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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UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library receives LSTA digitization grant

August 1, 2014
Story submitted by: Rita Johnston

“To G. I.'s, 'welcome home' : Charlotte, North Carolina.” Published by the City of Charlotte.

“To G. I.’s, ‘welcome home’ : Charlotte, North Carolina.” Published by the City of Charlotte.

The State Library of North Carolina has awarded a second year of LSTA grant funding to Atkins Library Special Collections at UNC Charlotte to digitize and build a digital resource titled Living Charlotte: The Postwar Development of a New South City. The Project Access & Digitization Grant award is just shy of $100,000, and with matching funds from Atkins Library, the total project budget exceeds $109,000. The grant is made possible through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA), funded through the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal grant making agency, and administered through the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. The project website and digitized materials can be viewed here: Continue reading

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Exhibit at WFU School of Medicine

July 25, 2014
Story submitted by: Dianne Johnson

Wake Forest School of Medicine/Dorothy Carpenter Medical Archives’ newest online exhibit is Katherine Davis: Miss Bowman Gray. The exhibit shares photographs of Miss Davis during her long career here at the medical school as well as memories from people that knew her well. She began as secretary to the registrar in 1942 and continued working, even after official retirement, until close to her time of death in early 2013. She was known for her quiet and kind demeanor. She was also known for her sharp memory and documentation of materials. The Archives’ other exhibits are here.

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UNCG University Archives Awarded University Libraries’ 2015 Innovation and Enrichment Grant

July 11, 2014
Story submitted by: Erin Lawrimore

University Archivist Erin Lawrimore has been awarded the UNCG University Libraries’ Innovation and Enrichment Grant for 2014-2015. Her project will focus on enhancing access to oral history recordings conducted by staff of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) as part of the UNCG Institutional Memory Project. Continue reading

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Call for Submission: Archives Month 2014 Poster and Bookmark

Dear SNCA Members,

The SNCA Archives Month Committee invites you to submit images to be used in promotional materials in support of North Carolina Archives Month, October 2014. Images should be in keeping with our theme, “North Carolina at Play: Health and Leisure in Our State.”

Potential topics for images include:

Leisure activities such as bicycling, dancing, and gardening
Physical activities, such as running or playing games
Competitive and recreational sports
Physical education
Hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation

The SNCA Archives Month Committee welcomes any kind of visual image, including photographs and postcards. Use of materials will be limited to Archives Month posters, bookmarks and other advertising materials for SNCA Archives Month 2014 only, and will not be otherwise published.

Please submit your images via the following form, url appears below. If your image is selected, we will be back in contact to obtain the image at a higher resolution:

Images must be submitted no later than July 25!

For additional information about planning an Archives Month event at your institution, please see a past planning guide:

Many thanks!

SNCA Archives Month Committee

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ECU’s Joyner Library receives grant

June 20, 2014
Story submitted by: Dale Sauter

Unto These Hills, Eagle Dance. Photo by Chris McCoy.

Unto These Hills, Eagle Dance. Photo by Chris McCoy.

The National Archives’ National Historical Publications and Records Commission has awarded a grant to the Special Collections Division at East Carolina University’s Joyner Library to process the archives of the Institute of Outdoor Theatre. With matching funds from ECU, Joyner Library, and the IOT, the total project budget exceeds $119,500, according to Dr. Michael C. Hardy, director of the IOT, which is located at the university. Continue reading

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