Edwin J Embleton Archive

Scope and Content

The archive comprises a range of Ministry of information (MOI) printed propaganda from 1939-45, including over 80 magazines, pamphlets, posters and other ephemera, mainly in English but also in other languages including French, Spanish, Dutch and Arabic. There is also a short handwritten account by Embleton of his time at the Ministry of Information, written in 1997, and associated original and copied documents, including relating to the structure of the MOI; and photocopies of letters to Embleton, and related papers from Grace Golden, who worked for Embleton at the MOI.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edwin Embleton is best known for his work as Studio Manager in the Publications Division of the Ministry of Information during the Second World War.

Born in 1907, he studied at Hornsey School of Art. He began work at Odhams Press in 1924, first as a layout and lettering artist and later becoming Studio Manager. At the outbreak of the Second World War, he was seconded to the Ministry of Information where he became Art Director and Studio Manager, in charge of print and publications for the Ministry, from commission and design to production. By the end of the war, the office comprised dozens of staff, in addition to the artists and designers who were commissioned. They produced an extraordinary range of high quality and effective material, which played an important part in Britain's war effort at home and abroad.

After the war, Embleton returned to Odhams Press, and was awarded an MBE for his war service.


The published material is organised by function and target audience. The collection is arranged in the following series:

EBL/1 Home Front and British way of life - 21 items

EBL/2 Anti-Axis powers - 13 items

EBL/3 Relationship with the United States - 10 items

EBL/4 Foreign language material - 33 items

EBL/5 Allied Forces - 19 items

EBL/6 Commonwelalth and Empire - 13 booklets, 11 cards

EBL/7 Posters and certificates - 12 items

EBL/8 Ministry of Information history and context - file

EBL/9 Grace Golden papers - file

Conditions Governing Access

Researchers wishing to consult the collection should make an appointment. Telephone 44 (0)1273 643217 or email designarchives@brighton.ac.uk

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Edwin J Embleton in 1997.

Archivist's Note

Fonds level record created 2007 and extended by Sue Breakell, 2009.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission must be sought to publish any material from the collection. Email designarchives@brighton.ac.uk

Related Material

V&A, Archive of Art and Design - Edwin J Embleton, Ministry of Information collection.

Imperial War Museum, Department of Art - War Artists Archive.

National Archives - INF Records created or inherited by the Central Office of Information

Liddell Hart Centre for Miitary Archives, Kings College London - Edwin J Embleton papers