Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Political Advertising & Propaganda
All resources are freely available unless otherwise noted.
The Advertising Archives (c. 1830- )
While this site mostly collects commercial images, it also contains hundreds of images from government publicity campaigns and political campaigns, primarily from the U.K. On the "categories" page, click on "Govt Campaigns," "Military," and "Parties" to see collections of these images. Images are also keyword searchable. Optional free registration to see larger images.
By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936- 1943
Database of digitized online images of posters produced by the WPA. Information about date, sponsoring organization, company being advertised and agency is provided for each image.
The History Project: Marchand Image Collection (18th- 20th centuries)
The Marchand Image Collection, hosted by the History Project of U. C. Davis, includes a variety of American government posters, many of which are collected under the heading of "propaganda."
The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commericals, 1952-2012
Ads are browsable by year and indexed by candidate, party, and keywords.
Popular Graphic Arts from the Library of Congress (c. 1700- c. 1900)
"About 15,000 historical prints (ca. 1700-1900) created to document geographic locations or popular subjects and sometimes used for advertising and educational purposes. Most are by American printmakers (e.g., Baillie, Currier & Ives, Sachse & Co.), but publishers in many other countries are also represented (e.g., Antonio Vanegas Arroyo). Subjects vary widely, from city and harbor views, street scenes, and manufacturing plants to genre scenes, historical events, religious iconography and portraits. "
Keyword searchable and indexed by subject (here: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/pga/index/subjects/ )
Posters for the People (1930's and '40's)
Posters from the WPA, mostly concerning entertainment and public health.
Posters of World War II from the Kittleson Collection (1939- 1945)
"The posters afforded artists, photographers, graphic designers, and printers the opportunity to showcase their work. Posters published in the United States are from military and government departments, civilian service groups, and private businesses. Also in the collection are posters from other countries including England, Canada, Germany, China, and various nations' information centers located in New York." Posters are searchable by keyword and indexed by subject, creator, contributing organization, and publisher.
San Francisco State University Posters from World War II
A collection of about 30 annotated American posters from World War II, with several related images, related to the portrayal of Japan and Japanese people.
Spanish Civil War Posters from the Library of Congress (1936- 1939)
"The collection of Spanish Civil War posters in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division consists of approximately 120 posters created between 1936 and 1939."
"Most posters in the collection support the Republican cause, but the Nationalists are also represented, and the posters feature the perspectives of the trade unions, Catalonian nationalists, and various international groups. ... The posters warned of the evils of communism and fascism and called citizens to action for a variety of causes such as food production and conservation."
World War I Posters from the Library of Congress (1914- 1920)
"During World War I, the impact of the poster as a means of communication was greater than at any other time during history. The ability of posters to inspire, inform, and persuade combined with vibrant design trends in many of the participating countries to produce thousands of interesting visual works. The Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division makes available online approximately 1,900 posters created between 1914 and 1920. Most relate directly to the war, but some German posters date from the post-war period and illustrate events such as the rise of Bolshevism and Communism, the 1919 General Assembly election and various plebiscites."
"The majority of the posters were printed in the United States. Posters from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Russia are included as well. The posters range in style from anonymous broadsides (predominantly text) to graphically vibrant works by well-known designers. "
World War I and II Posters and Postcards from the University of Minnesota
Hosted by ARTstor, Collection of digitized images that “are multi-national in scope and cover veterans' benefits, war bonds and loans, military recruitment and morale, civil defense, industrial production, freedom and loyalty campaigns, international welfare organizations, prices and rationing, transportation, health and safety, labor organizations, films and theatre, food production, sports and leisure, recruiting of women in military and non-combatant organizations, special events, anti-war movements, and other topics.” Information about date and physical description is provided for each image. To search within the collection, select "Within this category" from the drop-down menu.
WPA Posters from the Library of Congress (1936- 1943)
"The Work Projects Administration (WPA) Poster Collection consists of 907 posters produced from 1936 to 1943 by various branches of the WPA. Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress's collection of more than 900 is the largest. The posters were designed to publicize exhibits, community activities, theatrical productions, and health and educational programs in seventeen states and the District of Columbia, with the strongest representation from California, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The results of one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts, the posters were added to the Library's holdings in the 1940s."
Yanker Poster Collection from the Library of Congress (1927-1980)
"The Yanker Poster Collection includes more than 3,000 political, propaganda, and social issue posters and handbills, dating 1927-1980. Most posters are from the United States, but over 55 other countries and the United Nations are also represented. The materials were acquired by gift of Gary Yanker in 1975 and later."