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Announcements and publicity associated with the Arkansas Food Hall of Fame

ASA Preserves Arkansas Burger Company Artifacts

Department of Arkansas Heritage - Wednesday, November 08, 2017

This month the Arkansas State Archives, a division of the Department of Arkansas Heritage, received a large collection of items from the Arkansas Burger Company in Little Rock. The Arkansas Burger Company was a favorite local restaurant on Cantrell Road for 17 years. Many of its loyal customers were saddened when the restaurant’s owners decided to close earlier this year.

Aside from great food, one of the best aspects of the restaurant was its decorations. Along its walls hung pieces of Arkansas’s cultural heritage. License plates dotted the walls alongside Razorback memorabilia, including some Arkansas Razorback cheerleader pull-string dolls, one of which could still belt out “Beat Texas” — harkening back to those Southwest Conference days! On another wall hung a large Coleman Dairy clock. The restaurants’ owner, Dan and Jeanne Spencer, collected these keepsakes over the years, visiting estate sales and antique stores until they built an interesting collection showcasing over 50 years of Arkansas memorabilia.

A collection such as this often brings conservation challenges. ASA Conservator Amy Minger notes, “Every collection is different in what is required. In this case, we have to consider that these items were on public display for many years.” Amy will remove archival material from frames with acidic backings. The large collection of license plates need little attention other than basic cleaning. Plates with hot glue and a build-up of dust on them will need more intensive treatments. “Plastic items create unique issues for conservation and care. Some of the cleaning techniques that we would use to clean metal or ceramics would damage the plastic, so we have to have a different strategy,” AHC Curator Julienne Crawford explains.

ASA Curator Julienne Crawford will catalog and develop a strategy for how to preserve and properly house the items. “This is a wonderful collection of Arkansas memorabilia from many regions of the state from a circus poster in Fort Smith to Terryland Dairy milk bottles in Little Rock,” she explains. When asked what her favorite item is in the collection, she smiles and says, “The Coleman Dairy clock, definitely the clock.”