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Cummins World War II Allied Forces Propaganda collection

Identifier: WUA093

Scope and Contents

The Cummins World War II Allied Forces Propaganda collection consists of World War II propaganda pamphlets, flyers, and magazines dating from 1940 to 1944. There is one published by the American Association for Adult Education on US National Defense (1940), but the majority focus on Great Britain, its views, war efforts, and accomplishments. The collection contains a 1940 pictorial record of the British people, illustrating Britain’s education, social, and medical services; British children; and British culture and activities enjoyed during peace and wartime. Among the more war-oriented material in the collection are a 1940 “The Might of the Army” magazine and an undated Illustrated magazine titled “Royal Air Force Special Number,” two copies of War in Pictures, and an Illustrated London News magazine depicting warcraft and warfare. The collection also features a print copy of Winston Churchill’s speeches (“Some excerpts from wartime speeches” published in 1943) and articles written by General Jan Smuts (“Prospects of War and Peace” published in 1940), Vincent Harlow (“A Commonwealth in Arms”), Herbert Morrison (“Mr. Smith and Mr. Schmidt”), T. A. Raman (“What India Wants” published in 1941), and Sir George Dunbar (“India at War” published in 1940). It also includes a flyer advertising the radio schedule of Britain Speaks, a political broadcast service for US listeners, as well as a pamphlet analyzing Britain Speaks published by Princeton Listening Center (1940).


  • 1940-1944

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

Library acts as “fair use” reproduction agent.

For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections.

Copyright Information: Before material from collections at Willamette University Archives and Special Collections may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permission. Persons wishing to quote from materials in any collections held by University Archives and Special Collections should consult the University Archivist. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Biographical / Historical

With the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, Great Britain was desperate to gain the full support of the United States to defeat Nazi Germany. However, Britain was not only fighting against anti-British propaganda but also American isolationism. By the fall of 1940, Britain had gained the sympathy of most Americans after witnessing in newspapers, radio broadcasts, and newsreels the devastating effects of German aerial bombardments of British cities (later coined by the British press as the Blitz), but many Americans still remained fiercely resistant to entering the war. Thus, Britain redoubled its propaganda efforts in the US by concentrating its resources into the British Information Services, located in Rockefeller Center, New York City. The purpose of the British Information Services was to strengthen relations with the US, working to aggressively influence Americans through active promotion and distribution of British views and documents on the war.

The Cummins World War II Allied Forces Propaganda collection includes many British Information Services pamphlets, flyers, and magazines from 1940 to 1944, as well as a few publications from other publishing agencies. The purpose of most of the propaganda material is to prove Britain’s competency and strength. Some propaganda magazines highlight the accomplishments and capabilities of the Royal Air Force, Army and Navy, while others marvel at Britain’s increased production in arms, ammunition, and military vehicles. Some of the propaganda depicts the ordinary accomplishments of the British people as a way to promulgate the stability and vitality of the country. Most importantly, many of the propaganda pamphlets and flyers promote camaraderie against a common enemy. A few pamphlets emphasize the differences between Britain and Germany (and even Japan) to associate Britain with the ideals of democracy and freedom, fighting against the menace of Nazism and fascism. Some touch on the unified strength of the British Commonwealth (or Common Pool) as a way to prove that even colonized, or previously colonized, nations have stayed with Britain and have provided resources and men to fight in the war effort. All of these messages were an attempt to convince Americans that the United States had a clear stake in Britain's war effort and that total support was essential to defeat Germany.


.25 Linear Feet (1 box)


The Cummins World War II Allied Forces Propaganda collection consists of World War II propaganda pamphlets, flyers, and magazines dating from 1940 to 1944.


Publications are grouped together based on publisher, title, or subject.

Physical Location

Mark O. Hatfield Library
Cummins World War II Allied Forces Propaganda collection, 1940-1944
Finding aid processed by Ivy Major-McDowall.
© 2018
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Language of description
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.
A special thank you to Sybil Westenhouse for investing in experiential learning through the Sybil Westenhouse Archives Excellence Fund.

Repository Details

Part of the Willamette University Archives and Special Collections Collection Descriptions

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street
Salem Oregon 97301 United States