Forward to Victory: British Posters of the First and Second World Wars and Notes from the Underground: The Building of the London Sewers

Wednesday, May 14, 1997 to Monday, June 30, 1997

Britain Needs You At Once
Two exhibits will be on display:
  • "Forward to Victory" and
  • "Notes from the Underground"

Exhibit components discuss the emergence of the profession of civil engineering, the relationship of disease to contaminated water, the evidence of social classes in the design of water closets, and the role Victorian values played in the sanitary reform debate.

"Forward to Victory" presents a sampling from the vast British poster collection of the Hoover Institution. Participants in a Stanford undergraduate seminar course examined more than 3,000 original British posters in the archives, selecting more than 50 of those which best represented wartime themes such as recruitment, the role of women, consequences of careless talk, national service, war bonds, images of the empire and the enemy, and the technology of war. Aesthetically and intellectually intriguing, the posters serve as both art and historical witness, giving the viewer a unique perspective into modern British historical identity.

In "Notes from the Underground," the building of London sewers is told in editorial cartoons, parliamentary records, pamphlets, broadsides, police records, and debates, covering every aspect of sanitary reform in 19th century London. The original documents and plans are from the collection of Sir Joseph W. Bazalgette, the chief civil engineer who oversaw the creation of the London sewers. The Bazalgette Collection was recently obtained by Stanford University Librarys Department of Special Collections. Selected items were loaned to Hoover for this exhibit.

Upcoming Events