PhD Thesis: Chapter 1: Methods and Sources

This project uses Foucauldian notions of discourse analysis[1] as a theoretical and methodological framework, and content analysis as a secondary method. This chapter describes the key concepts and benefits of such an approach, and maps the project in the light of the methodological approach. The chapter then investigates the sources used for the project, examining the poster collections available, and considering the impact of digitisation. Digitisation facilitated access to a wider range of sources that would otherwise have been accessible, and, in the form of a database, was used within this project. The chapter explores the primary sources available for establishing the contextual background, particularly the administrative records of the Ministry of Information (MOI). Finally, it considers the sources available for monitoring reactions to posters, and the steps taken to establish attitudes and reactions to the posters.

‘Discourse’ is a postmodern construct that Foucault defined as ‘the group of statements that belong to a single system of formation’.[2] It is a term used to indicate that ‘language is not a neutral way of describing the world and objects which exist in it’, but that such objects, and our understanding of them, exist only through the categories and concepts we use to describe them.[3] Of key importance to this thesis is the recognition that the visual should be considered an element of language and discourse; and that access to images, and familiarity with them, are culturally based. Foucault maintained that rules of discourse are applied within historically defined periods and socially specific groups. These define and produce ideas of ‘truth’ and knowledge which govern, at any given time, ‘what is valid, sayable and possible’.[4] Such rules are associated with institutions, which, structured themselves by discourses, also play a key part in the regulation of populations through discourse. For example, medical discourses are associated with hospitals, legal discourses with law courts, and religious discourses with churches. Discourse is different from ideology. Ideology questions ‘whose truth’ is being presented, constantly looking for the ‘hidden’ power that constructs knowledge, with such knowledge legitimising unequal power relations. As Hall argues, Foucault rejected Marxist ideology on the grounds that Marx always reduced everything to an economic basis, and to class struggles. Hall claims, however, that Gramscian hegemony, where a group gains predominance through consent and negotiation rather than force, was closer to Foucault’s position.[5]

Discourses tend to be perceived as ‘binary’, where meanings are oppositional, generally defined by the ‘other’. To illustrate: masculinity is often constructed in opposition to femininity; scientific medicine versus quackery; modernity (and industry) is often opposed to tradition (and nature); collectivism is often set against individualism. Unpacking binaries requires the investigation of relational terms. There can be, for instance, several masculinities, and femininities, and other influences, for example the notion of ‘domestic femininities’ and ‘industrial femininities’. Rather than proceeding on the basis of dominant and dominated discourses, analysis unpacks the interplay of different discourses.[6] This project identifies and investigates areas where boundaries were blurred, for example the use of both ‘high’ and ‘low’ art within graphic design.

Discursive formulations emphasise the concealment of difference. A key element for working with discourse analysis is to identify the traces of what is not seen. Within a discourse, what is characterised as normal will define who/what belongs, and who/what is excluded. Discourse analysis views ‘silences’, made invisible by those with the power to define ‘what is’. Foucault viewed discourses as historically specific. In the 1930s, discourse would have defined the working woman as feckless, and as guilty of abandoning her husband and children. Working women now tend to be depicted as hard working, displaying admired traits, which are implicitly deemed ‘normative’. Researching what is rendered invisible can make explicit that the opposite, a non-working woman, is often presented as having undesirable traits, a work-shy non-contributor. During wartime, these identities were blurred as the government attempted to present women in both the home and the workplace.

Within a Foucauldian frame identities are often represented as contested and competing, but there is usually one dominant identity that emerges, with one view presented as a certainty, as absolute truth. This ‘truth’ tends to emerge from socially powerful institutions, their power diffused through subjects self-regulation. These institutions depend on assumptions that the claims that they have made about their knowledge are true. This highly visible discourse ‘infuses itself into reality such that it becomes unremarkable and even passed off as common sense’.[7] For example, in wartime the most visible discourse was citizenship, which defined those who did not contribute in expected ways as not truly belonging. Myths, such as the spirit of the Blitz, may partially emerge from discourses of ‘citizenship’ sustained through posters and other propaganda produced by a government that needed people to work for victory.

Foucault believed that within society, govermentality works to produce people who are docile, useful and functional, as ‘the body becomes a useful force only if it is both a productive body and a subjected body’.[8] He argued that ‘the body’ could be altered or subjected through power relations in society that could impose ‘constraints, prohibitions, or obligations’ on the body.[9] Foucault declared that power relations could write on the body: ‘they invest it, mark it, train it, torture it, force it to carry out tasks, to perform ceremonies, to emit signs’.[10] Particular traits within or external to the body would identify particular types,[11] for example, the homosexual. Homosexuality was considered socially unacceptable in wartime Britain, remaining largely hidden, unspoken, invisible, and indeed illegal until 1967.[12] Foucault was concerned with issues of sexuality, a term that he argued was developed from the dominant scientific and biological discourses of the nineteenth century. Finding support within ‘religious, judicial, pedagogical, and medical institutions’, new norms and values changed the way ‘individuals were led to assign meaning and value to their conduct, their duties, their pleasures, their feelings and sensations, their dreams’.[13]

Foucault explained that knowledge creates subjects as we make sense of ourselves, and so regulate our behaviour, by referring back to various bodies of knowledge. This knowledge is produced within discourse and appears to be ‘the only’ correct way of doing things. For example, medical knowledge presents itself as having the singular power to heal, derived from ‘its bases, justifications and rules, from which it extends its effects’.[14] Foucault did not see power as simply a negative force, as a ‘mode of subjugation’ or domination.[15] For Foucault, discourse creates subjects as well as objects, it both constrains and produces, and is a constellation of knowledge and power, which is not possessed by groups or individuals, but is exercised.[16] It is something that produces both positive and negative effects, working in the face of resistance. It is all-pervasive, not imposed from the top down,[17] and the existence of power and knowledge presuppose and produce each other.[18] Discourse ‘subjects’ speakers to its regulatory power, whilst offering them a ‘subject position’ from which to make sense of the world.[19] In his early work Foucault argued that an author could not be defined as a creator, but as the provider of a label for a group of statements.[20] The author does not hold the power of knowledge, but is the subject of discourse. Foucault’s later work re-introduced the idea of reflexive subjects with a possibility of resistance and change, and he demonstrated that subjects can be ‘authored’ by themselves, rather that simply being ‘powerless victims’.[21]

