Africana Posters

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Search for all catalogued posters using NUsearch

Search for digitized posters using the image repository

About the Poster Collection

In 2008 Northwestern University Library and Michigan State University Libraries were the recipients of a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources as part of the "Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives" program. Completed in 2011, this project unveiled two of the most significant poster collections held in the United States concerning issues related to the study of Africa. Over 4000 bibliographic records are now accessible worldwide via this joint portal and through both institutions individual library catalogs.

The posters represent a variety of social, political, and cultural issues, including public health, education, liberation and independence, political campaigns, the anti-apartheid movement, Biafra, Darfur, economics, art, publishing, and music. Through these collections, scholars and students can explore how institutions and organizations communicated with African populations from the mid 19th century through the present day.

You can search for these posters in the online catalog and view them in person at the Africana Library. The original posters have been deacidified and encapsulated in mylar, and the materials are non-circulating.

Please note that languages books, vertical file, rare books, posters, archival and manuscript materials and photographs are available for consultation Monday-Friday, 8:30am – 4:45pm only. Advance appointments, especially for those using these resources for the first time, are strongly encouraged. 

View our guidelines for use of Africana special materials.

Africana poster project credits

Copyright information

The images on the web site, from posters in the collections of the Melville J. Herskovits Library of African Studies at Northwestern University, are provided to Northwestern University students, faculty and staff, and other researchers who visit this site, for research consultation and scholarly purposes only. Further distribution and/or any commercial use of the images from this site is not permitted.

Digital images and Image scanning services

If you want to reference a poster in a paper or publication and need a digital image of the poster, image scanning services are available to faculty, staff and graduate students. The Africana or Digital Collections staff can deliver images to patrons in various file formats and resolutions for electronic presentations, printing or archiving.  More information about those services is available here.