Our collection of World War II posters is now online.
This collection contains 328 posters which illustrate many aspects of the United States’ involvement in World War II. The majority of the posters were created or distributed by state or national organizations, including the Office of War Information. The posters serve a variety of functions, but primarily they encourage viewers to support the war effort by enlisting in the armed forces, conserving food and other resources, purchasing war bonds, participating in service and relief organizations, and promoting patriotism.
Military imagery, such as soldiers, sailors, tanks, ships, and aircraft; and patriotic imagery, such as American flags, eagles, and Uncle Sam are featured prominently. Images of women are also prominent, being shown in their roles as mothers, teachers, and factory workers, in addition to serving as nurses and in the armed forces. The importance of civilians’ contributions to the war effort is substantial, whether it be through cultivating victory gardens, preparing for air raids, or abiding by rationing orders. Several of the posters seek to educate the public about America’s allies and the newly-formed United Nations. While most of the posters present positive images, several include representations of Hitler and swastikas, wounded or dead soldiers, and suffering people in Europe.
A finding aid for the complete World War II collection is also available online.
Be sure to also check out our World War I posters online.