World War I Collection

Dates: 1914-1921. Size: 403 original posters (634 total posters), 2 boxes of ephemera, 12 photographs, 17 etchings. Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections. The WWI Collection brings together posters, photographs, ephemera and etchings related to the war effort. The bulk of the collection is comprised of posters created in the U.S. between 1914 and 1921, but also includes several posters from Britain, Canada and France. These materials range from recruitment calls from the various branches of the military to home front initiatives by the U.S. Food Administration, the National War Garden Commission and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The ephemera items consist of a range of decals, flags, handbills, pamphlets, postcards, smaller posters and war stamps with pragmatic themes similar to the posters. The 12 “living photographs” created by Mole and Thomas feature tens of thousands of soldiers, reservists and other members of the military arranged in such patriotic formations as the Liberty Bell or an American eagle. The 32 glass plate slides in this collection focus on the war effort in France, and the 17 etchings were created by the American painter and print maker Lester George Hornby, who followed French and American forces into the trenches. [Finding aid]