Northwestern University library is home to a remarkable collection of World War II posters that were used to win the hearts and minds of U.S. citizens
"Defense needs rubber. Save your tires." "Don't let him down!" "The United States Army. Then, now, forever."
It was a different world when the United States and the Allies fought the Axis powers in World War II. Today the outcome seems a foregone conclusion, but that was hardly the case back then. To boost morale, the U.S. government during the war issued thousands of posters urging everyone to work toward the common goal of victory.
More than 300 evocative examples of these posters, collected between 1941 and 1945 and preserved ever since, reside in the University Library's Government Publications and Maps Department.
They represent the work of 45 different artists and cover a range of topics: Enlist today. Plant a victory garden. Join civilian defense. And, of course, buy war bonds.
Only 58 posters in the collection are signed. Perhaps the best-known artist in the group is Norman Rockwell, many of whose war-themed covers on the Saturday Evening Post were distributed as posters. Some of Rockwell's paintings in the library series include "Save Freedom of Speech: Buy War Bonds" and "Ours to Fight for -- Freedom from Want."
University Library does not provide paper reproductions of the posters. Digital images and more information about them can be found online at the University Library's Web site.
Selected Posters - Click for a larger image