SNCA Spring Conference Dates and Theme!

Mark your calendars for the 2015 SNCA Spring Conference in Greenville, North Carolina on March 12-13th!

The one and a half day SNCA Spring Conference ”Removing Barriers: Outreach & Diversity in Action” will take place at the East Carolina Heart Institute. There will be a full day of programming Thursday, March 12 followed by desserts and drinks in the evening at the Greenville Museum of Art. Friday, March 13th will inlcude a half day of conference programming.

East Carolina University’s Joyner Library Special Collections will offer optional complimentary tours of their department on Wednesday, March 11th and Friday, March 13th in the afternoon.

Workshops are being planned for Wednesday, March 11th, so stay tuned for updates.

Room Blocks are available:

Holiday Inn Express, Greenville, NC ($99 + tax) cut-off date 2/25/2015

  • Book online using this quick link:
  • Book by calling (252) 754-8300 and request Society of North Carolina Archivists

Hilton, Greenville, NC ($119 + tax) cut-off date 2/11/2015

  • Book online: [quick link to follow]
  • Book by calling 252-355-5000 and request Society of North Carolina Archivists




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Little River School online exhibit from Durham County Libraries

8th grade of Little River School in 1952

8th grade of Little River School in 1952

A new digital exhibit is now available from the North Carolina Collection at Durham County Library about the Little River School, a former African American school serving the rural population of northern Durham county.  The exhibit includes digitized materials such as the school newspaper, commencement programs, annual principal reports, and photographs.

Little River School opened in the middle of the 1935-1936 school year and served elementary through high school aged students.  The school was an important part of the African American community in northern Durham County and provided not only a place to gather, but adult education classes as well in the 1930s-1950s.  Following desegregation in the 1960s, the school became an elementary school and high school students went to Northern High.

Since 1993, the Little River Community Complex has provided educational and recreation services to families in the area. Among the current projects and programs is a history room, which brings together news clippings, images, and issues of the school newspaper to showcase the history of Little River. Developed by Rosa Johnson, the history room provides a window into a school with an important story to tell about progressive leadership and education for rural African Americans in the Jim Crow South. This web resource builds on the work of Johnson, bringing the history room online.  To view online, visit here.

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Gene J. Williams Award submissions

submitted by: Amy McDonald

The Education Committee of the Society of North Carolina Archivists is now accepting submissions for the Gene J. Williams Award.

SNCA annually recognizes a paper on an archival topic written for a graduate-level course by a North Carolina student. The award honors the late Gene J. Williams, archivist at the North Carolina Division of Archives and History and at East Carolina University, and charter member of the Society of North Carolina Archivists.

The recipient of the Gene J. Williams Award receives:

  • a prize of $100
  • free conference attendance
  • a one-year membership in the Society of North Carolina Archivists
  • publication of their award-winning paper in SNCA’s peer-reviewed journal

Submissions must be received by Friday, December 12th. Email your paper to the SNCA Education Chair ( with “Williams Award” in the subject line. Please include the entry form—which must be signed by your instructor—with your paper submission; the form may be downloaded from the website noted below.

The award recipient will be selected by January 31st, 2015. The award will be presented at the Spring 2015 SNCA conference.

For more information, including a list of past award recipients, visit

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New book on Black Mountain College to be released in October


Heather South, the head archivist for the Western Regional Archives and Anne Chesky Smith, who served as the Executive Director of the Swannanoa Valley Museum for the past four years and is now pursuing her PhD in Anthropology at the University of Georgia in Athens, have put together a book on Black Mountain College.  It will be released on October 20, 2014.  To learn more, read the announcement from their publisher, Arcadia Publishing.

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News from the Special Collections Section at the State Archives of North Carolina

Contributed by: Donna Kelly

Audiovisual Materials Unit

In July the State Archives received a grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation to preserve and reformat two films, “The North Carolina State Fair” (ca. 1974), a daylong glimpse of the Raleigh-based event, including an appearance by Bob Hope; and “Scott for Lieutenant Governor” (ca. 1965), a campaign ad for Robert W. Scott’s bid for lieutenant governor. Volunteer audiovisual archivist and researcher Melissa Dollman was instrumental in securing this grant. View other films from the collections at the State Archives on its YouTube channel:

A recent addition to the Audiovisual Materials finding aids is the Marcus Donald Bracey Collection which depicts part of the Yadkin Falls Development project on the Yadkin River from 1915-1919. More information is found at and

As part of Archives Month, the annual “Home Movie Day” will be held Saturday, October 18 at the State Archives of North Carolina. More information can be found at

On October 6 Kim Andersen will be interviewed on the “In the Collection” show on Little Raleigh Radio at 4:00. She will also appear on “The State Things” radio show on WUNC on Thursday, October 16.

The new Cabela’s, opening in Garner in the next few months, will be featuring vintage photos (1970s and earlier) of people hunting, fishing, camping, etc. that come from the State Archives collections.

Military Collection

Despite the lack of a military collection archivist since March, volunteers continue to assist in entering data into the World War I database of service cards. Rusty Edmister, volunteer, passed the 200 mark in veteran interviews for the Military Collection. A new person will be hired in November.

