Chinese Propaganda Posters at the British Library

Barnes, Amy Jane (2020). Chinese Propaganda Posters at the British Library. Visual Resources, 36(2) pp. 124–147.



In this paper, I discuss a project designed to increase knowledge of and make more accessible a collection of post-1949 Chinese propaganda posters at the British Library, for the benefit of a global audience of researchers and interested members of the public.

The project identified 90 individual items, dating from 1950 to 1982, with the bulk of the collection published in the mid-1960s just before the commencement of the Cultural Revolution. The paper considers the development of the collection, its thematic scope analysis of its scholarly value. It concludes that beyond the aesthetic value of the posters, the collection has significant scholarly and multidisciplinary value. The posters are documentary evidence of political, social and cultural discourse of the Maoist period and have resonances and significance beyond the national borders of China.

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