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World Fairs: A Global History of Expositions

March 10, 2016

Adam Matthew publishes unique, multi-archive collection, unrivalled in scale and coverage

(Marlborough, UK). Adam Matthew, an award-winning publisher of digital primary source content has today launched World’s Fairs: A Global History of Expositions

From the Eiffel Tower and the Space Needle to the invention of television, chewing gum and hot dogs, world’s fairs have shaped the modern world.

This resource provides primary source material from hundreds of fairs in full colour, sourced from 13 libraries and archives: a vital source of research for teachers and students of globalisation, imperialism, anthropology, mass communication and design.

The breadth and depth of this resource is unmatchedby other providers, with material dating from the ‘Great Exhibition’ of 1851, through to documents pertaining to Milan’s successful bid to host ‘Expo 2015’.

World’s Fairs offers a unique insight into over 200 international expositions by presenting a wide variety of material that includes:

  • Fair committee records, design concepts, minutes and correspondence
  • Government records of early financial appeals and delicate international diplomacy
  • Contemporary ephemera (tickets, pamphlets, souvenirs, posters), personal accounts and official guidebooks.

Key features include:

  • Case studies of nine of the most significant fairs
  • Interactive site plans providing users with an immersive experience of five key world’s fairs
  • Teachers and students will be delighted at the shear wealth of visual material ranging from souvenir objects, photographs, posters and plans. From the Great Exhibition in 1851, through the proliferation of North American exhibitions, to fairs and modern-day expositions
  • Oral histories of attendees from The New York Public Library and Missouri History Museum

Editorial Director, Martha Fogg, commented: “This fantastic resource provides unrivalled information about the global phenomenon that is World’s Fairs. We have worked with a huge range of archives to bring students and scholars the most in-depth material available”.

World’s Fairs is available now. For further information and to request a free trial, visit:


Adam Matthew, an imprint of SAGE, is an award winning publisher of digital primary source collections for the humanities and social sciences. Sourced from leading libraries and archives around the world, their unique research and teaching collections cover a wide range of subject areas from medieval family life to 20th century history, literature and culture.



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