Exploring the Past: WWII Posters
A Visual Adventure

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History 100, "Thinking about History: World War II"
World War II Poster Project

Fall 2006 and Fall 2008

This project required intense learning and research on the part of the students in terms of how to record, preserve, and introduce these materials to other interested users. The key to the whole exercise is that it was "real," meaning that it dealt with actual posters from the era originating from Bucknell and Lewisburg. The level of responsibility was high as were the standards.


To learn the steps involved in standard historical methods, the class divided into teams. Each team chose a poster from the Bucknell University Archives WWII Poster Collection to research, analyze, and interpret the evocative meaning.  Some components [of the investigations]: historical context, artistic style, iconography, symbolism, physicality, presentation, composition, intention, meaning and impact. Analysis and interpretation [were] based upon contemporary and current perspectives.

-Professor David Del Testa

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSThis collaboration among students, faculty, and staff fits my conception of appropriate historical pedagogy, a real "praxis."

-Professor David Del Testa

Library and Information Technology 100 Team:

Abby Clobridge, Digital Initiatives Group Leader
Debra Cook-Balducci, Instructional Technologist
Doris Dysinger, Curator, Special Collections/University Archives (2006)
Daniel Mancusi, Digital Projects Technologist
Isabella O'Neill, Curator, University Archives/Special Collections (2008)
Mary Beth James, Instructional Technologist
Nancy Frazier, Instructional Services Librarian (2008)

Special Collections/University Archives Student Assistants:

Robert Bathmann, Class of 2009 - technical assistance
Vicki Seak, Class of 2007 - technical assistance
Erin Cranmer, Class of 2008 - exhibit preparation
James DiCenzo, Class of 2009 - exhibit preparation
Elizabeth Kendall, Class of 2009 - exhibit preparation
Andrew Rancourt, Class of 2009 - exhibit preparation


Information on posters in the Bucknell University Archives collection is taken from the research papers submitted by the students of History 100.  Only small, selected portions are included.  The original text of the student scholarship conducted for this project has been edited, and may be displayed out of sequence.  Some digital images have been enhanced.  The title is based on an idea suggested by Josh Goodman, Group 1, Team 4, during class discussions.

© 2006 Bucknell University, All Rights Reserved.


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