About the Political TV Ad Archive

The Political TV Ad Archive -- powered by the Internet Archive

The Political TV Ad Archive is a project of the Internet Archive. This site provides a searchable, viewable, and shareable online archive of 2016 political TV ads, married with trustworthy fact-checking and reporting. Political TV ad spending cost billions in the election, yet the same local stations that aired the ads provide very little solid reporting on politics. Even fewer corrected political misinformation. In partnership with trusted journalistic organizations, the Political TV Ad Archive provided a free service for journalists, civic organizations, academics and the general public to track these ads in context.  The project is open source and available on github: here is this site and the Duplitron.

For an introduction to the Political TV Ad Archive and how to use it, check out this video.

Here is information about markets we are tracking in the 2016 general elections.

About the Internet Archive and TV News Archive

The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library founded by Brewster Kahle in 1996 with the mission to provide “Universal access to all Knowledge.” The organization seeks to preserve the world’s cultural heritage and to provide open access to our shared knowledge in the digital era, supporting the work of historians, scholars, journalists, students, the blind and reading disabled, as well as the general public.


The TV News Archive, launched in 2012, also a project of the Internet Archive, is a research library service is intended to enhance the capabilities of journalists, scholars, teachers, librarians, civic organizations and other engaged citizens. It repurposes closed captioning to enable users to search, quote and borrow U.S. TV news programs. Available at no charge, the public can use the index of searchable text and short streamed clips to explore TV news, discover important resources, understand context, evaluate assertions of fact, engage with others and share insights.

Key staff

Robin Chin, Archivist

Jessica Clark, Director of Media Impact Strategy & Assessment

Katie Dahl, Research Associate

Katie Donnelly, Associate Director of Media Impact Strategy & Assessment

Tracey Jaquith, TV Architect, Internet Archive

Jacob M. Johnson, Collections Coordinator

Jeff Kaplan, Collections Manager

Carolyn Li-Madeo, Designer (former)

Roger Macdonald, Director of Television Archive

Ralf Muehlen, Cluster Engineer

Alexis Rossi, Director of Media & Access

Dan Schultz, Senior Engineer

Trevor von Stein, Systems Administrator & Archivist

Nancy Watzman, Managing Editor, Television Archive, Internet Archive

Angela Woodall, Research Associate (former)

Our funders


The first phase of the Political TV Ad Archive, covering key 2016 primary elections, was funded by a $200,000 grant from the Knight News Challenge, an initiative of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Challenge was a collaboration joined by the Rita Allen Foundation, the Democracy Fund, and the Hewlett Foundation. The Democracy Fund also granted $49, 634 to support joint trainings of journalists in key primary states in partnership with the American Press Institute. The Rita Allen Foundation and the Democracy Fund have supported the general election phase of the project with grants of $110,000 and $100,000 respectively. Additional support came from personal donations by Christopher Buck ($25,000) and Craig Newmark ($20,000). The January 2016 launch event was co-sponsored by the National Press Club Journalism Institute.