Within a Foucauldian frame, as discourses are historically specific, so also are their subjects, displaying certain attributes consistent with the construction of knowledge at that time.[22] Discursive formulations mediate the construction of identities, disciplining their subjects into a particular way of thinking and acting, promoting a specialist language, defining what knowledge and practices are, and are not, appropriate for ‘subjects’.[23] Foucault believed that subjects would regulate themselves, encouraged by society to fit in the discursively defined concepts of what is ‘normal’. For example, within wartime society, ideals of citizenship defined what was ‘normal’: it would be unusual not to want to be fit, healthy and prepared to die for your country. Technologies of normalisation create, classify and control irregularities in the social body. They isolate and correct anomalies ‘through corrective or therapeutic procedures’, that look like they are ‘impartial techniques for dealing with dangerous social deviations’.[24] For example, VD is presented as a ‘dangerous disease’, as different from other diseases, but this can largely be seen as a result of religious discourse. Behavioural changes need to be made by subjects in order not to put themselves ‘at risk’. Subjects become ‘masters of their own slavery’ as they exercise ‘self-surveillance’,[25] requiring them to act upon themselves, ‘to monitor, test, improve, and transform’ themselves.[26]

Discourses are located within epistemes, which Foucault described as ‘something like a world-view, a slice of history common to all branches of knowledge’. Within a period of history a certain coherence runs through theories of knowledge, united by common norms and assumptions, uniting discursive practices, and informing our thought practices unconsciously.[27] Such epistemes appear and disappear suddenly and arbitrarily, superseding each other with no sense of progress, or expectation of the evolution of a higher level of reason. The notions of the modern episteme inform the wartime experience; an age when, rather than everything being determined by God or nature, ‘man’ is responsible for knowledge and thus can determine his/her own behaviour.

Foucault’s earlier work has been described as ‘archaeology’, with his later thinking termed as ‘genealogy’.[28] Foucault described archaeology as ‘a pure description of discursive events’.[29] Investigating the archive, archaeology is non-interpretative, seeking ‘to describe rather than interpret’, searching for the rules that dictate discourse. Foucault believed that texts need to be investigated for their surface meanings, demonstrating the ‘chance emergence of events’, rather than showing the ‘progress’ of history.[30] Such texts do not just exist or survive: the organisation of such documents through the archive is key. Archaeology involves the intrinsic description of a document:

The document is not the fortunate tool of a history that is primarily and fundamentally memory: history is one way in which society recognises and develops a mass of documentation with which it is inextricably linked.[31]

There are two principles of archaeological research. The first is that it seeks to ‘provide no more than a description of regularities, differences, transformations, and so on’. The second is that archaeology eschews ‘the search for authors’ and concentrates ‘instead on statements (and visibilities)’ and is thus non-anthropological.[32]

From the early 1970s, Foucault defined his work as genealogy, emerging as a ‘history of the present’, growing from the methods of archaeology,[33] rather than a complete rejection of his earlier ideas. Genealogy is interested in the relation between past and present, and ‘interrogates the past from the vantage point of the needs and perplexities of the present situation’,[34] rather than being purely descriptive. Following the ideas of Nietzsche, Foucault claimed that no facts exist, there are solely ‘interpretations of facts’. We must take into account how political interests have influenced our understanding of ‘facts’ and knowledge as ‘[t]here is no act of ‘knowledge’ which is not also an act of power.’[35] For example, myths such as “we all pulled together during the war” can lead to calls for a return to a time when “everything was better and people were nicer”, and provide nostalgia which fuels the heritage industry. This project is largely archaeological as it seeks to describe the posters, and the institutions that produced them, within appropriate contexts.

This project is heavily grounded in available source material, and as a result it could have been simple to write empirically. Empiricism can be seen as a discourse that emphasises the discovery of the visible, especially within the humanities where the desire for ‘proof’ emphasises what can be substantiated by visible (scientific) evidence. We must recognise, however, that many sources are available only from powerful institutions. In this chapter, we will investigate the archives used, recognising that they are not neutral. Foucault describes the archive as ‘the general system of the formation and transformation of statements’.[36] The archive involves the organisation of information, ‘representing and signifying [the ideas of] the episteme in which it was generated’.[37] History

organises the document, divides it up, distributes it, orders, arranges it in levels, establishes series, distinguishes between what is relevant and what is not, discovers elements, defines unities, [and] describes relations.[38]

Documents are accumulated and serialised or classified according to the concerns, or agenda, of those organising the information. This provides a system of categorisation that both determines and is determined by what is ‘normal’.[39] In Appendix 2 we consider the sources used for the project, and reflect on the establishment and collection policies of the archives. Collection and categorisation policies contain implicit assumptions about what should be presented and how, which have an impact on what is available now, how it can be found, and the materials available for researchers. We will see, for example, how the Imperial War Museum (IWM) have highlighted or made available particular images and posters for artistic or other reasons, possibly making such images more significant than they were at the time of their production, when they may have been insignificant objects for the viewer.[40]

Building on this Foucauldian frame, discourse analyses underpins the methodology of the thesis. Discourse analysis is defined as

the social and linguistic description of norms governing [the production of discourses], and may include [a] focus upon the social and political determinants of the form discourse takes; for instance, the hidden presuppositions that the persons addressed are of a certain class, race or gender.[41]

Discourse analysis does not question why power works, it focuses on how power works. It looks to how structures and knowledge are implicated in each other. Discourse analysis focuses on the details, questioning assumptions that are made, what is perceived as normal, as ‘the every-day’. It questions how texts and images construct specific views of the social world and what the elements of these are. It focuses on how these are constructed as real, truthful and persuasive, whilst bearing in mind that images suggest, but never show, particular assumptions about the audience. This frame underlies the analysis in this thesis of the MOI which was a powerful wartime institution with an assumed audience. An investigation of this institution and its credentials for propagating knowledge regarding propaganda posters, their contents, and advertising in general is key.

Discourse analysis aims to challenge taken-for-granted statements and meanings, and disturb claims to objectivity. Through an analysis of archival systems, discourse analysis investigates the production of knowledge. It pays clear attention to images, and the context in which they are embedded. There is a central concern with the production of social difference through visuals, as we investigate how a discourse constructs blame and responsibility, stake and accountability; how it categorises and particularises; how it constructs social difference; and how it produces its claims to truth, and what does not fit into this picture of ‘truth’.[42] In producing this thesis, we must recognise that we are involved in our own discursive formulation. Within a Foucauldian frame, it can be argued that this thesis does not produce ‘truths’, only more arguments.[43] As this project has done, Rose maintains that the researcher must immerse him/herself in the sources in order to identify the key themes in words and images, and should not focus simply on one or two privileged images. Rather, there should be a focus on how specific meanings are given, on clusters of information, looking for associations and within, and connections between, clusters.[44]

