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The Art of War

The poster project collaboration between Fogler Library and the Bangor Public Library is not unusual for Maine, but it is for the nation, according to Rumery and McDade. There are library collaborations around the country, but often only by type — for example, public municipal libraries in a state might collaborate on a project, but they likely wouldn’t include the state’s private academic libraries.

UMaine’s Fogler Library is a member of URSUS, a statewide catalog that includes the libraries of the UMaine System, Bangor Public Library, Maine State Library, the Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library, and the Maine State Archives. The Portland Public Library is an associate member of URSUS. In another collaborative effort between two types of libraries, Fogler is working with the Maine State Library to digitize town reports going back to the early 1800s.

“In this state, there are many different collaborations between the libraries, no matter what type there are, whether public, academic or special,” Rumery says. “That includes not just the public academic but also the private colleges.”

Godfried is eager to see what will come of the collaboration, and what it will mean for his classes, including a course on U.S. history in the middle of the 20th century.

“I often have students do primary-source papers and these posters would be a wonderful source for an analysis of their messages, where they might have appeared and such,” he says.

In addition to the possibilities for history courses both at UMaine and at the high school level, Rumery believes the posters would also have value for art history and marketing students.

“Those posters served every purpose, guiding the local communities how to think about what was happening, how to act and react, how to support the military, and how to build community,” she says. “There was a sense of, we’re all in it together.”

War posters

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