Applications for SNCA Awards for Students

Contributed by Amy McDonald

The SNCA Education Committee is now accepting applications for the Gene J. Williams Student Paper Award and the C. David Jackson Memorial Student Scholarship. Applications for both awards must be received by Friday, January 15, 2016. Recipients will be notified of their award by Friday, February 12, 2016.

Gene J. Williams Student Paper Award
SNCA annually recognizes a paper on an archival topic written for a graduate-level course by a North Carolina student. 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; and publication of their award-winning paper in SNCA’s peer-reviewed journal.

For additional details, please see To apply, an application form—which must be signed by your professor—should be submitted via e-mail to the Education Committee Chair at Please include “Williams Award” in the subject line. Proof of NC residency must be submitted for students attending a graduate program outside North Carolina.

C. David Jackson Memorial Student Scholarship
SNCA offers this scholarship of up to $500 to encourage students to attend the society’s annual meeting and pre-conference workshops. Scholarship funds may be used for meeting registration, workshops, lodging, meals, and travel expenses. A one-year membership in SNCA will also be included with the scholarship. Applicants must be students enrolled in an archival studies program in North Carolina.

For additional details, please see To apply, an application form and a current resume/CV should be submitted via e-mail to the Education Committee Chair at Please include “Jackson Scholarship” in the subject line.

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News from the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina

Contributed by Matthew Peek

New Web Pages
In September 2015, the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina launched an updated and expanded web page on the State Archives’ website. The main collection page provides the mission of the Military Collection; the scope of materials the Military Collection preserves and collects; and an updated history of the collection going back to the North Carolina Historical Commission’s inception in 1903. A new feature of the web page is an online form for those interested in donating original North Carolina military service materials to the Military Collection.

Another new feature of the Military Collection web page is an online page dedicated to the North Carolina Military Veterans Oral History Program. Since 1996, this oral history program has been one of the largest active oral history programs for veterans in the South. The new page highlights the oral history program’s mission and its history. The page also offers an online form (similar to the one on the main Military Collection page) by which veterans interested in doing an oral history interview, or families or other individuals who know of a veteran that would be willing to conduct an oral history interview about their service, can easily contact the Military Collection Archivist. This is the first time the State Archives’ Veterans Oral History Program has had its own web page, and it is intended to promote the use of and access to the oral history interviews of North Carolina veterans held by the Military Collection.

Summer 2016 Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office Internship Grant
The Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina will be granting a scholarship through the Summer 2016 North Carolina State Government Internship Program, managed by the Youth Advocacy and Involvement Office (YAIO) of the North Carolina Department of Administration. The Military Collection’s WWII Military Collections Archives Intern will process materials, verify and research materials’ ownership history, and create finding aids for 8 to 10 individual collections of original WWII historic archival materials and military records in the Military Collection. This intern will assist the Military Collection in providing better description, metadata, and accessibility for the public by the start of the 75th anniversary of American involvement in WWII. The deadline to apply for the internship is December 18, 2015. To learn more about the internship and the YAIO program, visit

Large Spanish-American War Photograph Collection Donated to Military Collection
The Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina recently completed a donation of one original book and 30 original, board-mounted photographs, dating between 1898 and 1899. They belonged to Maj. George E. Butler of Sampson County, North Carolina, and were taken or collected during his time with the First North Carolina Regiment in Georgia and Cuba as part of the Spanish-American War. Butler was a very important politician and judge in North Carolina in the first half of the twentieth century, following his military career in the Spanish-American War. Butler’s private and political papers are housed at another institution, but this is the first set of his military records to be made available. These materials remained in the hands of a member of the Butler family since George Butler’s death. The collection will be processed and available to the public by the spring of 2016, as part of the Military Collection’s Spanish-American War Papers.

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UNC Asheville adds Isaiah Rice Photograph Collection

Contributed by Gene Hyde

Special Collections at the University of North Carolina at Asheville recently added the Isaiah Rice Photograph Collection to its photography collections. Containing over 1,000 images taken by Isaiah Rice, the collection documents Asheville’s African American community from the 1950s through the 1970s. The collection was officially unveiled October 23, 2015, at the second annual African Americans in Western North Carolina Conference at UNC-Asheville.

Asheville native Isaiah Rice (1917-1980),  a World War II veteran, was active in community and civic affairs and was employed at a warehouse and as a beverage salesman for 40 years. He frequently carried one of his many cameras with him, seizing countless opportunities to capture his family, neighbors, and community members on film. He photographed people at church, neighbors and friends who had gathered for social events, folks attending parades and football games, as well as many scenes of people working and going about their business in downtown Asheville. His photos document a thriving African American community in urban Asheville during the mid-20th century.