No method can completely deal with an analysis of visual images. Discourse analysis largely ignores the technological aspects of the production of images, although Rennie investigates this through a study of the printing of posters.[45] The difficulty with discourse analysis is that it can be difficult to know where to stop setting the context. Links can become rather tenuous, and as Rose claims, it can be difficult to allow connections to be empirically grounded in social practices. Within this project it has, at times, been necessary to set boundaries for the context. Rose criticises the lack of ascription of causality in discourse analysis, feeling that the method is too ‘descriptive’, as it focuses on the how rather than the why of happenings. At times, the relation between discourse and its context can be unclear. An over-focus on the institutional production of the image can lead to ignoring the image itself, something that this thesis has taken care to avoid by ensuring that all contextual material is related to the posters themselves. Rose claims that discourse analysis tends not to be concerned with conflicts within institutions. It is clear, however, that this is not the case, both from previous discussions of discourse, and from within this thesis, where the difficulties within the MOI are considered.[46]

Within this thesis, content analysis is used to ensure a focus on elements within images. Content analysis is defined as counting what the viewer thinks he/she sees. It was originally developed to analyse written and spoken texts.[47] It often generates statistical, numerical and quantitative data, particularly for computer-aided projects. This project uses content analysis as a secondary method, in a qualitative manner. It is used in conjunction within a database to identify the key themes, words and images used within the posters. Content analysis is methodologically explicit, with rules and procedures to be followed, although this project does not necessarily use all steps specified by Rose. The process is documented throughout so that the viewer’s own ‘way of seeing’ is made obvious. Defining the set of images to be used for this thesis was fairly simple: those available in archives, books and on the internet which fell within the limits of the thesis title. Ideally the set of images should be complete, otherwise it is difficult to claim that arguments and conclusions apply to all posters, a requirement that was problematic for this project. As with much historical data, posters were widely scattered, and in many cases unavailable. For this reason, we cannot argue that conclusions will necessarily apply to all posters. From this available set of posters, appropriate cluster samples were defined. The early (first) posters are selected by date. The industrial and ‘enemy within’ posters were selected in relation to the strongest available thematic, contextual and reception material. The VD case study appeared to provide a near complete documented set of posters produced for the VD campaign. The rural and urban case study was selected through reasonably clearly defined search terms. Sampling methods are usually expressed in scientific terms, but in this project the source availability and the research question defined the sample.

Categorisation and coding of the images are crucial to content analysis. Categories should be ‘exhaustive, exclusive and enlightening’, and analytically interesting. Information can be defined in a descriptive manner, listing what is ‘there’, or in an interpretative manner, using analytical categories. The database for this project largely uses descriptive terms, although it is recognised these can be subjective, but the categories used service the purposes of the project, because the project’s research questions structured the definition of categories. Rose suggests that text also needs coding, but in this case text is placed in a separate field. Language is interpreted and analysed in terms of discourse when required. In order for data entry to be consistent, an explicit description of codes is made available to make the working clear (see Volume 2: Part 2).

Results from content analysis are often statistical, as elements are counted, although it is not necessary to count every component just for the sake of it. Again, research questions define the queries that run through the database. The database necessarily limits the research, able only to look at what is in an image, although a lack of something may be even more significant. Content analysis and discourse analysis work together because this enables to the project to look for the gaps, silences, and contested identities. For this project, discourses are identified in case studies through the use of key words from database images. This was a two way process. Firstly, contextual research provided a pre-knowledge of discourses to identify through keywords. Secondly, keywords were identified through the database as words, phrases and images were repeated, thus formulating rules. This enabled an interplay between extant knowledge and a more ‘grounded’ approach from the images themselves.

The main benefit of content analysis is its ability to deal with large numbers of images with some consistency, and demonstrate the emergence of patterns. However, there are a significant number of weaknesses to content analysis. Content analysis by its nature focuses only on the compositional elements of an image, but in this thesis this is complemented by discourse analysis which considers the production and audiencing of the image. Content analysis reduces rich visual material to a series of codes, although we can qualify this with the careful selection of categories. Content analysis does not distinguish between strong and weak examples of a category, it does not address the interconnections between elements of an image, and the overall impression or emotion of the image is lost.[48]

Having defined the methodological approaches used in the project, we will now map how the thesis draws on them. The project is deemed to be largely archaeological, with descriptive analysis of what was available to the government in terms of propaganda and the poster at the outbreak of war. The institution of the MOI is analysed: how posters were commissioned, designed and distributed. Within the case studies ‘rules’ are formulated as we identify the repeatability of statements for VD and ‘enemy within’ campaigns and those using or appealing to urban, industrial, or rural populations. The project is driven by some genealogical concerns. For example, myths about the spirit of the blitz, the perceived incompetence of the MOI, and the supposed complete failure of the first poster, are challenged.

The project is set within a modern episteme, where science, professionalism and communication are emphasised. For many, God no longer controlled ‘destiny’; people thus had the power to change events. Propaganda in a democracy was essentially about getting people to change their own behaviour without compulsion, in the knowledge that it was for their mutual benefit. The terms ‘propaganda’ and ‘poster’ have been influenced by different groups, and have meant different things to different people at different times. Discourse analysis enables the project to demonstrate that the activity to which propaganda referred existed before the term ‘propaganda’ did. Within the case studies, the project considers how issues that made their way into poster campaigns had earlier been defined as ‘problems’ that needed addressing. We will look at those institutions that gained the power to influence the ‘problem’, the ‘solution’, or the design of the poster providing the ‘solution’. Foucault’s particular interest in the body and sexuality in particular made the VD case study a pertinent choice.

This chapter continues with an investigation of the sources and archives used for this project, bearing in mind Foucault’s claims that the organisation of the archive is a reflection of the concerns of those arranging the information. We reflect on how the archives have been formed, with past and current collection, categorisation and access policies that have determined what is available (or not) for the project We consider how the database is constructed, how it is used to identify discourses, including within the visual form and function of the posters, looking for strands that overlap and invisibilities and silences.

