an exhibit mounted by the University of Chicago Library. As the site's introduction explains, the exhibit
explores the enormous impact that printing technology and print media have had on modern life. Materials in the exhibition are drawn from the RR Donnelley Archive, the historic corporate archive of R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company, the Chicago-based firm that has become the largest provider of print and print-related products and services in the world. The cumulative impact of RR Donnelley on modern American life has been remarkable. In nearly every aspect of home or business life, Americans have encountered RR Donnelley-printed products--Sears, Ward's or Penney's retail catalogs, city telephone directories, magazines from Time, Life, and Business Week to Sunset and National Geographic, best-selling books from trade publishers such as Random House and Penguin, sets of Encyclopaedia Britannica or World Book, promotional circulars in the local newspaper and direct-mail advertising, and financial documents and corporate publications.
Materials are divided into chronological and topical categories that cover the company's business history, technological advances, activity during the Second World War, printing of mail order catalogues, among many others. The text of the catalogue produced to accompany the exhibit has also been digitized.