The McGill Friends of the Library is a not-for-profit organization of McGill Library advocates. Founded in the late 1980’s by a group of loyal Library supporters and benefactors, its mission is to nurture community interest in the Library, build awareness about the Library’s resources and cultivate long-term support for its collections. Its members are students, alumni, staff and faculty, as well as a host of others from around North America. The Friends of the Library organize a slew of activities over the course of the year including three public lectures and an Annual General Meeting. The newest initiative is a Friends Only Event Series that gives members of the Friends and donors to the Library, an intimate opportunity for one-on-one discussions with an array of distinguished speakers. Preeminent Canadian military historian Professor Emeritus Desmond Morton is set to give the next special talk featuring the Canadian War Poster Collection housed in Rare Books and Special Collections. In the talk entitled “Persuading Our Ancestors: McGill’s Great Collection of War Posters” Morton will argue that:
Posters tell us a lot about what our ancestors considered persuasive arguments for fellow citizens. I propose to deal with three different conversations between the government and its people – on recruiting, on financing the war effort and on increasing food output, with a selection of the best slides [posters] on each of these dominant topics. The theme I have thought of adopting is how messages are transmitted, both to contemporaries, who understand and share the references, while posterity may have come to see symbols in rather different ways. And even in 1915-16, did everyone read recruiting posters the same way?
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