Archival Advocacy at Home: Preparing & Messaging for Visiting District Congressional Offices

This webinar highlights the upcoming advocacy work of the Council of State Archivists, the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators, the Society of American Archivists, and the Regional Archival Associations Consortium. Grant programs through NHPRC, IMLS, and NEH are critical to the operations of archives and libraries. North Carolina is a key state with some Congressional members instrumental in both appropriations and oversight. In this preparatory webinar presenters will discuss the basics of a Congressional office visit, messaging ideas, and offer other practical advice for contacting your Representative or Senator.

Thursday, April 18, 2019 | 2:00pm Eastern | Register Now

Sarah Koonts, State Archivist, North Carolina State Archives
Jim Corridan, Chairperson, Joint Working Group on Issues & Awareness

Archives are often easy targets for losing federal funding and assistance - but it doesn’t need to be that way! Many times, simply advocating for and educating your elected representatives and their staff about the vital role of archives and the value of archival collections can turn ambivalence or hostility into loyal support!

Later this month and into early May, archivists around the country will be visiting their local Congressional District offices to advocate on behalf of federal funding for archives. These visits are a follow-up to last August’s successful “Archives on the Hill” event, sponsored by the Council of State Archivists (CoSA), the National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA), the Regional Archival Associations Consortium (RAAC), and the Society of American Archivists (SAA).

This webinar and subsequent office visits come at a perfect time: just before Congress begins mark-ups and hearings on the President’s budget bill – a budget submission that cuts many federal programs that are vital to archives, including the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), as well as zero-budgeting and slating for closing the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Now is the time for us to raise our voices in support of federal funding for archives!

To prepare for this webinar and your Congressional office visits, please see our Advocacy Guide. Attendees of this webinar will walk from this presentation feeling better prepared with the information and tools necessary for a successful visit!

A recording of this webinar will be available on CoSA’s YouTube channel, SAA’s online course portal (see “On-Demand Events"), and NAGARA’s Advocacy Page.

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New book by SNCA member

Sarah Downing, archivist at Western Regional Archives in Asheville, has written a new book, Chronicles of the Outer Banks: Fish Tales and Salty Gales (The History Press, April 2019). In addition to 30 stories covering the coast, the book includes photographs from several North Carolina repositories including State Archives of North Carolina, Outer Banks History Center, the North Carolina Collection at Wilson Library,  and the North Carolina Museum of History.

cover of Chronicles of the Outer Banks
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The Transformations of Autism lecture at Laupus Library

As part of the Ruth and John Moskop History of Medicine Lecture Series, the Medical History Interest Group invites you to attend “The Transformations of Autism,” sponsored by Dan Shingleton. This lecture, presented by Jeffrey P. Baker, MD, PhD, Professor of Pediatrics and History; Director, Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Evelyn Fike Laupus Gallery, fourth floor Laupus Library.

Historians have generally described autism as a syndrome that was “discovered” in 1943, remained a rare categorical diagnosis through the 1970s, and then was expanded into a “spectrum” in the 1980s. This talk will argue instead that the meaning and boundaries of autism have been contested from the beginning. It will explore how debates over autism intertwined with those over schizophrenia and intellectual disability, and how race, class, and education played into the diagnosis in complex ways that would make the diagnosis more visible in some populations than others.

Dr. Jeffrey Baker is Professor of Pediatrics and History at Duke University School of Medicine, where he serves as Director of the Trent Center for Bioethics, Humanities, and History of Medicine. He has practiced for over 25 years as a general pediatrician with a focus on children with autism and special needs. He directed the Duke Children’s Autism Clinic for two years and remains actively engaged with Duke’s Center for Autism and Brain Development providing a medical home for this population. Dr. Baker’s publications have also centered on child health, most notably the history of neonatal medicine, vaccine controversies, and autism. He has taught a wide variety of historical topics to undergraduate and health profession students, including the history of medical ethics, disability, and race in medicine.

This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

The lecture will also feature a pop-up display.

For directions and parking information, visit:

Lectures may be video recorded. For the presentation schedule and an archive of our previous recordings, visit:

Optional RSVP on Facebook here:

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U-Boat, Right Ahead!

Contributed by Travis Souther

Did you know a German U-Boat once sailed up the Cape Fear River right into the port of Wilmington? The U-117 was launched in December 1917 and commissioned into the Imperial Germany Navy on March 28, 1918. During its first four months at war, the ship sank 20 vessels and damaged 4 others.

postcard of U-117

Thankfully, when the German submarine entered the port of Wilmington it was not on a mission of ill-intent. The vessel’s first four months at war were its only four months at war.

The submarine was surrendered to the victorious Allies on November 21, 1918, 10 days after the armistice ending World War I. In the weeks that followed, the United States expressed an interest in obtaining a number of Germans subs as prizes of war to serve as floating exhibits for a Victory Bond Campaign. In March 1919, the U-117 became one of six subs given to the United States. The vessel was transported back to the United States and opened to the public for the enjoyment of tourists, photographers, reporters, and military and civilian engineers.

