Press Releases Archived All Stories

WCSU hosts discussion, online exhibit about advertising influences during World War II

Image of a LIFE magazine cover from 1944
LIFE cover, Aug. 14, 1944

DANBURY, CONN. — The Western Connecticut State University Ruth A. Haas Library Archives and Special Collections and the Department of History and Non-Western Cultures will host a discussion about the library’s online exhibit,“$elling a Good War: WWII in Life Magazine Advertisements,” at 3 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 23, 2017, in Room 127 of White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. The talk will be free and the public is invited.

“$elling a Good War” explores the thematic elements of war-time advertising during World War II. Hundreds of ads from 1941-45 exclusively from LIFE magazine contextualize the changes in the United States as war efforts spurred citizens to contribute through enlistment, rationing and repurposing of corporate production. The exhibit has been categorized into seven themes: advertising with no products to sell, producing the weapons of war, conservation, why we fight, depiction of the enemy, women’s role in the war and selling a post-war dream.

Jerry Shea, a volunteer in the university’s Archives and Special Collections, produced this online exhibit in conjunction with the Archives, and his talk is being incorporated in Adjunct Instructor of History Dr. Shannon Doherty’s class, “Americans at War.” Shea explained that his Oct. 23 discussion will include a PowerPoint presentation featuring some of the materials included in the online exhibit. “You’ll get a feel for what I’m going to talk about just by perusing the exhibit,” he said.

To access the online exhibit, visit

For more information, send an email to Archivist and Special Collections Librarian Brian Stevens at



Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.