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The First World War: Propaganda and Recruitment

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The second collection in our 'First World War Portal' (see Personal Experiences) First World War: Propaganda and Recruitment offers a wide variety of primary sources on recruitment, training, morale, public opinion, censorship and the development of different forms of propaganda during the First World War.

The material has been collated from the Hoover Institution Library and Archives at Stanford University, the Bibliothek für Zeitgeschichte and the Hauptstaatsarchiv in Stuttgart, Cambridge University Library, The National Archives at Kew, Mirrorpix, the Opie collection, the British Library, McMaster University and various local record offices and museums.

Documents include:

  • Minute Books of Recruiting Committees
  • German and Russian propaganda postcards
  • Propaganda leaflets
  • Le Bonnet rouge, 1916, newspaper articles suppressed by the French government
  • Mirror Group Newspapers cartoons and photographs
  • Daily Mirror front pages for the war
  • Kitchener Papers on Manpower and Recruiting
  • Papers on the activities of the German Peace Society and individuals such as Alfred Fried and Bertha von Suttner
  • Photographs, posters, cartoons and scrapbooks
  • Cabaret, concert and theatre programs kept by the German Army
  • Guidelines for recruiting officers and training manuals

Case studies will examine subjects such as aerial propaganda, anti-war protests, the training of recruits, the campaign for American entry, Conscription and Military Service Tribunals, Wellington House and the formation of the Ministry of Information. Other key topics include the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, the Bristol Citizens Recruiting Committee, the Belgium Atrocities, the sinking of the Lusitania, the role of the Kriegspresseamt, the impact of the American Expeditionary Force, war loans, mutinies, strikes, the Spartacist League in Germany and the overthrow of the Provisional Government in Russia.