"An Army of 100,000,000" Celebrating 100 Years of Government Information at U.Va.

The U.S. federal government depository library program distributes government publications to libraries which make the information available to the public and assist with its use.  Alderman Library was designated a federal depository library in 1910 – a more exact date is lost to history.

Shortly after Alderman became a depository World War I broke out.  Through publications and posters the federal government promoted support for our Allies and a spirit of sacrifice on the part of every American.  The Committee of Public Information (CPI) commissioned, and the Government Printing Office (GPO) printed and distributed posters, thrift flyers, educational materials, ads for Liberty Bonds, and other materials to encourage the “Army of 100,000,000” that would eventually win the war.  Posters and publications promoted and supported women’s and workers’ roles in the war effort, Liberty and Victory Loan drives, and food and fuel conservation.    While some of these propaganda efforts were crude, brutal, and racist, others truly inspired a feeling among Americans that “we are all in this together.”  The mission of the federal depository library program is to preserve all of these publications.  Many, though not all, of the materials in this exhibit are drawn directly from the Alderman federal depository collection.


This website is the online version of “An Army of 100,000,000:" Celebrating 100 Years of Government Information at U.Va. The exhibition and related programs run from October 2010 through January 2011, at the gallery of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia.

Exhibit Curators: Amy Rebecca Jacobs and Barbie Selby