Internships Project Spring 2021: Women’s Collection


Project Abstract

The aim of this internship project is to create an arranged and described collection from the material in the Women & Tobacco Collection, Manuscript Series (MSS) 022, which contains advertisements from magazines and publications targeted at women and girls.

The collection also contains a trove of materials concerning Dakota branded cigarettes, a label aimed at “free-spirited, all American, rustic and rugged” women by R.J. Reynolds, effectively an effort to create a contemporary Marlboro woman in denim and leather bestrode a rumbling motorcycle. Other brands featured in the collection such as Virginia Slims, Marlboro, Philip Morris, and Newport and Kool targetted women with soft more feminine approaches that belied the devastating effects of smoking by equating them with youth, vitality, sensuality, independence. Marlboro and Philip Morris appeal to kinder gentler women of a bygone age from the first half of the 20th century appealing to flappers of the 1920s and the cult of domesticity of the post World War II baby boom. Virginia Slims emerges from Philip Morris in the age of Women’s liberation and by the 1990s is running ads that appeal to new-age philosophical self-discovery while rarely if ever featuring a cigarette. While Newport and Kool target women of color with mild methol flavoring and advertisements featuring minority models in minority magazines.

The collection also hosts the scientific and medical research and literature on the prevalence of smoking among and the deleterious effects of tobacco use in women, as well as efforts to combat cigarette use by women.

Women 1
The two special editions of the New York State Journal of Medicine focused on Smoking published in 1983 and 1985.


The intern will use the Omeka browser-based content management system to upload the correspondence to a collection (022 – Women and Tobacco).


Discussions will determine the nature of the entries to Omeka.  However, the general outline of the project is to evaluate the scope of the collections and base the arrangement schema around likely topic and source.

Critical analysis and input from the intern and the collection manager will decide the best route.


Metadata Entry – The intern will be responsible for entering corresponding metadata to the entries in the collection. The required fields will be as follows.

  • Title – Tag Line of an Ad or Title of an Article
  • Type – Typically “Advertisement” or “Article” or “Artifact”
  • Creator – Author of the Article (Not always Needed) or the Company that Created the Ad or Artifact
  • Source – Publication of the Article or Advertisement
  • Date – Month DD, YYY
  • Identifier – There is a particular format for this that we prefer for posting these to our exhibitions. An example is below and a more detailed tutorial will follow later on this page.

You’ve Come a Long Way Baby

Virginia Slims
Philip Morris
Ms. Magazine
July 4, 1976

Abstract – A general synopsis of the correspondence in any given entry set should be written. This should detail the date range, the brands and individuals involved, and the subjects/articles being discussed. This will likely be no longer than a paragraph and will look generally like this.

A series of Virginia Slims advertisements dating from the 1990s that feature new-age slogans and mantras in their messaging. The ads have rich pastel or warm colors with energetic or seductively confident women in them.

More instruction on this will follow as the Center continues to firm up its policy on finding aid creation.

Work Product

  • An arranged, described, indexed and searchable collection uploaded to
  • An online exhibition on Women & Tobacco.
  • A brief review of the material written by the intern.


Successful completion or significant contribution to the project, with timely and accurate completion of assigned tasks, will merit satisfactory marks from the Center in regards to the Intern’s performance.


Shared resources for the project will be posted here for the intern to access, in addition to a courtesy form for the intern to track their hours for completion of the assignment if desired.