Government information and propaganda: 20th century British historical sources
In the world of government propaganda, nothing is ever as it seems. See how government messaging changed across the 20th century with this unique insight into what successive British governments wanted their citizens to know, think, and do with primary historical sources from our premium database British Government Information and Propaganda, 1939-2009.
From posters and stickers to pamphlets and guidance booklets, this fully searchable online archive provides a unique insight into what successive British governments wanted their citizens to know, think, and do, as well as how their methods and media of achieving their aims changed over time. It also reveals the image of Britain that different governments chose to project to the rest of the world.
One of the most significant lessons to be learned from the experience of World War I is that public opinion could no longer be ignored as a determining factor in the formulation of government policies.Prof. David Welch
… Analysing British state propaganda and information since 1914 not only reveals changing political agendas but also illustrates the rapid technological changes that have led to a shift away from the written word to the visual image on screen, and the speed of delivery associated with the internet. By the 1990s, the leaflet, pamphlet, and poster were largely replaced by moving images either on television, the internet or social media. In the past, governments could largely control the flow of information and shape the narrative. But the 21st century’s new media have brought a host of new questions, not least what is the role of state propaganda and where does it go next?
Topics covered include:
- public health
- social security
- civil defence
- international politics
- race relations
- sex discrimination
- public sector career opportunities
- the environment
- Britain’s membership of the European Economic Community
While the archive focuses on materials produced by the British Ministry of Information (MOI) and Central Office of Information (COI) between the start of the Second World War and 2009, it also includes some earlier items dating from the First World War.