Information for collectors

WWII Posters
WWII Posters
Technical Information


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Reference Service to the World War II Poster Collection Database

To submit a reference or informational question to the department regarding this resource, please send email to, fax 847-491-7603 or call 847-491-3130. Remember to provide adequate contact information if leaving a voice-mail message or sending a fax or email so we can get back to you for clarification of your question or other follow up if necessary.

The department is committed to providing basic reference and verification service to the collection and when appropriate will refer individuals to local libraries for answers. The departmental staff has at its disposal reference tools for government publications including posters, as well as several articles and books on World War II posters. Unfortunately, this collection is not comprehensive. Many people interested in the site have contacted us in the past several years with a wide range of reference and verification questions about particular posters that are found in the database (as well as those that are not), war information and propaganda, graphic design, artists, and many other topics. If questions are not answerable (usually due to scope or depth of the question) by the staff in the department, or if it is deemed that the question is better suited for answering locally (to the user), we will contact the asker. In fact, someone will always contact respond to a query about the poster database. This response will usually be within 48 hours of receipt of the query.

Examples of questions that will be addressed by NUL Government Publications & Maps Department staff:

  • Was the poster by Anton Otto Fischer about careless words and needless losses released in any other size than the one shown in the database? If so, what size or sizes?
  • What were the names of the posters designed by Norman Rockwell?
  • What countries' flags are represented on the poster titled "United we are Strong, United we will Win"?

Examples of questions that are beyond the scope and purpose of the collection and the ability of our staff to answer for non-Northwestern University affiliated persons follow. These questions that are beyond this service are generally broad and/or large. People should contact local libraries about these large research-oriented questions. Persons of Northwestern and the Evanston area are encouraged to visit the department or NUL rather than contact us by email, phone or FAX for these types of questions:

  • How was propaganda used in World War II?
  • What is the significance of each of the civilian defense insignias on that poster in the database?
  • What posters did all of the Allied and Axis power countries release during the war?