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Digital Collections: World War II Posters

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Image of a Nurse during World War II

“Nurses are needed now!” – image courtesy of the North Carolina State Archives

On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was bombed, which prompted the U.S. to enter World War II. Today, 74 years later, I want to take a moment and highlight one of the library’s databases: World War II Maps and Posters. Over 370,000 men and women from North Carolina served in various aspects of the war. North Carolina citizens aided the war effort from home by buying war bonds. These various activities led to the creation of numerous posters that were used for different purposes.

Many posters were used for recruiting purposes, but also to aid the war effort at home with buying war bonds and the Red Cross.  A lot of the posters are for war bonds. Some of them paint pictures of war-torn areas or soldiers in action. Others aim to remind people that buying bonds helps pay for military equipment, such as this one – “Buy a part for our jeep.”

Quite a few are in relation to food, rations and high grocery prices in particular. One poster talks about how to save money buying groceries. An image within the poster shows bread cost 9 cents! Can you imagine?!

I find it very interesting that several posters are geared towards women. Buying food, growing and canning food, serving as nurses or recruiting to be in the coast guard.

If you’d like to learn more about the original collection in the Archives, take a look at the finding aid – http://archives.ncdcr.gov/Portals/26/PDF/findingaids/pdf/MilColl_WWII_Poster_Collection.pdf.

 

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