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Inventory of the Great Britain Ministry of Information propaganda
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection

  • Title: Great Britain Ministry of Information propaganda
    Date (inclusive): 1938-1949
    Collection Number: XX229
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: In various languages, including English Czech, Farsi, French, Galician, German, Greek, Italian, Afrikaans, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Polish, and Portuguese.
    Physical Description: 17 manuscript boxes, 1 card file box, 1 oversize folder (7.8 linear feet)
    Abstract: Pamphlets, posters, serial issues, press releases, photographs, and postcards, distributed during World War II.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Great Britain. Ministry of Information.


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Great Britain Ministry of Information propaganda, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog Socrates at http://library.stanford.edu/webcat . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Historical Note

    Formed on September 4th 1939, the day after Britain's declaration of war, the Ministry of Information (MOI) was the central government department responsible for publicity and propaganda in the Second World War. The initial functions of the MOI were threefold: news and press censorship; home publicity; and overseas publicity in Allied and neutral countries. Planning for such an organisation had started in October 1935 under the auspices of the Committee for Imperial Defence, largely conducted in secret; otherwise the government was publicly admitting the inevitability of war. Propaganda was still tainted by the experience of the First World War. In the ‘Great War', several different agencies had been responsible for propaganda, except for a brief period when there had been a Department of Information (1917) and a Ministry of Information (1918) Planning for the new MOI was largely organised by volunteers drawn from a wide range of government departments, public bodies and specialist outside organisations. In March 1946, the MOI was dissolved. Its residual functions passed to the Central Office of Information (COI), a central organisation providing common and specialist information services.

    Source: "The Art of War" The National Archives, Great Britain, http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/theartofwar/inf3.htm

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The propaganda collection includes a variety of materials distributed during World War II by the Ministry of Information in Great Britain. The various pamphlets, leaflets, posters, serial issues, press releases, photographs, and postcards include: informational guides that explain how to set up bomb shelters, what to do in a fire, what crops to grow, and what the public can do to help keep themselves and others safe. The collection also contains newspapers and brochures discussing the current situations throughout the war; counter propaganda materials that combat the influence of Nazi propaganda; and materials that highlight new British inventions and breakthroughs such as improved planes, submarines, and combat tactics. A majority of the materials have visual images such as cartoons and drawings. Some materials are duplicates printed in multiple languages.


    The container list below is arranged by format in two groups: Pamphlets and Leaflets, and Maps, Portraits, Postcards, and Stamps, then alphabetically by title of the document. Author, publisher, and publisher location are listed when available on the document. Dates are given when they appear on the item, otherwise dates are supposed to be within the years of World War II. Materials in each box are physically arranged in alphabetical order by title.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Propaganda, British.
    World War, 1939-1945--Great Britain.
    World War, 1939-1945--Propaganda.