The Legacy Tobacco Documents Library (LTDL), developed and managed by the UCSF Library, allows searching of tobacco industry documents from a variety of companies. These collections are comprised of tobacco industry documents from the late nineteenth century up through the present with the bulk of the collections dated 1950 through 2002.
The LTDL contains over 14 million documents including advertisements, tobacco company internal memos, transcripts of court depositions, television commercial videos, and more.
The Legacy Tobacco Documents Library contains millions of documents. Here are some suggestions for finding what you need efficiently, without getting bogged down in thousands of minimally relevant results. Scroll down to view each tip.
How to search within collections: on the search page, check the boxes for the collection(s) you want to search.
Limit your search by document type to find the particular kinds of sources that are best suited to your research question. As you can see in the image to the left, you can select "Document Type" from the drop-down menu next to the search boxes.
Some Document Types:
This list contains only some of the document types found in LTDL. Find other document types by looking at the records for individual documents and seeing what document types have been applied to each document.
Excluding Types of Documents:
You can also exclude document types that you do not want.
For example, if you are not interested in video or audio, enter "video" and "audio" into the last two search boxes.
Change the drop-down menu next to each one from "Entire Record" to "Document Type."
Finally, change the last 2 small drop-down menus from "And" to "Not."
So to search for documents dated from 1987 through 1989, enter your dates as follows:
19870101 - 19891231
However: Be careful when limiting your search to particular years or dates.
Many documents in the DTDL are undated. Once you've narrowed down your area of interest and found a few documents, you may want to run a similar search without any date restrictions. This would let you find relevant documents that may not have been dated.
As you may know, many of the documents on LTDL were made public through lawsuits filed against tobacco companies. When documents are produced within the context of a legal investigation, each document is given a unique identifying number called a Bates Number.
For the most part, Bates numbers are sequentially assigned to related documents. So you can use Bates Numbers to find documents that are related to one another.
LTDL makes it really easy to browse this way. When you're looking at the record for a specific document, click on the tiny green arrows next to the "Bates Number" category.
In most collections on LTDL, you can search for documents related to particular brands (as opposed to companies, which may sell multiple brands of cigarette).
In a search box, type brd:brand name. For example:
Search by Company or Organization
In most collections on LTDL, you can search for documents related to particular companies, research organizations, lobbying firms, professional organizations (e.g. medical organizations), advocacy groups, and other relevant organizations. Searching this way will pull up documents in which the organization you're searching for was mentioned or discussed. You may need to try variations on the organization's name, for example "FDA" and "Food and Drug Administration."
In a search box, type org:organization name. For example:
Search by Person
In most collections on LTDL, you can search for documents related to particular people. These people have been mentioned or discussed in the document. There are also other search options for recipients of letters, senders of letters, and other ways to search for people by name.
In a search box, type per:person's name. For example:
You can use the same strategy to search using other "field codes." View the list at this link, and then add the field code plus your search term to the search box.
Or use the regular Advanced Search page and check the Collection box for Multimedia.
Browse tobacco industry videos here: http://archive.org/browse.php?field=subject&mediatype=movies&collection=tobaccoarchives
Browse tobacco industry audio here: http://archive.org/browse.php?field=subject&mediatype=audio&collection=tobaccoarchives_audio