Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics
Dates: 1900- ; bulk 1960-
Collection Number: See Acquisition Information
Extent: 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 80,000 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: English
The CSPG collection is open for research by appointment only during the Center's operating hours.
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.
Collection of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. Center for the Study of Political Graphics
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 was 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, the anti-apartheid struggle, advocacy for children’s rights, LGBTQ issues,
gentrification and homelessness, immigration, ecology, labor, criminal justice reform, efforts to end racism and anti-Semitism,
and the history of the women’s movement. The posters are produced in a variety of artistic mediums— offset, screen prints,
lithography, woodblock, linocut, stencil, photocopy, and computer-generated prints.
The collection is arranged by topic, region or artist, with more specific sub-topics being 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. This filing process physically disperses un-cataloged materials throughout the collection, but in a manner
which facilitates most researchers’ needs. To date, of the more than 80,000 posters in CSPG’s collection, approximately 25,000
unique items have been cataloged.