Within the multitude of national and local archives and museums, there are many different sources of posters relevant to the project, ranging from small displays within local museums,[49] to the national museum of war, the IWM. As this project is intended to consider the national case presented in wartime to the people of the UK, national archives have been ranked above the local. There is the danger that such use of sources will make the project rather London-centric, but care has been taken to consider sources referring to nationalised campaigns. Posters are collected and stored for a variety of reasons, according to the way in which archivists may expect them to be studied. For example, in 1972 the IWM stated that its collections were available to students of art, history, psychology and sociology.[50] The Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) is a major art and design museum, and it was questioned in 1998 why, as such, it was holding an exhibition of posters. Some critics felt that posters could not be described as ‘art’, but were a product of business activity.[51] This leads into a debate on the nature of art, which is entirely a subject in its own right. Although considered briefly in the next chapter, this is not the central concern of this thesis. It does, however, illustrate the diversity of ways in which the study of posters can be approached. Posters can be examined as artistic objects, discussed with reference to the artistic movements of the age that produced them,[52] or admired simply for their illustrations. They are often, for example, used as convenient visual depictions for relevant wartime topics.[53] Although the majority of posters appear to have been collected for their artistic value, sometimes they are collected for their historical characteristics. This was the case with the posters produced in the 1980s under apartheid by the South African Poster Collective. They were assembled by men who risked prison to produce and gather good examples. The Collective decided that the criteria of selection for their book

had to include whether a poster accurately reflected the times, and whether it captured in its words, images, its design, shape or colours, a significant moment in our struggle.[54]

In this thesis posters are largely treated as historical documents or artefacts, important items of cultural history, to be studied within the context of the political and social age of warfare in which they were produced. While it would be possible to write a history of the poster that uses only the posters themselves, the aim of this project is to see posters in context, to assess their planning and reception, as well as their design. This requires a wider research base. For this reason, this project rests on a variety of sources including the posters themselves, MOI administrative records, newspapers, and Mass-Observation (M-O) research. This wider research is needed as we cannot, for example, gauge planning from the poster alone, or see design in an MOI memo. In any study, a decision has to be made as to whether the historian will allow the sources to dictate the flow of the project, or whether s/he will search out particular sources to answer a set of pre-determined questions. In this project, there was a balance between these strategies. Direction was given to the search for sources by outlining a series of questions at the start of the project, but sources can and did sometimes throw up new and unexpected avenues to follow.[55] Conversely, limitations may also be imposed by the way archives are maintained and categorised, the perceived importance (or otherwise) of collections, and policies of access.

Expected sources, such as the full IWM collection of posters, were difficult to access, which inevitably affected the direction of the project, and led to the investigation of other specialist collections where they were available, discussed further in Appendix 2. This project required access to as many posters as possible to ensure that any conclusions about patterns of, say, poster production, could readily be assumed to be accurate. This was important in order to avoid the kind of criticisms made by such commentators as Darracott and Loftus, who have noted that many general statements about posters and poster histories are ill-founded due to the sheer number of posters in existence.[56] It is very rare for the historian to be able to construct a full history of any series of posters, as demonstrated by Mace, who wished to follow the development and use of trade union posters. Mace discovered that despite the prominence of posters in rallies, it was the exception rather than the rule for posters to be allocated storage space.[57]

Posters have always been designed to meet a need of the moment. They were never intended as unique or precious objects, and as such they fit the Ephemera Society’s definition of ephemera: a ‘transient minor document of everyday life’.[58] The survival of such objects is erratic, with collectors generally preferring the unique to anything produced in multiple copies. The uniqueness of a particular poster affects its price. The posters which fetch the highest prices are those which are scarcest, although ‘“rarity” can fluctuate with dramatic effect on prices’.[59] Originally art museums excluded art with a commercial purpose, but many new forms of art, including photography, are now routinely collected by certain institutions,[60] such as the V&A. Posters were always designed for public spaces. We need to question how much the archives that store them have recognised this. Posters are often printed on cheap paper, and are extremely large and fragile, with the exception of some posters produced at the start of the twentieth century which were intended to be collector’s items, and were consequently printed on heavier paper than was usual in order to aid their survival.[61] This can make the display and handling of such objects difficult, and posters tend to remain in museum drawers, rather than on public display.[62] As Koshatzky maintains, it is only a happy chance when a poster survives its purpose as a selling tool: by rights it should be obsolete once it has fulfilled its advertising purpose. Yet the poster often influences later ages as a historical document, as a reflection of its time,[63] directly mirroring social and cultural change whilst disseminating the ideas and images that characterised modern periods.[64] As Hensher noted:

[E]very historical event and social movement sooner or later finds some kind of reflection on the hoardings, and even a trivial and ephemeral poster advertising a play, film or chocolate drink can tell us more about society than volumes of historical analysis.[65]

In 1972, Darracott and Loftus noted that there was no international survey of holdings of posters. Due to their unwieldy nature, and the sheer mass available, it was impractical.[66] As technology has continued to develop, however, the problems of access are being dealt with through the digitising of images. Digitising has made images widely accessible through projects such as the Visual Arts Data Service (VADS), established in March 1997,[67] now known as AHDS: Visual Arts.[68] The VADS project was an indicator of the level of credibility that visual sources have gained in the humanities in recent decades.[69] Many Second World War posters have survived in a variety of archives throughout the country, although again, there is no survey of holdings. My project attempts to start to remedy this by producing a database, discussed below on page 47.

Collection policies have fluctuated over time in response to changing demands, internal and external. As the need to account for public funds grows, general museum policies, and specific collection policies, have all become much more defined. In Appendix 2 we identify the rationales for the existence of each archive and museum used in the project, along with specific policies for the poster collection, both at the time of collection, and at the time of writing. We consider the benefits and limitations of the sources used, as many museums and archives have a very defined focus, and do not intend to have all encompassing collections. Each archive aims to have an ‘awareness’ of appropriate sources, rather than over-lapping with similar collections. Archives work together to ensure that a wide range of sources can be stored between them.[70]

The background to the involvement of the state in propaganda is largely established through a study of the administrative records of the MOI held at the PRO. The strivings of government can be seen, particularly its attempts to set up a new propaganda department, intended to echo other departments already in existence.[71] A detailed study of the records relating to the General and Home Publicity Divisions, the departments in charge of planning and producing posters, enables an understanding of the contextual background to the posters.[72] In Appendix 2, we provide a brief history of the PRO, explaining some of its record selection processes. Often the fruition of plans for individual posters cannot be tracked through the records, although whether this is because they do not exist as the records were not considered important enough to retain, or whether it is due to the filing system, has not been determined for this project. In order to choose the most useful files from the many available, original classes were selected from those mentioned in the key texts, such as McLaine,[73] and by utilising Cantwell’s guide to PRO wartime records.[74] The introduction of an online catalogue in 1998 facilitated easier and more transparent searching than using paper files.[75]

Hansard, the record of parliamentary debates, adds another dimension to the administrative picture. It demonstrates those issues regarding the MOI that were so important that they took up scarce wartime parliamentary debating time and identifies those who were involved in the issues. An index search revealed many debates with a bearing on the MOI. Of particular interest are the occasions on which a poster caused such a public or political furore that it was awarded parliamentary time. For instance, in May 1941 Dr Edith Summerskill criticised the ‘Be Like Dad, Keep Mum’ campaigns for their depictions of women in posters.[76] Autobiographies produced by some of those involved with the MOI provide insights to the viewpoint of those who were intimately involved with the events under study and give us an awareness of how they perceived their role.[77] When using biographies, we must take into consideration what information was made available to the author, what the author’s particular interest in the subject was, and what co-operation, or otherwise, was gained from the subject, or the family.[78] Even more significant for this project are biographies of poster artists, and a collection of this information can be found in Volume 2, Part 2. This is an area where the internet has been key,[79] as there are few biographies of wartime artists, with those best-documented including Abram Games,[80] Hans Schleger,[81] Fougasse (Kenneth Bird),[82] and Kauffer,[83] although this information can often concentrate more on their post-war work.