Organization, Academic, Church, and Bible Records

One of the new church records recently accessioned by Gwen Mays is an original manuscript of the Longstreet Presbyterian Church, located in Fayetteville. Because of its fragile condition, the volume was treated by the Archives conservator and then digitized and added to the Family Records Collection with a full transcription.   This volume also lists slaves who were members of the church. Additionally, for the first time, all of the original church records and histories in the Archives holdings were indexed in the Archives MARS database.

Outer Banks History Center

The OBHC is celebrating 25 years with an exhibit An Eye for Art A Heart for History that runs through December.

Private Collections

Fran Tracy-Walls recently retrieved nine filing cabinets’ worth of material relating to the Durham and Southern Railroad. She also coordinated receipt of an addition to the Lillian Exum Clement Stafford Papers. Stafford was the first woman elected to the North Carolina General Assembly and the first woman to serve in any state legislature in the southern United States.

Western Regional Archives

On August 4, David Silver, a USF professor who studies media and urban agriculture, used NCSU’s Hunt Library and its magnificent IT and media resources to provide a unique and invaluable review of the farm at Black Mountain College, and how it invigorated the sense of community, the work ethic, and the physical bodies of everyone on campus. Silver has spent countless hours poring over the images and papers in the BMC archives at the NC Western Regional Archives in Asheville.

Selected material from the Black Mountain College materials will be on a two-year loan to the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Staff News

June 2, 2014 – Ian F. G. Dunn was hired in the Audiovisual Materials Unit. He graduated in 2006 from North Carolina State University with a degree in sociology. Currently, Ian is a photographer and writer for, an online publication highlighting the art, architecture, and history of Raleigh. In his spare time he practices early photographic processes including platinum printing and wet collodion. Having been taught the workings of a traditional wet darkroom at the age of 10, his love of hand-printing and processing has remained steadfast throughout the infancy of our digital age. Photography is Ian’s driving force and he has found an especially fitting station in Special Collections.

June 30, 2014 – James Sorrell retired from the State Archives where he had worked for over thirty years.

July 1, 2014 – Donna Kelly transferred back to the State Archives from the now defunct Historical Publications Section to take over the position of head of the Special Collection Section. She graduated from Wake Forest University in history and North Carolina State University in public history. Donna worked at the Archives from 1984 to 1996 in several capacities—ranging from reference archivist to head of the Cemetery Survey to special projects archivist arranging and describing maps—so she has come full circle in her career. Many of you may remember her by her former married name of Donna K. Flowers. She served as president of the Society of North Carolina Archivists from 1990 to 1991.

November 17, 2014 – Matthew Peek will start work as the new Military Collection archivist. He graduated from Wright State University in public history. Matthew is a certified archivist with a variety of work experience ranging from arrangement and description using EAD, conducting oral history interviews with veterans, writing blogs, and he has a strong background in collection development. He was a “lone arranger” at a corporation in Ohio where he basically set up the archival program. Most recently he has been the photo archivist at the Montana Historical Society.

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NCSU Libraries Announces Institutional History Documentation Initiative

Submitted by: Todd Kosmerick

The North Carolina State University Libraries has commenced an Institutional History Documentation initiative that will investigate and pilot new methods of identifying sources to explore and augment the documentary history of NC State University. This will be a collaborative project involving many interested constituencies; students, alumni, faculty, the University administration, and the local community.  The initiative will focus on methodologies to collect institutional history using social media, outreach and community based feedback in physical and web based environments.

Managing the project will be NCSU Libraries Fellow Virginia Ferris, who will test new initiatives focusing on documenting history in innovative and collaborative environments. She will develop resources to identify outstanding NC State faculty and leaders, and milestones in university history to create interactive narratives and resources associated with them. A team of graduate students in the Department of History will create oral history videography of selected subjects, conducting StoryCorps-type interviews at alumni reunions, retired faculty functions, and other events. Virginia will also coordinate/facilitate the creation of departmental histories that are absent from the record and identify those that require updating.

Ferris holds a Master of Science in Library Science, with a concentration in Archives and Record Management, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH).  She holds the Master of Arts in Irish and Irish American Studies from New York University and the Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Barnard College, Columbia University. She previously served as Oral Historian and Archival Assistant with the Glucksman Ireland House and worked for the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in New York City.

For more information about the Institutional History Documentation Initiative, please contact Virginia Ferris at or (919) 515-2603.

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NCSU Libraries awarded an EZ Innovation grant to develop social media toolkit

Contributed by Brian Dietz

The State Library of North Carolina has awarded the NCSU Libraries an EZ Innovation grant to support work toward tackling a significant emerging opportunity for academic libraries and the historians, social scientists, and other researchers that they support:  how best to capture and save the increasingly critical but ephemeral social media conversations that now regularly document our lives and times.  Learn more at .

