In the Stacks: World War I propaganda posters at the Harry Ransom Center April 21, 2014 – Posted in: In the Stacks, posters – Tags: ,


ww1 feed the gunsWar bonds. Feed the guns! Thomas, Bert, 1915

It was supposed to be the “the war to end war” but unfortunately it wasn’t. And in addition to the horror of the battlefield (ten million men killed) WWI also featured a battle of propaganda.

Thanks to its newly digitized collection of over 100 propaganda posters from WWI the Ransom Center gives us a front row seat to the battle to win the hearts and minds of the American people and its allies as well as the enemy attempts to do the same.

ww1 keep offKeep these off the U.S.A. Buy more liberty bonds. John Norton, ca. 1917

The lithographs in English, French, German, and Russian illustrate a wide spectrum of sentiments from military boosterism to appeals for public austerity.  The posters document geo-political causes as well as social and economic transformations set in motion by the war.  The role of women, new technologies, international aid, wartime economy, and food supply all feature prominently in the First World War Collection.


ww1 garden armyFollow the Pied Piper. Join the United States school garden army. Maginel Wright Barney, ca. 1919
WWI poster all you need is a heartJoin. All you need is a heart and a dollar ca 1915-1917
ww1 ywcaFor every fighter a woman worker… Y.W.C.A. Back our second line of defense. Ernest Hamlin Baker, 1918
ww1 liberty speakingHello! This is Liberty speaking. Z. P. Nikolaki, 1918
ww1 knights columbusHelping your boy through no man’s land…Knights of Columbus war camp activities fund ca. 1917

View the collection

Previously on In The Stacks:

Rockwell Kent at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art
William Burroughs Through the Lens of Allen Ginsberg 
Leslie Jones at the Boston Public Library
The Getty Museum opens up
The Tokyo Sightseeing Photo Club
First Visit to The New Digital Library of America
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Playing Cards at the Beinecke
National Library of Ireland
The Astor Free Library at the NYPL
Women’s Travel Diaries at Duke University
Charles Darwin’s Library
The National Archives
Columbia  University, From Homer to Howl
Private Libraries at the Museum of the City of New York
Los Angeles Public Library
Boston Public Library


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