Library and Archives
Library and Archives

Posters: Overview

More than one hundred thousand political posters from around the world are available in the Hoover Archives poster collection. Thirty-three thousand of these are cataloged in a searchable database. Although many thousands of posters date from World War I and World War II, the collection covers the entire twentieth century. Posters from the United States (approximately 8,700 cataloged), the United Kingdom (5,000 cataloged), Germany (4,200 cataloged), the Russian empire and the Soviet Union (2,600 cataloged), and France (1,800 cataloged) predominate, though posters from more than eighty countries are described in the database.

Digital images of the posters continue to be added to the database. Twenty-two thousand images of posters from more than eighty countries are available. The remaining poster images for United States posters will be added in 2011.

On the website, posters protected by copyright laws are available only as thumbnails. Posters published before 1923 are available in a larger size for easier viewing. In the Hoover Archives reading room, large-size images of all digitized posters are available.

Because the posters may be protected by copyright laws and are provided for educational and research purposes only, any infringement may be subject to disciplinary action and/or civil or criminal liability as provided by law. If you believe you are the rights holder to any of the posters and object to Hoover's use of them, please contact

The initial cataloging and photography for this project were supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education that ended in 1985.

During cataloging the Hoover Archives added a unique identification number to each poster. The first letters indicate the country, such as the United States (US) or Russia/Soviet Union (RU/SU), followed by a unique number. Some posters are represented in several variants, which are identified by letters following the number, such as US 101, US 101A, US 101B. Posters received as a set with a cover bear decimal numbers; for example RU/SU 101, 101.1, 101.2. Posters too large to be photographed on one 35 mm slide are identified as parts; for example FR 101 pt.1, FR 101 pt.2.

To purchase reproductions of the posters, please contact Stephanie Stewart, assistant archivist for visual collections. For reproduction fees, see A/V Services. For assistance with poster database searches, please contact Carol Leadenham, reference archivist.