The government was interested in monitoring reactions to their campaigns, and often turned to surveys, particularly those deemed ‘scientific’. These were seen to offer proof because of their quantitative nature, although this masks the fact that categories are a social construct. Mass-Observation provides a key source for historians interested in human responses to events in the war. The MOI asked M-O to help determine public opinion during the first years of the war. Several career civil servants felt that M-O was too much ‘on the left’,[84] and not a sufficiently disinterested enough source, so it set up its own Home Intelligence Division (HI) in May 1940. For the first few years of the war, M-O provides a set of rich resources. During the time that M-O was involved with the MOI it monitored the response to the first government posters, ‘Your Courage’, (figure 1), and ‘Freedom is in Peril’ (figure 22).[85] M-O produced a report for the Advertising Services Guild on the government’s domestic propaganda in 1941.[86] It is important to establish how the public pulse about posters was taken. The reservations that the government had about using M-O need to be considered along with the question of whether it has any implications for the records available now. The collecting methods of M-O need to be understood in order to assess how the information it provides can be analysed,[87] and these are discussed in Appendix 2.

Mass-Observation believed that their work was of a more ‘revealing quality, different from the bald replies obtained by ordinary market research interviewing techniques’.[88] It was violently attacked in 1951, however, by the social scientist Abrams, for its qualitative stance.[89] This was possibly because their sample questioning was derived from only two places: Bolton and Finchley. It is unclear how far they correlated results with research in other areas. Despite these possible drawbacks, the information provided within M-O file reports and topic collections has provided much material on reactions about which it would be impossible to find data elsewhere. Electronic search catalogues were used, searching within document titles only, using terms taken from posters already seen, and recommendations from M-O staff. Quantitative results were provided by the British Institute for Public Opinion (BIPO), which originated from the Gallup poll successful in the USA since 1935. These were used by the MOI alongside M-O’s qualitative results, although it is unclear how often. Many of BIPO findings, both from the war and afterwards, have been published. These demonstrate that the questions were largely concerned with gathering general opinions, which may have impacted on plans for posters campaigns, although there are no specific questions about posters.[90]

Contemporary newspapers provide some official views of reactions to some posters, although we cannot assume that they reflect the viewpoints of the general population. The inclusion of articles discussing posters in wartime newspapers, in which space was very scarce, indicates that the editor felt that there was public interest in the subject, and therefore that they had some impact on public life. Some of the press coverage simply heralded the arrival of campaigns, often with little more than an image,[91] although articles were more likely to be critical.[92] A thorough study of several contemporary wartime journals, such as the trade journal Advertiser’s Weekly[93] and Art and Industry,[94] was made. These commented, both positively and negatively, on some of the government strategies for propaganda, and on specific posters that the government produced. Advertiser’s Weekly has, in particular, provided much information which has aided the dating of some poster campaigns, as have the other journals to a lesser extent. The articles help to set the posters in the context of other government and commercial advertising, demonstrating the extent to which commercial businesses supported the MOI through the donation of funding, staff expertise, poster sites, and the repetition of slogans in their own advertising. The journals also provide some information about poster designers of the era, although they still focus, unsurprisingly, on the major artists. Selected extracts from these and other newspapers can be found in two scrapbooks containing various newspaper and journal clippings, held in the IWM. These were collected by the Secretary of Edwin Embleton, who was the Studio Manager at the MOI for the duration of the war.[95] Embleton was responsible for the design, poster and visualising group for both the general and overseas production divisions. These files indicate the type of praise and criticisms to which he reacted.[96] Unfortunately, many of these clippings are unsourced and undated for no thought was given to preservation until they were obtained by the IWM.[97] To identify the source of most of these would require a search through every wartime newspaper, looking for the smallest scraps of information, well outside the scope of this project.

This chapter now continues to examine the new sources produced as a part of this project.

London Transport posters are contained within a searchable database. It was an aim of this project to produce something similar for Second World War government posters. Although the IWM is now digitising a substantial portion of their collection of posters,[98] at the outset of this project they appeared to be concentrating more on fine art works, rather than wartime posters. Initially, a paper database was used, but this did not provide a flexible enough solution, and with user-friendly software on the market, a computerised database was employed (see Volume 2, Part 2). Historical researchers have used computerised databases since the 1960s, although at that point it was possible only to ‘number crunch’ quantitative information such as census returns. This was still the key use of computerised databases at the start of this project. Developments in software have enabled wider use, and by 1994, databases of visual sources had already been developed.[99]

Data must be standardised as much as possible to work within a database. This is difficult as historians tend towards non-standardised data in historical material, and thus no database is ideal for historical data, even specific historical databases such as Kleio.[100] For financial reasons the only affordable database package for this project was Microsoft Access. Fitting in the data required some compromises with the source, as Access is largely intended for real-life data, which rarely includes informed assumptions. Posters are largely unstructured sources. Slogans are often reused within posters and this can be standardised but they are often accompanied by ‘complementary text’ which required an extra field. Images can be standardised to a certain extent: for example ‘woman’ can be an image entry. This, however, loses any nuances as to the type of woman, so describing the poster image requires some thought. We may recognise something as the same – say, ‘London’ and ‘Ldn’ from the context of the document – but the computer will not recognise even marginal changes. In this case a decision was made to allow several different variations of the same item, rather than to alter the data to fit the standardisation.

Particular problems that have been identified with databases for historians include organisational renaming, a noticeable problem in the Second World War, for instance in 1941 the National Safety First Organisation became the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA). Temporal change has been identified as another problem, although within this thesis we do not have the problem of identifying dates in a particular calendar, with poster production we do have a problem identifying dates at all. The solution here was to designate four separate fields – earliest, latest, best guess, and reasoning – simply to date the posters. It is not possible to set up a detailed chronology of different poster campaigns and their relation to the timing of other propaganda campaigns because this was recognised as outside the scope of the project. A third problem that has been identified is a linguistic problem: we must be particularly careful of anachronisms within the data.[101]

