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The scheme has been made possible by a grant of more than £300,000 from the Arts and Humanities Research Board.
Posters going online as part of the project include British recruiting posters issued during the first two years of the First World War, such as Alfred Leete’s famous design of Lord Kitchener, as well as designs by well-known artists such as Abram Games and Fougasse (CK Bird).

The collection also includes German posters, and illustrates the high quality of German and Austro-Hungarian graphic design during the First World War period, notably by designers like Ludwig Höhlwein, Lucian Bernhard and Hans Rudi Erdt. French posters included in the project are principally concerned with war savings and charities, and contain designs by Abel Faivre, Sem, Steinlen, Lucien Jonas and Poulbot.

This is the largest and most comprehensive collection of its type in Britain, documenting the social, political, ethnic and cultural aspirations of various nations from the First World War to more recent conflicts. The project will open up a large proportion of the poster collection to academic, curatorial and general audiences for the first time.

A searchable database will be made available through the Visual Arts Data Service (www.vads.ahds.ac.uk) and through the museum’s website (www.iwm.org.uk). An archive of high resolution images will also be created, which will be available for future research and reproduction purposes. This resource will be online from Summer 2004.