GROVE CITY (KDKA) — The battlefield stretched around the world for American forces in World War II.

Morale was important in the face of death. It was also a key ingredient on the home front as illustrated by a display of propaganda posters at Grove City College.

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College archivist Hilary Walczak discovered the posters in the Henry Buhl Library.

“I found these cabinets,” she says. “They were all locked. And so I said, ‘What is behind here?’ And nobody’s ever looked. And they’re like, you know, we have this random box of keys. You can try them. So I kind of took the box of keys and I tried each and every individual key, until I found the right one, and luckily I did find the right one to that case.”

She was astonished to find a World War II poster. And another.

“I opened up one after another after another and kind of unleashed a gold mine,” the archivist recalls.

In total 175 posters, untouched since the library opened in 1954. The estimated value: $40,000. Thirty posters are on display through Monday at the Pew Gallery.

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Grove City College itself played a key role in the war effort. The exhibit includes vinyl records.

“They’re from our naval training program we had on campus during the war,” Walczak says.

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And now, she finds a historic treasure in a locked cabinet.

“Sixty years in a drawer is too long. So I’m really happy the public is able to see these posters, and appreciate them.”

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