Sailing up and down the East Coast, the U-117 made ports of call in Philadelphia, PA; Wilmington, DE; Charleston, SC; Wilmington, NC; Norfolk, VA; Baltimore, MD; Annapolis, MD; and finally Washington, DC. The postcard images seen here show the submarine tied up along docks in Wilmington, NC. Prominent signs on the sub’s conning tower display posters for the Victory Bond Campaign.

On June 21, 1921, the submarine was anchored 50 nautical miles off Cape Charles, VA and used by naval aircraft for target practice. The submarine went to a watery grave within 7 minutes.

postcard of U-117
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Michelle Francis Scholarship Awarded

The Development Committee is happy to announce that Finley Turner has been awarded the Michelle Francis Scholarship. This award covers costs associated with attending the annual conference for archive professionals who may not otherwise attend.

Finley Turner is a recent MLIS graduate from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She currently works in two positions as an archives technician at UNCG helping to clean up metadata from migration projects and as an archives assistant at Wake Forest University performing a variety of duties from reference to creating finding aids.

Ms. Turner is participating in the presentation "What a Tangled Web We Weave: Two Data Migration Projects at UNC Greensboro" at this year's conference in Wilmington.

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New hire at ECU’s Joyner Library

Contributed by Alston Cobourn

photo of Patrick Cash

East Carolina University’s Joyner Library is pleased to welcome new Assistant University Archivist Patrick Cash.  Patrick previously worked at Mars Hill University outside Asheville, North Carolina.  He earned his undergraduate degree there before earning a Master’s Degree in History at East Tennessee State University.  He then returned to Mars Hill to work in their Special Collections department and teach History, including an Introduction to Oral History course.  Patrick’s enthusiasm and expertise have been a huge benefit to the department since he began working at ECU in January. You can contact Patrick at

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Scurvy Dog

Contributed by Kelly Spring

[This is the 4th in a series -- see also the 1st and 2nd and 3rd installments about ECU's migration to ArchivesSpace.]

When our manuscript container list database showed signs of Roman numerals mixed with numbers, duplicate boxes, sub-sub-series, container lists that start with box #3, and, I’m not kidding, an entire series devoted to "Empty Photo Albums" (really?!?), we knew we needed to go straight to the naval surgeon. 

Enter our Lead Programmer and months of painstaking work. It was immediately apparent that updating the container lists from EAD would have required replacing the whole record and breaking accession links. Importing the container lists from our local database into AT and pushing the AT-AS migration tool was considered. However, in testing that method the migration would run for hours before producing results. Blimey!

So, the Lead Programmer tested the Harvard Excel import template’s ability to handle hierarchy, instance types, and date strings with multiple dates (of which there were thousands).  He ran reports to assess the number and scale of issues, often conversing with the migration team on the value of retaining data as-is. This, too, ended up not being the most viable option for our migration.

Ultimately, our Lead Programmer studied the AS database schema while the migration team created and updated test records directly in AS to illustrate structure, allowing him to work backward to the migration code. He developed a console application that restructured the container lists from our local database, wiped existing AS container lists, and generated a ship-load of SQL commands that were saved and then run to insert the container lists into AS. As the team worked on running the script, we checked to see that we implemented series properly, handled boxes spanning across series correctly, and checked the accuracy of merged container lists for partially processed collections. We had a surgical scare when we thought that the top container relationships flatlined and went missing. Thankfully, though, a full re-index was all it took to bring them back from the brink.

Now that the container lists are in AS, it’s back to data cleanup and quality control for this crew. We’ve identified 50 collections (out of about 2,000) that came out of SQL surgery with known errors such as duplicate box and folder instances. Currently, a sub-team is looking at data mapping for the resource descriptions, consulting our online collection guides to validate the container lists against AS, and double checking the physical material for numbering discrepancies. Our sails might be shortened, but we’ve replenished our stock of vitamin C and will soon be able to haul wind towards our digital objects.

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2019 SNCA Election Results

The results are in! The new 2019-2020 Executive Committee Members are as follows:

President: Dawne Howard Lucas

Vice President/Programming Chair: Chrystal Carpenter

Education Committee Chairperson: Joshua Hager

Electronic Resources Chairperson: Anna Peitzman

Development Committee Chairperson: Hugh O'Connor

Membership Committee Chairperson: Thomas Flynn

Secretary: Erin Allsop

The new Board members will begin their positions on May 1, 2019. Many thanks to the Nominating Committee members Katie Howell, Kathelene McCarty Smith, Matthew Peek, and Rebecca Petersen May (chair).

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New accessions at ECU Manuscript Collection

Contributed by Dale Sauter

#1342 Benjamin W. Daniels and Mabel A. Grant Daniels Papers

Included are a copy of the Daniels-Murphrey Family History compiled and edited by Eleanor Daniels Casey in 1993, a photograph of the USS Nebraska on which Benjamin Daniels of Wayne County, North Carolina, sailed to Europe during WWI, and three photographs of Benjamin Daniels in his WWI US Navy uniform.