Databases allow flexible access points to the data, for instance, accessing the poster through queries for either the artist or slogan, or both. It was anticipated that such a database would produce a detailed chronology of different poster campaigns and their relation to the timings of other propaganda campaigns. The lack of such information, however, prevented this being as comprehensive as expected, and computers can make use only of information that is available and explicitly recorded.[102] Databases can help organise information, although the expected end result will affect the structure. In this project it was hoped to search for information on, for example, all posters designed by a certain artist, should the information be available. In many cases several of the facts, including information as to artist, date and print run, were simply not available, even after a thorough study of the records held at the primary archives discussed above.[103] This was a constraint, as it is difficult to argue, for example, that poster design improved over time without knowing the chronological range of the posters. To overcome this, various strategies were employed in attempting to determine the date of the posters, the majority of which are undated. Their reproduction in a contemporary magazine might indicate that that is the latest possible date at which they were produced, as they are unlikely to appear before they were produced. In some cases, however, Advertiser’s Weekly and other newspapers heralded a forthcoming campaign, in which case the date was sometimes available. The next tactic was to consider the text: for example, dates, legislative measures or particular military campaigns mentioned were dated within a brief wartime chronology. Images were also examined to see if there are any clues in the items pictured. For example, a particular make of bomber would preclude a poster from having been designed before its introduction. This is all rather speculative and requires general knowledge about wartime equipment. This has been deemed largely another project in its own right.

For this project, questionnaires were deemed a cost effective method of gaining some insights from those who remembered the war, and this is discussed in more detail in Appendix 3. The questionnaires were originally intended to provide the basis for interviews, but other sources were deemed more worthwhile within the time available. Tosh argues that public records give too much prominence to administrative considerations, and there is a need to turn to other sources to know more about the political pressures to which those in power responded, in particular, first hand oral evidence for recent history.[104] The PRO contains many documents that deal largely with administrative issues, which provide much information on governmental involvement but little on the thoughts of the populace, a gap which  M-O goes a long way towards filling. As noted earlier, all such information will have been through selection processes, and what remains does not necessarily answer the questions in which the project is particularly interested. A questionnaire provided the chance to ask questions relevant to this particular study, and also to assemble a new archive for future historians, although problems of storage, access and dissemination (including data protection issues) needed to be taken into account.[105] However much material the historian manages to accumulate, definitive answers will remain elusive[106] but the more sources that are available, the more confidence the historian can have in information when it is corroborated by other sources.

The effect of time on memory when using answers from the questionnaires needs to be considered, as ‘small events that have less impact are more likely to be forgotten than significant events. Recent events are reported better than events that occurred in the more distant past’, although not necessarily as people get older.[107] The ‘collective’ histories of society, from which myths arise also need to be taken into account. There are many of us who did not live through the war who also know many of the poster slogans, probably taken from populist books. The credibility of answers can be affected by nostalgia, and by hindsight: British people were among the victors in the war, and that may affect the way things are remembered. The “voice of the past” is inescapably the voice of the present too.[108] The term ‘myth of the blitz’, for example, is still disputed by some of those who remember the war years:

Despite modern attempts at “de-bunking”, wartime spirits were mostly high. Certainly, we did not walk about with permanent smiles, in addition to the usual horrors of war … times were hard, and there were invasion fears, bombs, V-1s and V-2s. However, there was never any thought of surrendering…: we always thought we’d win the war; and posters – like other official forms of propaganda – played an important part in keeping-up morale.[109]

Having discussed the methodology of the project and sources available, the following chapter will discuss the place of propaganda in British history and the place of the poster in British history.

[1] The key theorist for discourse analysis is Michel Foucault (1926-1984). Key works for this project include The Archaeology of Knowledge, 1969 (1972), The History of Sexuality: Volume 1, An Introduction, 1976 (1978), and Discipline and Punish, 1975 (1977).

[2] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1969 (1972), p.108.

[3] Blair, M., Dawtrey, L., and Holland, J., Education Studies Guide: Gender Issues in Education: Equality and Difference, 1994, p.24.

[4] Colebrook C., New Literary Histories: New Historicism and Contemporary Criticism, 1997, p.42.

[5] Hall, S., Representation: Cultural Representations and Signifying Practices, 1997, p.48.

[6] Blair, M., Dawtrey, L., and Holland, J., op.cit., 1994, p.30.

[7] Tubbs, N., Contradiction of Enlightenment: Hegel & the Broken Middle, 1997, p.79.

[8] Foucault, M., Discipline and Punish, 1975 (1977), p.26.

[9] Foucault, M., ‘Docile Bodies’, in Rabinow, P. (eds),The Foucault Reader: An Introduction to Foucault’s Thought, 1964, p.180.

[10] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1975 (1977), p.25.

[11] Foucault, M., ‘Docile Bodies’, op.cit., 1964, p.179.

[12] See Hall, L., Sex, Gender and Social Change in Britain Since 1880, 2000, pp.144-145; Norton, R., The Myth of the Modern Homosexual: Queer History and the Search for Cultural Unity, 1997; and Hyde, H., The Other Love: An Historical and Contemporary Survey of Homosexuality in Britain, 1970, pp.197-213. Hyde, pp.192-193, notes that there is a notable absence of one of the ‘most prominent features of the landscape’ (homosexual activity), in the otherwise detailed published inter-war diaries of Nicolson and Channon.

[13] Foucault, M., The History of Sexuality: The Use of Pleasure Vol. 2, 1984 (1985), pp.3-4.

[14] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1975 (1977), p.23.

[15] Foucault, M., History of Sexuality: An Introduction Vol. 1, 1976 (1978), p.92.

[16] Blair, M., Dawtrey, L., and Holland, J., op.cit., 1994, p.31.

[17] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1976 (1978), pp.92-95.

[18] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1975 (1977), p.27.

[19] Barker, C. & Galasinski, D., Cultural Studies and Discourse Analysis: A Dialogue on Language and Identity, 2001, p.31.

[20] Examples of Foucault’s early work include The Birth of the Clinic: An Archaeology of Modern Perception, 1963 (1975); The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences, 1966 (1973); and The Archaeology of Knowledge, 1969 (1972).

[21] McNay, L., Foucault and Feminism, 1992, p.3. Examples of Foucault’s later work include The History of Sexuality: Vol. 2, The Use of Pleasure, 1984 (1985); and The History of Sexuality: Vol.3, The Care of the Self, 1984 (1986).

[22] Hall, S., op.cit., 1997, p.45-46.

[23] Ibid., p.6.

[24] Rabinow, P. (eds), op.cit., 1984, p.21.

[25] Tubbs, N., op.cit., 1997, p.83.

[26] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1984 (1985), p.28

[27] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1969 (1972), p.191.

[28] Dean, M., Critical and Effective Histories: Foucault’s Methods and Historical Sociology, 1994, p.17.

[29] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1969 (1972), p.27.

[30] Colebrook C., op.cit., 1997, p.46 (emphasis in original).

[31] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1969 (1972), p.7 (emphasis in original).

[32] Kendell, G., and Wickham, G., Using Foucault’s Methods: Introducing Qualitative Methods, 1999, p.26.