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Rare North Carolina Report in Newly Accessioned Collection at Joyner Library, East Carolina University

Contributed by: Dale Sauter

photo by B.J. Howard

photo by B.J. Howard

One of our newly accessioned collections is The Elizabeth Vann Moore Papers, Manuscript Collection #1215.  These papers contain a rich history of Colonial North Carolina.  Among the items in this collection is an 1806 report printed for the United States House of Representatives, as the start of the Federal process that led to the 1808 Act making Plymouth, NC, a port of entry.   This report is one of only a few originals owned by all libraries and archives in the United States.  The report will be transferred to Joyner’s North Carolina Collection’s Rare Book collection.

The official title is “Report of the committee of commerce and manufactures, to whom were referred, on the sixth December last, several petitions of sundry merchants, traders and farmers : on the waters of Roanoke and Cashie rivers, in the district of Edenton, and state of North Carolina; together with a report thereon, made at the last session of congress.”  The publisher is identified as “City of Washington [D.C.] : A. & G. Way, printers, 1806.”  The report is 6 pages in length and also has a foldout two-sided chart.

The immediate outcome of this report was an important 1808 Act of Congress that made Plymouth, North Carolina a port of entry.  On the same day an Act was also passed appointing a customs officer to the port.  Another development directly related to this report included the establishment of the Roanoke River Light Station.  In addition, another outcome was the creation of the Roanoke River Navigation, making it navigable for flat bottom boats from as far away as Salem,Virginia.

Thanks to independent researcher, John Collins for his information on this report.

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Bull City Soul Online Exhibit

The members of N.C.C.U. (New Central Connection Unlimited), which originated at North Carolina Central University in the mid-1970s.  They released their sole album, Super Trick, in 1977 through the national label United Artists. (courtesy Jason Perlmutter)

The members of N.C.C.U. (New Central Connection Unlimited), which originated at North Carolina Central University in the mid-1970s. They released their sole album, Super Trick, in 1977 through the national label United Artists. (courtesy Jason Perlmutter)

Story submitted by: Lynn Richardson and Kristen Merryman

When most of us hear “soul music,” we think of Detroit and Motown Records or perhaps Memphis and Stax Records.  But did you know that Durham should come to mind, too?  The Bull City had its very own homegrown soul scene, with over 40 music groups and 10 music labels.  Thanks to a brand-new web exhibit all of us can now learn about this vibrant piece of Durham’s past in a new online exhibit.

The online exhibit, titled “Bull City Soul” [], was launched on August 11 by Carolina soul expert Jason Perlmutter, historian Joshua Clark Davis, and graphic designer Lincoln Hancock in collaboration with the Durham County Library.  The Durham Library Foundation provided funding for the site with grant monies generously donated by GSK for the North Carolina Collection.  The exhibit tells the story of local rhythm and blues, funk, and soul music. Fans of soul will be thrilled, as will fans of Durham history, because Bull City Soul isn’t only about the music—it’s a story of black cultural life and community in 1960s and ‘70s Durham.

Bull City soul music grew out of black churches and high school band rooms. Young performers, inspired by a generation of older musicians rooted in gospel, blues, and jazz, developed a new style of music. Local radio and television exposed listeners to soul, and aspiring stars honed their craft in front of live audiences at the city’s nightclubs. Even the civil rights and black power movements encouraged the music’s rise.

What will you find at The site features an “Origins and Influences” section that reveals the influence of nationally know figures with Durham connections—Clyde McPhatter of The Drifters, gospel great Shirley Caesar, and comedian Pigmeat Markham of “Here Comes the Judge” fame. “On the Air” and “Soul Spots” are windows into where fans heard the music—from WAFR radio and J. D. Lewis’s “Teenage Frolics” TV show to the Baby Grand Club. The “Artists” section includes acts such as Tracy and the Jammers, the Shamrocks, and John Snells. Snells, known as “The He, The She, The It,” may have been the most popular soul singer in Durham not to put out a soul record. Infamous for his live shows performed in drag, he was backed up by a gender-bending singing group called the Rocksteady Dancers.

Check out and and listen to singles by bands such as Johnny White and N.C.C.U., find out about spots like Snoopy’s and the Stallion Club where they played, and get a feel for the times and the context in which the music was created.  And if you live near Durham,  head to where the online exhibit has a companion physical exhibit, titled “Soul Souvenirs: Durham’s Musical Memories of the 1960s and 1970s,” on display now at the Museum of Durham History Hub.

For more information on the North Carolina Collection at Durham County Main Library, visit here.

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SNCA Education Committee Call for Speakers

August 29, 2014
Submitted by: Amy McDonald

The Education Committee is accepting proposals for speakers to participate in a fall speaker series to local archivist audiences in October-November. Individual speakers and panel proposals will be accepted.  Presenters will be asked to plan for 40-50 minutes of speaking, and 15 minutes for questions. PowerPoint presentations and speaking notes will also be shared on the SNCA site for those who cannot attend.

The fall speaker series is an informal opportunity to present projects, research topics, or future SAA/SNCA conference presentations to local archivists, and will include a social reception after the presentation.  This is a great opportunity to get feedback, refine arguments, and connect with colleagues in your region.

If interested, please submit an abstract of 250 words or less, including all speakers’ names and email addresses to the Education Committee at by September 19th.  Events will be scheduled for late October and early November.

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