Sunday, 17 June 2012

British World War Two propaganda artworks released on Wikipædia

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British World War Two propaganda artworks released on Wikipædia

Some excellent news now for those of us interested in the beautifully-illustrated artwork that was used in Second World War propaganda posters (that would be all of us, I imagine!).  The National Archives, who hold in their collection nearly 2,000 war posters - originally commissioned by the Ministry of Information - have partnered with Wikimedia UK to begin making all of them freely available in the public domain.

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More than 350 images of classic wartime propaganda posters have already been put up, with the remainder to be digitised and uploaded in the near future.  This means that nearly 400 evocative (and high-resolution!) pictures from 1939-45 are available to view, download and (with proper attribution, of course) use on your blogs or however you wish!

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As well as being a welcome endeavour from the point of view of free use and availability it is also, as with any move to put historical documents online, an important and worthy undertaking that ensures these valuable images are saved and accessible for future generations.  (I seem to say that every time old documents are scanned by an organisation, but I stand by it).  A hearty well done to The National Archives and Wikimedia UK for being willing and able to set this project in motion.  Like this poster says:-

Addendum

In other related news I feel it is only right to include a link to the recent obituary of Maureen Dunlop de Popp, an Anglo-Argentinian lady who was one of the few woman pilots to join the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA) service in the Second World War.  The passing of such a remarkable person is not happy news but her long and exciting life certainly is and it is only right that it should be remembered.  Maureen Dunlop de Popp's parting leaves one less ATA-girl in the world but reminds us of the great risks and important work undertaken by her and thousands of women like her in the Services during the war.  We will never forget them.

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Maureen Dunlop [de Popp] (1920-2012), pictured on the cover of
Picture Post in 1944 when serving as First Officer in the ATA

6 comments:

  1. How sad to hear of Maureen's passing. Did you happen to see the BBC4 documentary about the ATA? It was some time ago, but rather inspiring stuff. Will be having a browse of those posters later, how kind of them to pop them online for us :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes, I remember the ATA documentary. Spitfire Women I think it was called, although it was a couple of years ago now. Typically it's not on iPlayer, but there is a lovely clip here. What amazing ladies!

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    2. Coincidentally today in my local library's book sale there was a copy of Spitfire Women (of World War II) that became mine for only 50 pence. I shall very much enjoy reading about these ladies in greater detail now.

      (As an aside, and as much as I am delighted with this find, as I touched upon in a previous bibliographic post I always find it sad that these kind of books don't reach/interest a wider audience. This copy of Spitfire Women was only published in 2007, taken out only twice and then withdrawn and thrown on the sale table. People should know more about these fantastic women!).

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  2. Thanks for 1) sharing the info about the national archive (whooop1) and 2)for sharing about Marueen 's passing. I did not see this in the news :(

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  3. Oh wow! This is so exciting! I will definitely be using that resource - thanks for sharing.

    And RIP Maureen. As you say, an amazing and full life, but a sad loss nevertheless.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this link. RIP Maureen. That programme sounds like it was amazing.

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