Guide to the Princeton University Poster Collection
Digitized Content

Collection ID:
Princeton University
Multiple languages
Collection is in English.
Some materials in Arabic, Czech, Danish Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish, Swedish.
Physical Description:
135 Cubic feet
10,690 posters

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Primarily war-related posters.

The collection is arranged into six series.
Series 1: Pre-World War One, 1863-1917
Series 2: World War One, 1911-1923
Series 3: Between Wars, 1912-1939
Series 4: World War Two, 1939-1945
Series 5: Post World War Two, 1945-1948
Series 6: Unknown, 1913-1918

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The Princeton University Library donated this extensive collection of World War I and World War II materials to the Smithsonian Institution in 1963 and 1967. The bulk of the 1963 donation, stored in six large wooden crates, was sent to an off site storage location. Other posters donated in 1963, primarily World War II British in origin, were stored in the Division of Political History; they were later transferred to the Division of Armed Forces History. In 1967, Princeton donated an additional five albums of posters that had been overlooked in 1963; these albums were also stored in the Division of Armed Forces History.
In 1990 and again in 1991, the NMAH Division of Conservation was awarded Smithsonian Research Resources grants to conserve and catalog the collection. The posters in the crates were in extremely precarious condition, evidencing extensive tears, water damage, dirt, mold, and insect damage. Their condition was so extreme that handling, cataloging, or mere counting was not deemed possible outside of a major rehousing project. In 1992, the NMAH Archives Center assumed curatorial responsibility for the collection and took over direction of the project.

Processing Information
Collection processed by Archives Center staff, 1991; 2018-2019. Digitization of the posters was completed by Creekside Digital, 2018-2019.
Craig Orr
Digitization of the Princeton University Poster Collection was a collaboration of Google Arts and Culture and the Smithsonian Institution's Digitization Program Office. Catalog records were transcribed by digital volunteers through the Smithsonian Institution Transcription Center.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by the Princeton University Library in 1963 and 1967.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
Princeton University Posters Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright status of items varies. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Posters -- 1860-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
War Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World War, 1914-1918 -- Posters Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
World War, 1939-1945 -- Posters -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012