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Guide to Collections Related to Pan American World Airways: Digital Collections

Selected collections and materials in Duke University Libraries related to Pan American World Airways.

Pan American World Airways Advertisements Digital Collection

Searching the Collection

The collection is keyword searchable.  Search results are sortable utilizing the facets in the Limit Your Search bar on the left-hand side of the screen.  Users can filter search results by date range, arrival and departure locates, advertising agency, and language.  The Subject facet allows users to sort by aircraft type. 

About the Collection

The Pan American World Airways Advertisements digital collection consists primarily of print advertisements created by multiple advertising agencies from 1940 through 1991 for publication in North American newspapers and magazines.  There are a significant number of German and Spanish language advertisements represented that appeared in international publications as well.  A bulk of the advertisements in the collection were prepared by the J. Walter Thompson, Co., including their office in Frankfurt, Germany, and by Wells Rich Greene on behalf of Pan American World Airways.  Passenger and freight services can be found in the collection as well as joint ventures such as Pan American-Grace Airways, a partnership with Grace Shipping, focused on service to South America. Notable campaigns emphasize “around the world” air service, the “Clipper” concept, the debut of the Boeing 747 in 1967 and the launch of new passenger services such as in-flight entertainment.

Materials in the Pan American World Airways Advertisements digital collection were digitized in partnership with University of Miami and HistoryMiami Museum as part of an aviation portal, Cleared for Takeoff: Explore Commercial Aviation, hosted by the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). The project was supported by a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright Notice

Some of the material that Duke University Libraries has digitized and made available online for this project are in the public domain and some are copyright protected.  Materials published without copyright notice between 1978 and 1989 are highly likely to be in the public domain for failure to comply with U.S. copyright formalities applicable during that period.  Many of the pre-1978 materials are in the public domain for a similar reason.  Project staff worked with Duke University Libraries' Office of Copyright & Scholarly Communication to investigate and assess the copyright status of digitized materials and appropriately label them.   

Copyright protected materials have been made available under an assertion of fair use and other applicable limitations and exceptions to copyright. Copyrighted materials are downloadable but reuse of copyrighted content is limited to educational uses or other uses consistent with fair use.

All advertisements that appeared in foreign publications are copyright protected.  

The trademark to the Pan Am name and associated marks are still valid and actively asserted by its owner.  Those marks are included on copyrighted and public domain materials.

Questions and/or additional information regarding the copyright status of particular items can be directed to the Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History at  

Rights are communicated through item level metadata and local rights statement metadata and can be found beneath each digitized item in the digital collections viewer.  ​​​​​​​