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A service of Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State. Arizona Memory Project

Posters and Artwork of the Federal Government

Posters and Artwork of the Federal Government

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Contributed by Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records: State Library of Arizona

The State Library of Arizona has hundreds of posters produced by the federal government, most of them printed by the Government Printing Office for distribution through the FDLP or for purchase by the public. The modern FDLP came into being in 1962, so most of this collection was received after that date. Some pieces in our poster and print collection date back to World War II, however, so our collection covers a significant portion of the 20th century. The following series have been digitized:

U.S. Marine Corps Combat Art Prints, 2006 (22 items)
This series features artwork from Marine Corps Combat Artists dating back to the early 1990s with the Persian Gulf War.  These scenes depict Marines in combat as well as in quieter moments.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: Rivers and Harbors Work (11 items)
This series highlights the work of a frequently unsung part of the Army: the Corps of Engineers. These prints show a small sampling of the sites where the Corps of Engineers works to maintain and improve waterways in the U.S.

Marines in the Frigate Navy (15 items)
Depicting scenes dating from 1798-1835, this series highlights major events in the Marine Corps during this time period. All 14 pieces were created by a single artist Col. Charles H. Waterhouse, USMCR, and recreate scenes largely from primary sources. It also includes a booklet that offers extensive background on the events and figures shown.

Uniforms of the United States Navy, 1776-1898 (13 items)
This series shows the uniforms worn by a variety of officers and enlisted men at different points, beginning with the Continental Navy. There is also a booklet that accompanies the series and offers details about the uniforms and the reasons behind the changes made to them over the years.
Uniforms of the United States Navy, 1900-1967 (13 items)
Much like its predecessor series, these prints mark the changes in Naval uniforms for officers and enlisted men and women from the turn of the century through 1967. A booklet also accompanies this series to offer greater detail about the uniforms and the changes they undergo.

Air Force 2000 (8 items)
This series was created in the early 1980s and asked several artists to think about where the United States Air Force would be in a generation later in the year 2000. The artists vary significantly in style and topic, and give a glimpse into their vision of the future.

United States Marine Corps Uniforms, 1983 (13 items)
This in depth look at the variety of uniforms worn by the men and women of the Marine Corps is accompanied by a booklet that explains each uniform in detail, offering historical information about Marine uniforms as well. Several uniforms unique to specific units, such as the U.S. Marine Band (The President's Own) and Marine Barracks Ceremonial Uniforms are included as well.

The American Soldiers (55 items)
This series is made up of 5 sets of 10, chronicling American soldiers and their allies from the 18th century through the 1970s. Set No. 1 covers the Army from 1781-1855 with 1863-1963 seen in Set No. 2. The third set covers a broad range, filling in gaps from 1775-1965. Set No. 4 covers peacetime Army activities, as well as highlighting the support services in wartime. Set No. 5 exhibits the contributions of specific allied unites in wartime, ranging from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War.

U.S. Marines in the Middle East, 1991 (2 items)
This publication consists of a single plate and one page of accompanying text, describing the range of uniforms worn by U.S. Marines fighting in Kuwait and Iraq. It even includes a description and artist's rendering of a full Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical (NBC) protective suit.

Atlas of Volcanic Phenomena (20 items) 
These posters, published in 1971, detailed our knowledge of volcanoes at that time. They cover various types of volcanoes, how different chemical compositions change the behavior of magma and lava, and they volcanoes affect human beings. The information on these posters was initially put together by the Smithsonian, but used by the United States Geological Survey to create and publish the series.

Portfolio of American Agriculture (21 items)
This series, created by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is aptly named, since it is kept in an actual portfolio. The inside of that portfolio offers brief descriptions alongside thumbnails of the photos and artwork that make up the series and is included as a document. These images were intended to highlight rural America and the way American agriculture worked in the 1970s and 1980s. Some images focus on the way technology had changed agriculture, while others show practices that were carried out the same way they had been for decades, if not centuries, prior.

The Navy Art Collection (20 items)
These paintings all show scenes from the World War II era United States Navy. Most, if not all, of these paintings were actually created during World War II. The experiences captured range from the mundane to the heart-pounding, showing the many facets of a being a sailor in the Navy.

Healthy Eating Tips (15 items)
These recipes and posters were published in 1991 by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as a way to promote healthier eating that would help reduce cancer risk. This is nutritional advice that still holds true today, offering alternatives to meals heavy in fat, processed sugar, and cholesterol. Try some of these recipes in your own kitchen.

The Noncommissioned Officer (18 items)
This series chronicles the history of what many consider the backbone of the United States Army: noncommissioned officers (NCO). NCOs have always needed to be leaders, counted upon to make the orders of a commissioned officer into reality, both in and out of combat. As weapons systems became more complex and concentrated significantly more firepower in the hands of fewer soldiers, they have also added a great deal of technical expertise to coordinate and maintain those weapons systems. Beginning in colonial America and continuing through the tail end of the Cold War.

The Eastman Forts (11 items)
Created by Brigadier General Seth Eastman, these paintings were part of a long 19th century military career that frequently took him to what was then the Western frontier of America. He was commissioned by more than one agency to produce paintings and drawings, including the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This series represents part of Eastman's final work, a commission from Congress to paint principal forts.

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