The Imperial War Museum’s Department of Art holds one of the pre-eminent collections of posters in the UK, comprising 15,000 items from both World Wars and other conflicts, right up to the present day. The Museum now holds what is probably the largest public collection of posters from the Spanish Civil War in the UK, although it is still relatively small in number at around 85 posters. The collection compliments the Imperial War Museum’s Concise Art Collection already featured on the VADS website.
The majority of the posters in the collection are Republican, although there are a few Nationalist examples. The themes range from recruitment and propaganda to agriculture and social policy. Also included are images of some leading personalities from both sides of the Civil War. This group of posters stands out as one of the highlights of the Department of Art’s collection for the high quality of its graphic design.
The Imperial War Museum is developing a web resource of Spanish Civil War posters. This is a joint project with the Biblioteca Naçional de España in Madrid, which has a collection of over 500 posters. Presented as a single web-based collection totalling 600 items, the posters will be accompanied by specially commissioned short essays on a number of social, political and design history themes. The Museum’s aim is to create an informative, interpretive resource that will be accessible to a wide range of history and design students, as well as those with a general interest in the Spanish Civil War. The site will be bi-lingual in English and Spanish.