Isaiah Rice

Isaiah Rice

The collection contains photographs, slides, and negatives. A selected group of photos is displayed online in the Isaiah Rice Photograph Collection, and an exhibit of photos from the collection will be on display on the third floor of Ramsey Library, outside of Special Collections, through December 15, 2015.

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Southeastern Community College Celebration

Contributed by Shirley Fairfax-Lewis

SCC 2015 Archive Event

SCC 2015 Archives Month Event

The Southeastern Community College (SCC) Archives held a celebration on Tuesday, October 27, 2015. Karen Gore, local renowned artist, spoke and displayed her art, including the window display she created for the SCC Williamson Library Archives. Dewey Ward, a local woodturner, spoke and displayed his work. Pamela Young-Jacobs, member of the Waccamaw Siouan tribe, performed an original song accompanied by dancers. Jessica Davidson, a high school student, played the guitar and sang. SCC students displayed original photographs based on the theme, “My Life, My Journey, My Moment.” Approximately 100 students, staff, and community members attended this event.

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Treasures of Carolina: Stories From the State Archives

Contributed by Susan Lamb (Public Information Officer, N.C. Museum of History)

On Saturday, October 24, 2015, the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh will open an exhibit showcasing treasures — one-of-a-kind documents, photographs and other media — from the State Archives of North Carolina.  Rarely on public view, these items will be featured in Treasures of Carolina: Stories From the State Archives.  This free exhibit will highlight ordinary and extraordinary public records, as well as private archival materials, and it will run through June 19, 2016.

La Florida

Image courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina

Treasures of Carolina will include the oldest item held by the State Archives: the 1584 map “La Florida” created under the reign of Phillip II of Spain.  The map includes what became North Carolina, and it depicts the Cape Fear River under its original name, “Rio Jordan.”

“Museum visitors will see materials that chronicle the development of North Carolina and tell some of its stories,” said Sarah Koonts, State Archivist and Director of the Division of Archives and Records. “The State Archives preserves many well-known documents, but the stories, personalities and struggles of individuals, families, and groups are often revealed in everyday items such as letters, photographs, and government documents and registries.”

Exhibit visitors will discover the important role of the State Archives of North Carolina — the state’s memory bank.  From parchment documents to digital files, the State Archives collects, preserves and makes accessible over 100 million treasures chronicling the Tar Heel State, past and present.

“We hope visitors will come away with an understanding of the importance of our state archives and state archives across the nation,” adds Koonts.

The variety of public records and private manuscript collections in Treasures of Carolina will focus on three themes: providing evidence of civil and property rights, government transparency, and the preservation of North Carolina’s history and culture.

Many items in Treasures of Carolina will be on view throughout the duration of the exhibit: 

  • The earliest will known to exist in North Carolina, recorded in 1665 by Mary Fortsen. It is unusual because female property owners were extremely rare in the 1600s.
  • An 1839 petition for United States citizenship, signed by Siamese twins Chang and Eng Bunker, who were born in Siam (now Thailand).  They settled in Wilkes County and married sisters. Altogether, the families had 21 children.
  • The hand-drawn map used as evidence during the 1867 trial of Tom Dula, who was indicted and hanged for murdering Laura Foster.  Dula’s fate is told in the popular ballad “Tom Dooley.”
  • A Civil War letter from Martha A. E. Henley Poteet to her husband, Francis Marion
    Poteet hand

    Image courtesy of the State Archives of North Carolina

    Poteet, who was away at war.  She enclosed a cutout of her 4-week-old daughter’s hand with the request “write to Me what to name her.”  The family lived in McDowell County.

  • A 1903 copy of the North Carolina Constitutional Reader.  In 1901 rules were enacted to prevent illiterate African Americans from voting, and this book was published to help African Americans read the Constitution in case they were questioned at the polls when trying to vote.
  • Audio recordings of World War I soldiers’ oral histories.

