Searching through the collection of broadsides and posters in the archives’ flickr photo stream is a great way of spending an  entertaining hour or two. It is also a fascinating insight into the distant and not so distant past.

We are all familiar with the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster, which was never actually used during the Second World War. Take a look at a similar style of poster from our collection.

Don't Help The Enemy, 1939Careless Talk was published in 1939.

There are also some wonderful images from the series of 1930s posters created by art students for display on local buses. The Archives+ image of Central Library is one of them. Here’s another advertising the bus service itself.

Country And Town With A Shilling Ticket

The stories of past political campaigns can be traced in the broadside collection.

Jacob & 'Becca or women's rights

On this serious note there are also some great posters relating to more recent political campaigns.

Better Active Today Than Radioactive Tomorrow, c.1984

It was my research into images for the Manchester Pride celebrations later this month that took me into this great online resource.

Never Going Undergroung Pride Week poster, Aug 1988 (GB127.M775/5)

On a different note, things which must have been of serious concern in the past take on a bizarre quality in the present.

£12 Reward for Lost £10 Note, 1821

If you are wondering what the difference between a broadside and a poster is, a broadside is simply a large sheet of paper printed on one side. In the past broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements.They were also used for printing the text of music ballads. Posters and broadsides are ephemera, temporary documents intended to be thrown away. They have now taken on historic and artistic interest because of their form and content.