Fourth of July – War Posters Collection

warposter3The fourth of July commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. During war, this, and other patriotic holidays took on added significance. Specifically these important dates were used for all sorts of purposes including recruiting, swaying public opinion, promoting conservation, and selling products.

Our War Posters Collection is a collaborative project between Archives and Special Collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries and the Hennepin County Library from its Kittleson World War II Collection (located in Special Collections at Minneapolis Central Library). The collection contains posters from government, commercial, and charitable organizations. These artifacts are rich with meaning and artistry.

They are now used in courses from history to graphic design, from public health to rhetoric, from marketing to theater. Faculty and instructors can often include these images in a course site or as part of a course assignment. These collections are multinational in scope and cover:

  • war bonds and loans
  • military recruitment and moralwarposter_boom
  • civil defense and transportation
  • freedom and loyalty campaigns
  • international welfare organizations
  • prices, rationing, and food production
  • health and safety
  • labor organizations and industrial production
  • veterans’ benefits
  • films, theater, sports, and leisure
  • recruiting of women in military and non-combatant organizations
  • anti-war movements
  • and other topics

Learn more:


Image Credits: World War Poster Collection (Mss 36), Literary Manuscripts Collection, University of Minnesota Libraries, Minneapolis, Minnesota.


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