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Guide to the Charles B. Burdick War Poster Collection
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Collection Overview
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The Charles B. Burdick War Poster Collection 1914-1979 (bulk 1914-1945) is a graphic art collection of posters documenting World War I and World War II. The collection consists of over 1,400 posters created by both the United States and foreign nations. War posters were used as propaganda to sell the war to the American public. The posters generally defined war as a struggle between good and evil, and featured the sale of liberty bonds to protect American democracy. A broad range of topics are represented in the collection, including war bonds, civilian employment, women's service in the military, food rationing, and fire prevention. The collection also includes posters documenting political subject matter from the 1930s-1970s. This collection is arranged into three series: Series I. World War I Posters, 1914-1918; Series II. World War II Posters, 1939-1945; and Series III. Political Posters, 1930s-1970s.
Between World War I (1914-1918) and World War II (1939-1945), the U.S. government used propaganda through the mass production of war posters, pamphlets, billboards, advertisements, and film to foster broad-based support of the two wars. In World War I, the Committee on Public Information (CPI) was organized to shape public opinion in favor of U.S. war aims. Civilian chairman, journalist George Creel, enlisted the creative talent of over 150,000 people to produce over 100 million pieces of literature and visual materials in order to explain the meaning and cause of the war to the American public. During World II, the War Advertising Council (WAC) produced a similar volume of war propaganda materials.
122 Folders, 1,452 Posters
Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.
The collection is open for research.