The War Effort Mobilization Campaigns Poster Collection spans the years 1942-1945 and contains miniature reproductions of billboards designed by the War Advertising Council that advertise various government campaigns during World War II. A broad range of campaigns are represented in this collection, including war bonds, civilian employment, women’s Naval Reserve (WAVES) service, food rationing, civil defense, and fire prevention. Campaigns were approved by various government agencies. The Treasury Department is the most heavily represented agency in this collection, but other agencies such as the Office of Civilian Defense, the War Food Administration, the War Manpower (or Man Power) Commission, the National Housing Administration, and the Office of War Information are also included. Most of the posters are in full color and feature images depicting scenes involving military activity, civilian and family life, women’s war contributions, and patriotic symbolism. Many of the posters come with attached promotional literature or form part of "sales kits" designed to encourage businesses to purchase and sponsor a billboard to promote war effort campaigns in their community.
Included in the collection are examples of outdoor advertising for the Second through the Seventh War Loan drives. Examples of advertising for the First Bond drive (which was primarily promoted through newspapers and radio advertising) and the Eighth War Loan campaign may be found in the Ad*Access collection on the Web.
The War Effort Mobilization Campaigns collection consists of two series. The H.E. Fisk War Poster Collection Series contains war effort posters collected in a scrapbook by H.E. Fisk, an executive of the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA). The War Effort Sample Posters Series contains a wide range of war effort posters. There is some overlap between the two series.
Related materials may also be found in the R.C. Maxwell Company Records, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Archives, the J. Walter Thompson Co. Archives: World War II Advertising Collection, and the Advertising Council Records. For additional information on advertising campaigns during World War II, please see http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/adaccess/wwad-history.html for an article titled "Brief History of World War II Advertising Campaigns." This article, part of the Ad*Access on-line image database, highlights six major advertising initiatives including the conservation, V-mail, and war bond campaigns.