[33] Dean, M., op.cit., 1994, pp.32-33.

[34] Goldstein, J., ‘Introduction’, in Goldstein, J. (ed.), Foucault and the Writing of History, 1994, p.14.

[35] Colebrook C., op.cit., p.57.

[36] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1969 (1972), p.130.

[37] Munslow, A., Deconstructing History, 1997, p.122.

[38] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1969 (1972), p.7

[39] Foucault, M., op.cit., 1975 (1977), pp.189-191.

[40] See Rose, G., Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials, 2001, pp.170-184, for an idea of how museums construct the visitor experience.

[41] Blackburn, S., The Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy, 1996, p.107.

[42] Rose, G., op.cit., 2001, p.161.

[43] Ibid., p.160.

[44] Ibid., pp.150-151.

[45] Rennie, P., ‘An investigation into the design, production and display contexts of industrial safety posters produced by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents during WW2’, London School of Printing: Unpublished PhD, January 2004.

[46] Rose, G., op.cit., 2001, p.161.

[47] Ibid., p.54.

[48] Summarised from Ibid., pp.54-67.

[49] For instance, Serle’s House on Southgate Street in Winchester is the home of the museum of the Royal Hampshire Regiment. When visited in 1998, the museum contained a small display on the Home Front, which included a few posters.

[50] Darracott J., ‘Introduction’, in Darracott, J., and Loftus, B. (eds), Second World War Posters, 1972, p.5.

[51] Fletcher, W., ‘Why ‘advertising as art’ sells both disciplines short’, Marketing, 28 May 1998, unknown page, taken from collection of press cuttings at the V&A.

[52] For example, Bayer, P., Art Deco Source Book, 1988, pp.172-185, considers graphic design, particularly posters, resulting from the art deco movement of the 1920s and 1930s.

[53] For example, Davies, J., The Wartime Kitchen and Garden: The Home Front 1939-45, 1993; Briggs, S., Keep Smiling Through, 1975; and Minns, R., Bombers and Mash, 1980, are all general wartime histories that use posters as key illustrations.

[54] Poster Book Collective (The), Images of Defiance: South African Resistance Posters of the 1980s, 1991, pp.viii-ix.

[55] Tosh, J., The Pursuit of History: Aims, Methods and New Directions in the Study of Modern History, 2002 (Third Edition Revised), pp.84-85.

[56] Darracott J., ‘Introduction’, op.cit., 1972 (1981 edition), p.5.

[57] Mace, R., British Trade Union Posters, 1999, p.12.

[58] Rickards, M., Design for Savings, 1986, p.1. The Ephemera Society, ‘Welcome’,, accessed January 11 2004, gives information on The Ephemera Society, founded in 1975 by Maurice Rickards. The Society continues to flourish, collecting, preserving and studying printed and handwritten ephemera that reflects ‘the moods and mores of past times in a way that more formal records cannot’. University of Reading, ‘Department of Typography and Graphic Communication’,, accessed January 11 2004, gives details of The Ephemera Centre, opened at the University of Reading in May 1993 by Asa Briggs. 20,000 items collected by Maurice Rickards are at the heart of the collection, promoting the academic study of ephemera, an emerging discipline.

[59] Gleeson, J., Miller’s Collecting Prints & Posters, 1997, p.92.

[60] Heyman, T., Posters American Style, 1998, p.6.

[61] Paret, P., Lewis, B. I., and Paret, P., Persuasive Images: Posters of War and Revolution from the Hoover Institution Archives, 1992, p.xii.

[62] Heyman, T., Posters American Style, 1998, p.7.

[63] Koshatzky, K., Ornamental Posters of the Vienna Secession, 1974, p.11.

[64] Ades, D., The Twentieth Century Poster: Design of the Avant-Garde, 1984, p.7.

[65] Hensher, P., ‘The Poster as a Pin-up’, Mail on Sunday April 19 1998, p.40.

[66] Darracott J., ‘Introduction’, op.cit., 1972 (1981 edition), p.5.

[67] AHDS, ‘Introducing VADS: The Visual Arts Data Service’,, accessed August 24 2000. VADS is part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service. See their ‘Mission Statement’ in AHDS, ‘About the Visual Arts Data Service: VADS’,, accessed August 2 2001.

[68] AHDS Visual Arts, ‘About Us’,, accessed March 25 2004.

[69] This is demonstrated by, for instance, Aldous, A., ‘Towards a Visual History’, accessed August 2 2001; Kirkup, G., ‘The Family Album: Past, Present and Absent’, in Drake, M., and Finnegan, R., (eds), Sources and Methods for Family and Community Historians: A Handbook, 1994; Mico, T., Miller-Monzon, J., Rubel, D. (eds) Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies, 1996; Rayan, J.R., Picturing Empire: photography and Visualization of the British Empire, 1997; Short, K.R., (ed.), Feature Films as History, 1981; and Stange, M., Symbols of Ideal Life: Social Documentary Photography in America 1890-1950, 1989. There are several courses on visual history, including those at Birkbeck, Lampeter and Oxford, see: Birkbeck College, ‘Welcome to the School of History of Art, Film and Visual Media’, accessed August 2 2001; Lampeter University, ‘Visual Representations in History’, accessed 2 August 2001; Oxford University, ‘Art History and Visual Studies in Oxford’, accessed August 2 2001.

[70] For instance, see National Art Library, ‘NAL Collection Development Policy – Chapter 2’,, accessed July 19 2001, and The Wellcome Trust, ‘The Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine Library – Collection Development Policy’,, accessed July 19 2001. Both refer to ‘complimentary collections’ which have additional holdings.

[71] This information can be gained from PRO INF 1: ‘Ministry of Information: Files of Correspondence 1936-1950’.

[72] References to the General Division can be found particularly in PRO INF 1/116, ‘Re-roganisation of the Communications and General Division’, and references to the Home Publicity Division in PRO INF 1/294 through to PRO INF 1/328.

[73] McLaine, I., Ministry of Morale: Home Front Morale and the Ministry of Information in World War Two, 1979.

[74] Cantwell, J.D., The Second World War: A Guide to Documents in the Public Record Office, 1993.

[75] The National Archives, ‘PROCAT: Reader’,, accessed July 17 1999. The introduction of an online catalogue simplifies accessed to the wide range of PRO records. This, however, is still based on the original filing system, established over decades, there is no guarantee that the indexer will have thought that searches on topics such as this would be required.

[76] Hansard: 371 H.C. Deb 5S. May 7 1941, Cols 838-9.

