YMCA Girls in France

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.

keep em smiling

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.

Stack of posters 2

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.

Flattening WWI posters

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.

A Woman Worker

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.

WWI poster support

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.