The Library’s vast, international poster collection is featured in the latest “Free to Use and Reuse” image set. You’ll find much to enjoy from the 1890s through the 1960s among the posters, which promote travel, commercial products, war propaganda, entertainment, and more. We selected these posters in a special collaboration with Poster House, a new museum opening in New York City in 2019.
Poster House is the United States’ first museum dedicated to the design and history of posters. After exploring the Library’s extensive holdings of posters, Poster House staff worked with a Prints & Photographs Division specialist to select 31 fabulous designs, each its own window to the past. There’s no question that posters have the power to move people through subject matter and composition. But Poster House is issuing a further design challenge: make these posters move graphically through digital animation. Turning the digitized posters into mini animations will literally make a piece of the past come alive.
Using these 31 posters as a launching pad, Poster House is inviting professionals, students, and members of the general public to submit animated versions of the posters this winter. A panel of judges comprised of design luminaries, as well as museum and Library staff, will then choose the top submissions. Winners’ work will be displayed in the museum’s window on 23rd Street in Manhattan in advance of its grand opening in the spring of 2019 and will also be part of Poster House’s social media and web presence.
light up your imagination,
- The poster collection in the Prints & Photographs Division includes more than 100,000 posters from all over the world. A portion are individually described online and digitized. The “Free to Use” set offers a great selection, but there are more! Our largest rights-free poster categories are Performing Arts Posters, World War I Posters, and WPA Posters. View a sampling that have no known restrictions on publication— they may also be ripe for animating!
- View the Poster House Web site and information about the animation challenge.
- Read some of our previous posts featuring selections from the poster collections: