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University of Kansas Conservator Works to Preserve Bumper Stickers


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University of Kansas Conservator Works to Preserve Bumper Stickers

Whitney Baker, a librarian at the University of Kansas, has been working to develop ways to preserve bumper stickers, which were first created by the state. The conservator claims that most people attribute the first sticker to Forest P. Gill, a Kansas City, Kansas, screen printer, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, The Associated Press reported.

Recently, Baker took a five-month sabbatical from the university and traveled around the country, examining different stickers and learning how to best preserve them.

In order to properly preserve the stickers, they must be separated from all other materials and one another. If they are stored together, they run the risk of sticking to one another. Additionally, those stickers that are made of vinyl could emit gasses that could damage other items. The bumper stickers must also be stored upright.

Many libraries and other institutions have begun preserving bumper stickers as a way to commemorate pop culture, the source reported.

"Even though bumper stickers are popular and people put them on their cars and on their walls, finding them in a library isn't always easy to do," said Sherry Williams, curator of collections at the university's Spencer Research Library, to the website LJ World.