Digital collection now available: Stephen Lewis poster collection

University Archives and Special Collections (UASC) in the Joseph P. Healey Library at the University of Massachusetts Boston is pleased to announce that more than 500 activist posters from the Stephen Lewis poster collection, circa 1921-2017 are digitized and available online. UASC has been working with Stephen Lewis to digitize more than 3,000 posters through the Boston Public Library and make them available through our digital collections portal. We will add new posters on a regular basis.

The posters in the collection provide insight into poster design and serve to document a variety of issues that adversely affect a variety of people and communities around the world. Lewis has collected thousands of local, national, and international posters documenting labor organizing, student unions, political activism, and other radical and social justice movements and causes, such as the women’s and civil rights movements, socialism, communism, antiracism, and antifascism. Other topics include human rights, police brutality, political prisoners, Black History Month, Asian Heritage Month, art exhibitions, university events, conferences, memorials, and remembrances. These posters date primarily from the 1970s to the present. Earlier posters in the collection from the 1940s document efforts by the American government to promote war bonds and include several posters illustrated by Norman Rockwell.

The following resource provides information on other materials collected by Stephen Lewis: SC-0304 Stephen Lewis collection, 1962-2017, bulk 1975-2000.

Note: This collection contains some graphic images and language. Additionally, we have translated some information using Google Translate for posters that include languages other than English, though these translations are only intended to be approximate. If you have any questions or would like to suggest edits, contact library.archives@umb.edu.


University Archives and Special Collections in the Joseph P. Healey Library at UMass Boston was established in 1981 as a repository to collect archival material in subject areas of interest to the university, as well as the records of the university itself. The mission and history of UMass Boston guide the collection policies of University Archives and Special Collections, with the university’s urban mission and strong support of community service reflected in the records of and related to urban planning, social welfare, social action, alternative movements, community organizations, war and social consequence, and local history related to neighboring communities. To learn more, visit blogs.umb.edu/archives.

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