#1343 1st Battalion, 1st NC Volunteer Infantry, in Cuba Collection

The four-month stay in Cuba of the 1st Battalion, 1st North Carolina Volunteers, from December 1898 through March 1899 is documented in these sixty amateur albumen photographs with captions. The photographs are 3 1/2" x 3 3/8" in 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" mounts. The soldiers arrived in Havana, Cuba, the day after the Treaty of Paris was signed ending the Spanish American War.

#936 Vertical File Collection (Addition 15)

This ca. 1910 cabinet photograph is of the C. T. Munford store located at 402-404 South Evans Street in Greenvillle (Pitt County), North Carolina.

#1345 Goldsboro, NC, Store Ledger

This ledger (1873-1874) chronicles the stock sold at a Goldsboro, North Carolina, store including, among other items, turpentine, staves, hoops, chicks, postage, timber, and bbls (barrels), and also mentions labor, hauling, and “stilling.”

#1346 Stallings Air Force Base, Kinston, NC, Collection

This collection documents Stallings Air Force Base for the years 1952 and 1953 through 44 slides (most are identified with names and dates) and ephemera such as scrapbook pages containing photographs and notes, a Christmas card, a dinner program, newspaper clippings, a base map, and a pilot training certificate.

#0294 Pitt County Historical Society Papers (Addition 18)

This addition includes Historical Society minutes and financial information (2005-2014), photographs (original and copies) gathered for possible use in Vol. II of the Pitt County Chronicles, and documents related to the historic Red Banks Primitive Baptist Church after it was deeded to the Historical Society in 2000. The remaining material (previously stored in the Red Banks Church) includes published Primitive Baptist Association Minutes for North Carolina and other states, the Red Banks Home Demonstration Club minutes and correspondence (1946-1950), large oval photographs of George W. Stokes and his wife Mary Ann Hardee, scan prints of Cherry family members, old Greenville advertising fans, a scrapbook for the Town & Country Senior Citizens Club (1978-1999), and 35 8mm reels of home movies (1947-1967) made by the Keel family of Greenville, N.C. North Carolina Primitive Baptist Association minutes were transferred to the North Carolina Collection in Joyner Library. 

#1323 Pitt County, N.C., Schools Historical Records (Addition 2)

Correspondence (1967-1970) with Superintendent of the Pitt County Board of Education Arthur S. Alford; printed memos (1968-1972) from the Pitt County Board of Education and Superintendent Arthur S. Alford; Plain Talk newsletter (Nov.-Dec. 1971); operational data; lists (1968-1971) of Board of Education members, teachers and staff, and attendees at workshops; and health certificates. Also included are documents related to State of North Carolina Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (1970-1971), financial and salary matters (1962, 1967-1970), and athletics (1968-1969). 

#1347 Brake Family Papers

Included are a Brake Family History; a survey (1984) and history of the Brake Family Cemetery located near the corner of Cokey Road and Calhoun Road in Rocky Mount, North Carolina; a deed and a marriage license; documents (1957-1980) related to the West Edgecombe Volunteer Fire Department which included volunteer firefighter Robert Earl Brake; tobacco sale bills (1926-1933, undated) from several warehouses in Rocky Mount;  and a 1931-1932 Faculty and Student Directory for N.C. State.

#CR0004 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Papers (Additions 1 and 2)

Records (1990s-2018) of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, North Carolina, including newsletters, bulletins, by-laws, reports, financial information, publications, photographs, correspondence, and clippings; and information concerning outreach ministries, the process of building and financing the new church building (including the stained-glass windows), and the purchase and installation of the C. D. Fisk organ.

#1169-017 Stuart Wright Collection: Fred Chappell Papers (Addition 3)

This addition includes correspondence (2008-2017) between Stuart Wright and Fred and Susan Chappell which also contains drafts of poems, photographs, and programs; and an original painting (2012) titled “René Magritte, Siegfried, Wo bist du?” (After “The Hat” by René Magritte) by Fred Chappell’s good friend, artist and illustrator, Fritz Janschka.  The painting is part of Janschka’s Homages to the Masters (and Mistresses) series.

#MN0015 Miscellaneous Newspapers: The London American: London, England

Included is the July 30, 1862, issue of  The London American.

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Vote in the 2019 SNCA Executive Board Elections!

Please vote in the election for the 2019-2020 SNCA Executive Board. ACCESS THE BALLOT HERE

Election voting will be open until March 1, 2019. You can learn more about the candidates here and read the SNCA Constitution and Bylaws here.

Please let the Nominating Committee know if you have any questions or concerns.
SNCA Nominating Committee

Rebecca Petersen May (Chair)    
Katie Howell

Kathelene McCarty Smith
Matthew Peek  

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