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Collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Processing Note
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics
    Dates: 1900- ; bulk 1960-
    Collection Number: See Acquisition Information
    Creator/Collector: Multiple creators
    Extent: 330 flat files
    Repository: Center for the Study of Political Graphics
    Culver City, California 90230
    Abstract: The collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) contains over 90,000 domestic and international political posters and prints relating to historical and contemporary movements for social change. The finding aid represents the collection in its entirety.
    Language of Material: English


    The CSPG collection is open for research by appointment only during the Center's operating hours.

    Publication Rights

    CSPG does not hold copyright for any items in the collection. CSPG provides access to the materials for educational and research purposes only. Users are responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG).

    Acquisition Information

    CSPG acquires 3,000 to 5,000 items annually, primarily through donations. Each acquisition is assigned a unique acquisition number and is written on individual items before these are sorted and filed by topic.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The collection represents diverse social and political movements. The earliest graphics in the collection date back to the mid-19th century, but approximately 95% of the collection dates from the 1960s to the present. Holdings produced prior to 1960 include U.S. government posters from World Wars I and II, U.S. and British labor posters, Marshall Plan posters from 1950 and a collection of Taller de Gráfica Popular (Mexico) linocuts produced in the 1940s and 1950s. Approximately 60% of the collection is produced in the U.S. Approximately 50% of the international collection is from Latin America, 30% from Europe, 10% from Asia and the remaining 10% from Africa, the Middle East and Australia. Representative languages in the collection include, but are not limited to, Spanish, German, Dutch, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Italian and Portuguese. The broad range of topics include: anti-war movements, anti-apartheid struggles, advocacy for children’s rights, LGBTQ issues, gentrification and homelessness, immigration, ecology, labor, history of the women’s movement, criminal justice reform and efforts to end racism and anti-Semitism. The posters are produced in a variety of artistic techniques: offset, screen print (silkscreen), lithography, woodblock, linocut, stencil, photocopy, and digital print.

    Processing Note

    The collection is physically arranged by topic, region or artist, with more specific sub-topics used when appropriate. This physical arrangement was developed around the primary research interest and needs of researchers. In 2013, CSPG began a two-year National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) funded project to process and describe the collection on the folder-level and produce a full finding aid for the collection. Prior to this project, all description and cataloging was performed at the item-level. To date, of the more than 90,000 posters in CSPG’s collection, approximately 26,000 unique items have been cataloged. The finding aid consists of the folder-level description produced under this grant project. Scope and content notes in folder-level description records include natural language of the posters to better represent the context and content of the collection materials. Description includes related topics, makers, people, places, languages and references. Please note, references may not be main subjects of individual items but may be represented in graphics or text to some degree. Date ranges are approximate and identified by available dates on posters within folders. Folder-level description records are being added to finding aid periodically as described.
    Processing and description performed by archival staff, Emily Sulzer, Alejandra Gaeta, Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez, Bolton Doub and Joy Novak, along with interns and volunteers. Finding aid created by archival staff.

    Indexing Terms

    Social movements
    Political posters
    Graphic design
    Human rights