Chinese propaganda posters

Our collection of Chinese propaganda posters covers a range of genres, from nian hua and revolutionary romanticism, to photographic portraits.

About the collection

Our collection numbers 89 individual items dating from 1950 to 1982, with the majority published in the mid-1960s. It includes:

  • Revolutionary nian hua (‘New Year prints’)
  • Posters related to the Mao cult, Lei Feng and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
  • Satirical caricatures of the ‘Gang of Four’
  • Posters of ‘chubby babies’ and young children.

The collection is particularly strong in documentary and feature film posters.

What is available online?

The collection is not available on our online catalogue yet, but you can consult a list of our Chinese posters with their shelfmarks.

Our Asian and African studies blog has illustrated articles on Chinese posters.

What is available in our Reading Rooms?

The posters can be viewed in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room.

Special care needs to be taken when handling the posters due to their size.

What is available in other organisations?

Notable collections can be found at:

The website chineseposters.net features more than 5,000 items coming from both public and private collections.

Further information

How to guides

Find Chinese manuscripts and printed books

There are several catalogues for our Chinese material

Get a Reader Pass

A guide to how to obtain a British Library Reader Pass to use our Reading Rooms

How to order images

Instructions on how to order images of the British Library's collections from our Imaging Services