Rare First World War Government Publications

The First World War Press publicity for Canada’s Victory Loan, 1918 and Plan and organization of press publicity for Canada’s victory loan, 1919 are two rare, primary-source materials recently added to the Government Publications collection of Early Canadiana Online. These were the blueprint for the Ottawa's advertising and propaganda campaign of 1918-9, which smothered newspapers and magazines with ads inciting Canadians to invest as much as possible in the war effort.

Background

Forced by the saturation of British money markets to find new sources of capital to finance its war effort, the federal government promoted a series of annual domestic loans whose enrollment reached 88% of Canadians in 1918. Preaching an ethic of patriotism, self-denial and thrift, these "Victory Loans" raised capital to meet war expenditures and also to prop up Canada’s export market by advancing funds to Allied countries for the purchase of Canadian raw materials.

This nationwide advertising campaign was accompanied by a set of directives issued to newspaper and magazine editors, encouraging them to write positively and prominently about the Victory Loan initiative -- a striking early example of state propaganda and mass persuasion in Canada.

Victory-Loan

Contributor

Library and Archives Canada

These rare and nationally-significant titles are held in the Special Collections at Library and Archives Canada (LAC), a treasure trove of Canadian printed heritage. Canadiana.org is grateful for LAC’s longstanding efforts to preserve this material and generosity in sharing it for research, learning and discovery.