Posters and Broadsides

The Posters/Broadsides Collection includes over 11,000 broadsides and posters from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, with a strong emphasis on New York State political, social and cultural history. Some topics with many broadsides include:

  • military history, including
    • the Civil War
    • World War I: nearly 5,000 posters published by most of the combatants in the war
    • World War II: about 800 United States posters
  • New York State politics
  • agricultural fairs
  • Shakers
  • theater posters
  • broadside ballads (narrative songs or poems printed on one side of a single sheet of paper )
  • 19th century New York State Newspaper Carrier Addresses (broadsides containing verse to be given away by the carriers at the New Year)

Bibliographic information for about 6,000 broadsides is in the online catalog.

Sample search:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the Login button.
  3. Click on the Power Search tab.
  4. In the TITLE dialogue box, type fair.
  5. Change the library: from ALL to Manuscripts and Special Collections.
  6. Change item type: from ANY to BROADSIDE.
  7. Click on the SEARCH button.

Posters produced by the Federal and New York State governments are acquired as part of the State Library's participation in the Federal Depository Library Program and the New York State Document Depository Program.

Last Updated: August 16, 2017