St. Lawrence University

Project History

Initiated in 2015 by the Richard F. Brush Art Gallery and the Libraries and Instructional Technology division at St. Lawrence University (Canton, NY), the People's History Archive features selected street art stickers, posters, and ephemera from around the world dating from the 1910s to present day. Contributors include undergraduate students, young alumni, and faculty who create mini-online interpretive exhibits using items from a Street Art Graphics digital archive and/or items contributors have selected themselves from off-campus research projects. Items can also be viewed on an interactive timeline and map.

The original Street Art Graphics digital archive was created in 2004 in a platform called ContentDM, and as of fall 2021 it now features over 3,800 stickers with another hundred posters, fliers, city cards, one-of-a-kind drawings, and other street-based ephemera. In 2015, the U.S. Council of Independent Colleges selected the Street Art Graphics collection as one of 42 projects across the country to be included in Artstor’s Shared Shelf Commons, an international digital library of arts and sciences. St. Lawrence received a five-year grant to migrate and build the collection and to enhance its use in teaching and scholarship.

The People’s History Archive also represents a collaboration between the Street Art Graphics digital archive and the Weave News, an independent media project created in 2007 and headquartered in the Global Studies department. Catherine Tedford, gallery director, and John Collins, professor of Global Studies, received a four-year mini-grant from an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities grant to St. Lawrence University entitled “Crossing Boundaries: Re-envisioning the Humanities in the 21st Century.” One component of the project, Weaving the Streets, offers contributors the opportunity to write investigative blog posts about topics of interest that are under-reported in mainstream news media. The Pegatinas Políticas project was created by Laurel Hurd ’16 as part of a 2015 summer research fellowship. Street Art @ SLU, currently under construction, includes exhibits created by students in Tedford’s course of the same title.

The People’s History Archive was built in Drupal by Eric Williams-Bergen, Director of Digital Initiatives at St. Lawrence University.

View the Street Art Graphics digital archive in Artstor and Jstor.

This is a yellow sticker with the black and white image the woman from Picasso's painting, Guernica. The woman has a lit torch and is extending it forward with her right arm. This sticker was propaganda for the Communist Party of Spain in 1980.