Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics
Dates: 1900- ; bulk 1960-
Collection Number: See
330 flat files
Center for the Study of Political Graphics
Culver City, California 90230
Abstract: The collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) contains over 90,000 domestic and international political
posters and prints relating to historical and contemporary movements for social change. The finding aid represents the collection
in its entirety.
Language of Material:
The CSPG collection is open for research by appointment only during the Center's
CSPG does not hold copyright for any items in the collection. CSPG provides access
to the materials for educational and research purposes only. Users are responsible
for obtaining all necessary permissions for use.
[Identification of item], Collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG).
CSPG acquires 3,000 to 5,000 items annually, primarily through donations. Each acquisition is assigned a unique acquisition
number and is written on individual items before these are sorted and filed by topic.
Scope and Content of Collection
The collection represents diverse social and political movements. The earliest graphics in the collection date back to the
mid-19th century, but approximately 95% of the collection dates from the 1960s to the present. Holdings produced prior to
1960 include U.S. government posters from World Wars I and II, U.S. and British labor posters, Marshall Plan posters from
1950 and a collection of Taller de Gráfica Popular (Mexico) linocuts produced in the 1940s and 1950s. Approximately 60% of
the collection is produced in the U.S. Approximately 50% of the international collection is from Latin America, 30% from Europe,
10% from Asia and the remaining 10% from Africa, the Middle East and Australia. Representative languages in the collection
include, but are not limited to, Spanish, German, Dutch, French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Italian and
Portuguese. The broad range of topics include: anti-war movements, anti-apartheid struggles, advocacy for children’s rights,
LGBTQ issues, gentrification and homelessness, immigration, ecology, labor, history of the women’s movement, criminal justice
reform and efforts to end racism and anti-Semitism. The posters are produced in a variety of artistic techniques: offset,
screen print (silkscreen), lithography, woodblock, linocut, stencil, photocopy, and digital print.
The collection is physically arranged by topic, region or artist, with more specific sub-topics used when appropriate. This
physical arrangement was developed around the primary research interest and needs of researchers. In 2013, CSPG began a two-year
National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) funded project to process and describe the collection on the
folder-level and produce a full finding aid for the collection. Prior to this project, all description and cataloging was
performed at the item-level. To date, of the more than 90,000 posters in CSPG’s collection, approximately 26,000 unique items
have been cataloged. The finding aid consists of the folder-level description produced under this grant project. Scope and
content notes in folder-level description records include natural language of the posters to better represent the context
and content of the collection materials. Description includes related topics, makers, people, places, languages and references.
Please note, references may not be main subjects of individual items but may be represented in graphics or text to some degree.
Date ranges are approximate and identified by available dates on posters within folders. Folder-level description records
are being added to finding aid periodically as described.
Processing and description performed by archival staff, Emily Sulzer, Alejandra Gaeta, Elvia Arroyo-Ramirez, Bolton Doub
and Joy Novak, along with interns and volunteers. Finding aid created by archival staff.