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New-York Historical Society collection of World War II posters

Call Number

PR 55-8


1941-1946, inclusive


New-York Historical Society (Role: Compiler)


46 Linear feet in about 60 flat file folders, one roll, and several matted posters

Language of Materials

The documents in the collection are in English.


About 500 posters related to various aspects of the United States' mobilization during World War II. Topics include recruitment, war bonds, general war support, production, conservation, the need to avoid speaking freely about military matters, and more.


The collection is largely organized by subject matter. However, users should be aware that there are several folders of unsorted and miscellaneous posters, and some of the identified subjects also appear in those folders. Also, certain subjects cut across the files; for example, posters aimed at women and their role in the war effort can be found in several of the subject categories.

Scope and Contents

The collection is comprised of approximately 500 posters related to various aspects of the United States's mobilization for World War II. Topics include war financing (war bonds, donations); conservation and rationing; recruitment for the military and for the domestic workforce, including a target audience of women for the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAACs), Nursing Corps, and homefront jobs; the need to avoid loose talk concerning military and defense matters; production of goods; quality and safety; general war support using patriotic, religious and other themes; and other matter.

Most of the posters were produced by the U.S. government, though there are many produced by corporate or other private interests. Most of the posters are oriented to a national audience; a few are from New York City and have a local target audience is local. The collection also holds some posters from Canada and, to a lesser extent, the United Kingdom.

Conditions Governing Access

For more information on making arrangements to consult the collection, please visit

Some of the materials, as noted in the containr list, are fragile and are restricted. Arrangements must be made in advance to allow for review by Conservation.

Conditions Governing Use

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.

Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as The New-York Historical Society Collection of World War II Posters, PR 55-8, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

Location of Materials

For more information on making arrangements to consult the collection, please visit

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was compiled over time by New-York Historical Society from various donations and purchases.

Collection processed by

Larry Weimer

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 15:47:23 -0400.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: English

Processing Information

The collection was processed and arranged topically at some point in time, perhaps in the 1990s. A container list was prepared in 2003 by archivist Jenny Gotwals as part of an overall Posters Collection (PR 55) finding aid. In 2018, archivist Larry Weimer prepared a finding aid for the World War II posters, incorporating and expanding on the 2003 container list.


New-York Historical Society
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024