Out of the thousands of collections at Hagley, few raise eyebrows like the collection of roller skating stickers we acquired in 2012. Acquired by Published Collections Curator, Max Moeller, along with related publications, the collection belonged to skating enthusiast Genevieve Pittner and documents roller skating rinks in nearly every U.S. state in business during the Second World War. The collection of over 500 colorful and uniquely designed stickers has proven popular when displayed during library tours. Atlas Obscura, one of our favorite popular history websites, featured the collection in an article in 2018 (You can read it here). A selection of the stickers are digitized and online via the Hagley Digital Archives:
It was with our sticker collection in mind that we recently acquired the following 16mm film of a Public Service Announcement about roller skating safety sponsored by the American College of Surgeons:
While roller skating rinks have been in a steady decline since their mid-20th-century peak, Hagley is preserving a piece of the once-thriving recreational business. For a detailed description of the Genevieve Pittner collection of roller skating rink stickers, click to see the collection finding aid. Click the three likes here, here, here, and here for related roller skating publications in the Library Catalog.
Revised: May 4th 2020 to correct an error regarding the collections acquisition.
Kevin J. Martin is the Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Audiovisual and Digital Collections at Hagley Museum and Library.