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Special Collections & Archives holds a small collection of posters from World War I. The posters vary in size from 17 x 22″ to 48 x 62″. The images are created from original artwork by a range of talented artists, such as Jessie Willcox Smith, Howard Chandler Christy and James Montgomery Flagg. These artists defined patriotic imagery for a generation and are still well remembered.
These posters are 100 years old. They are in good general condition, but the edges of the posters are frayed, torn and discolored and there are tears along the folds. Special Collections does not have good storage for large, oversized materials but we try to protect these amazing artifacts.
I’m working on the first phase of stabilizing these posters by flattening them. I’m storing them on a flat surface with a paper liner between each poster. The posters are stacked and a piece of binders board is placed on top. I’ve placed bricks on top of the binders board as a weight to help with flattening.
We will look at these posters as a group from Special Collections & Archives and decide what approach to take with each poster. Some of these posters will simply be stored as they are too fragile to display.
We will encapsulate some of the posters for use and handling by our patrons. Many of the posters will be photographed for our World War I exhibit this fall.
I have cut archival corrugated board for each poster as a support. There will be an overlay of mylar as an additional protection for each poster.
4 Comments on ‘Stabilizing World War I Posters’
I continue to be amazed at the wonderful collections we have! Thanks for showing all you do to make our collections stable.
Thanks Craig! Your preservation work will help Special Collections make this collection more available to students and researchers!
Ditto what Susan said, Craig! These are amazing! Thanks for all your great work maintaining them and improving accessibility!
I’m super interested in this! My grandfather was in France in WWI. WFU’s own Dr. David Lubin has a recent book, _Grand illusions: American art and the First World War_, that explains a lot about the posters of WWI.