[77] For instance, the first three ‘failed’ Ministers of Information produced autobiographies, in which they tried to justify their position. Cooper, D., Old Men Forget, 1953; Macmillan, H.P., A Man of Law’s Tale, 1952; Reith, J.C.W., Into the Wind, 1949. Lysaght, C., Brendan Bracken: A Biography, 1979 provides a biography of Bracken’s life, although he destroyed most of his personal papers. Nicolson, N. (ed.), The Diaries and Letters of Harold Nicolson. Volume II: The War Years 1939-1945, 1967, contains the diaries of Harold Nicolson, a senior member of the MOI, published by his son.

[78] Tosh, J., op.cit., 2002, pp.36; 98-9; and Marwick, A., The Nature of History, 1989, pp.165-6; p.200.

[79] Not only did Internet sites provide much information, but information was also received from friends and family of some of the wartime artists through means of my site: Lewis, R., ‘Second World War Posters’,, first built 1997.

[80] Games, A., Abram Games: 60 Years of Design, 1990; Moriarty, C., Rose, J, and Games, N., Abram Games: Graphic Designer – Maximum Meaning, Minimum Means, 2003.

[81] Rand, P., Schleger, P., and MacCarthy, F., Zero: Hans Schleger – A Life of Design, 2001.

[82] Fougasse, A School of Purposes: Fougasse Posters, 1939-45, 1946.

[83] Haworth-Booth, M., E.McKnight-Kauffer: A Designer and His Public, 1979.

[84] McLaine, I., op.cit., 1979, p.52. McLaine does not specify who the ‘career civil servants’ were.

[85] M-O FR 2, ‘Government Posters in Wartime’, October 1939.

[86] M-O, Change No. 2, Home Propaganda, 1941.

[87] Abrams, M., Social Surveys and Social Action, 1951, and Bulmer, M., The Social Survey in Historical Perspective 1880-1940, 1991 give us an idea of where Mass-Observation fits into the general history of social surveys. See also Calder, A., Speak for Yourself: A Mass-Observation Anthology 1937-49, 1985; Harrison, T., Britain by Mass-Observation, 1939; Jeffrey, T., Mass-Observation: A Short History, 1999; and Mercer, N., Mass-Observation 1937-40: The Range of Research Methods, 1988 for specific histories of Mass-Observation. See Mass-Observation, op.cit., 1941, pp.2-4 where the methodology for this particular investigation is outlined.

[88] Jeffery, T., op.cit., 1999, p.48, quoting Lintas File Report 390A, ‘Social Attitudes to Margarine. An Enquiry by Mass-Observation’, December 1938.

[89] Abrams, M., op.cit., 1951.

[90] Gallup, G., The Gallup International Public Opinion Polls: Great Britain 1937-1975, Vol. 1, 1937-1964, 1976, pp.13-123, covers January 1939 to December 1945. Page 24, for example, contains a question, asked in August 1942, whether people were in favour of venereal disease information being distributed.

[91] For example the ‘Careless Talk’ posters of February 1940 were heralded in many newspapers, including Anonymous, ‘Should they put a laugh in the ‘Don’t-Talk’ Drive’, Daily Mail, February 7 1940, Embleton Scrapbook; Anonymous, ‘War Declared on Gossip: Sir J Reith’s Drive to Stop Dangerous Talk’, Unknown source, Embleton Scrapbook; Anonymous, ‘2,500,000 Anti-Gossip Posters’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 107, No. 1,394, February 8 1940, p.98.

[92] For example, Anonymous, ‘Govt. Sponsors “Mr Snowman” – Follows Commercial Advtg. Lead’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 109, No. 1,421, August 15 1940, p.101; and Anonymous, ‘Posters (Russian Style) Will Win the War – in the Factories’, Advertiser’s Weekly, Vol. 114, No. 1,481, October 9 1941, p.27.

[93] Advertiser’s Weekly, 1938-1946. British Library, Colindale.

[94] Art and Industry, 1939-1958, St Peter’s House Library, University of Brighton.

[95] AIM25, ‘AIM25: Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, King’s College London: EMBLETON, Edwin J.’,, accessed April 29 2002.

[96] Scrapbook entitled ‘Ministry of Information, E. Embleton, 1939-1946’.

[97] Information was gathered from conversations with IWM staff, 1998.

[98] ‘Posters of Conflict Digitisation Project’, commenced 2003, with a joint bid by the IWM and Manchester Metropolitan University. ‘Re: Poster Collection’, E-mail from Kathleen Palmer, Documentation Manager, Art Department, IWM, October 8 2002.

[99] Morris, R.J., ‘History and Computing’, in Kent, A., and Williams, J.G. Encyclopaedia of Computer Science and Technology, 1994.

[100] There are other problems involved in using Kleio. Firstly, it is command driven ‘language’, which needs to be learnt, rather like learning a programming language. Secondly, the author was German, and the package’s English translation has not been very effective. For example, one error message read: ‘An ambiguous group identifier has been disambiguated’. Thirdly, if still available, it does not operate well within Windows, and potentially does not even work within the Windows XP operating system. ‘Re: Kleio’, E-mail from Mark Allen, History Department, University College, Winchester, March 29 2004. See Allen, M., ‘A Railway Revolution? A census-based analysis of the economic, social and topographical effects of the coming of the railway upon the city of Winchester c. 1830 – c. 1890’, Unpublished PhD: King Alfred’s College, 1999. For more information see Geschichte at Göttingen, ‘Kleio Tutorial’,, translated to online form 1993, accessed March 29 2004. (Original source: Woollard, M. and Denley, P. (ed.), Source-Oriented Data Processing for Historians: A Tutorial for kleio, 1993), and Woollard, M., and Denley, P. (ed.), The Sorcerers Apprentice: Kleio Case Studies, 1996.

[101] Woollard, M., ‘Databases for Historians’ course at the Institute of Historical Research, February 7-11 2000.

[102] James, H., History Data Service, ‘Digitisation and its Implications’, ‘AHDS Digitisation Workshop’, April 2002.

[103] Timmers, M., ‘Introduction’, in Timmers, M., The Power of the Poster, 1998, p.13 notes that poster historians in the United States would have an easier time of it as copyright legislation resulted in a collection of 100,000 posters in the Library of Congress.

[104] Tosh, J., op.cit., 2002, p.100.

[105] All questionnaire respondents were asked to sign a form at the end of the questionnaire indicating how they were happy for their information to be used. See appendix 3.

[106] Marwick, A., op.cit., 1989, p.232.

[107] Fowler, F.J., Survey Research Methods, 1993, p.88.

[108] Tosh, J., op.cit., 2002, p.302 referring to Thompson, P., The Voice of the Past, 1978, (methodologies of oral history), considers how communities discover their social identity through history, and (p.308), promote this to promote the present.

[109] Male (Historian), reply to questionnaire, April 1998.

Image Source: Wikipedia