Some materials in the State Archives are so rare or valuable that they are stored in a vault and will be exhibited only for a limited time:

  • North Carolina’s official copy of the Bill of Rights on view Oct. 24 through 27, 2015, and June 15 through 19, 2016.  This document was stolen from the State Capitol by a Union soldier following the Civil War.  In an FBI sting operation, it was recovered in 2003.
  • 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and James Iredell’s Diaryon view Oct. 28, 2015, through Feb. 7, 2016.  North Carolina’s official copy of the 11th Amendment was ratified in 1795.  In 1790 James Iredell had been appointed to the first U.S. Supreme Court by George Washington.  The Edenton resident, Federalist, and attorney wrote several pieces to support ratification of the U.S. Constitution.
  • 1663 Carolina Charter on view Feb. 8 through 14, 2016.  As a reward for their support, King Charles II of England gave the Province of Carolina to eight subjects known as the Lords Proprietors of Carolina.
  • Famous Signatures on view Feb. 15 through June 14, 2016. Exhibit visitors will see letters or documents signed by George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Theodore Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Einstein, and Buckminster Fuller.

Treasures of Carolina will bring history to life for many visitors as they discover items related to one of the state’s most sensational murder trials, Tar Heel soldiers’ World War I experiences, and much more.  Treasures of Carolina is sponsored by the Friends of the Archives.

Each week the State Archives will highlight an exhibit item and its intriguing history on the blog, so check it out!

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Upcoming Preserving Photograph Collections Workshop in Wilmington

Contributed by Barbara Ilie

The North Carolina Preservation Consortium (NCPC) is sponsoring a workshop on preserving photographic collections Wednesday, November 18, 2015, at the Cape Fear Museum in Wilmington, NC. To register and learn more about this and other NCPC workshops, please visit the consortium’s Workshops page.

Historical and fine art photographs can be found in many libraries, archives, museums, and historic sites.  Preserving these collections requires a deep knowledge of the various types of photographic media, chemical photographic processes, causes of deterioration of photographic materials, and photograph conservation science.  This workshop is an introduction to identifying and preserving 19th and 20th century photographs: daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, hand-colored silver gelatin prints, contemporary color, and digital photographs.  Strategies for preservation and best practices for proper handling, exhibition, and storage will be presented. Participants are encouraged to bring photographic items of interest. The workshop will be led by Stephen J. Fletcher, Photographic Archivist in the North Carolina Collection, Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Ancestry Day in Raleigh

Contributed by Ruth Cody

Don’t miss Ancestry Day in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Join experts from Ancestry, the State Archives, Friends of the Archives, the North Carolina Genealogical Society, and the State Library of North Carolina for this great event.  There will be a full day of classes about Ancestry and AncestryDNA presented by Crista Cowan and Anna Swayne.  You can also win door prizes, too.  Come join us from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm on November 7, 2015, at the McKimmon Conference and Training Center in Raleigh, North Carolina.  Registration is available at:

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Registration for Archives Boot Camp Now Open

Contributed by Amy McDonald

Registration is now open for an upcoming session of the popular Archives Boot Camp workshop. This workshop is sponsored by SNCA’s Education Committee. You do not need to be a SNCA member to attend this workshop.

Please e-mail Amy McDonald, Education Committee chair, at with any questions.

Workshop Details:

Date: Monday, December 14, 2015

Time: 9:30 AM-4:30 PM

Location: Room 504, Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The closest parking option is the Rams Head Parking Garage. See for additional information. Breaks will be provided at mid-morning and mid-afternoon, and 1½ hours will be provided for lunch (on your own).


The registration fee for the workshop is $20. Workshop attendance is limited to 20 attendees.

Please register at Payment instructions are given as part of the form. Payment may be made by check or by credit card via SNCA’s PayPal account.

Course Description:

If you are responsible for historical records at your institution and don’t know what to do with them, this workshop is for you.

Archives Boot Camp has five main modules:

  1. Defining “Records” and “Archives”
  2. Collecting
  3. Arrangement and Description
  4. Preservation
  5. Reference and Outreach

The goal of Archives Boot Camp is to introduce basic archival education to people who are on the front lines of caring for records but have not had the benefit of formal training. Past Boot Camp participants have included librarians, museum curators, and public historians associated with various clubs, religious institutions, businesses, and social organizations.

Instructor Biography:

Matt Turi is the Manuscripts Research and Instruction Librarian in the Special Collections Research and Instructional Services Department at the Louis Round Wilson Special Collections Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He received a B.A. in Russian from Boston College, an M.A. in History from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and an M.S.L.S from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He has worked as a research archivist in Chapel Hill for a decade and previously worked for the North Carolina State Historical Records Advisory Board.

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Archives Month at the State Archives of North Carolina

Contributed by Ruth Cody

To illustrate the theme of 2015 Archives Month — Celebrating Archives: North Carolina Arts, Crafts and Music Traditions — the State Archives of North Carolina is displaying in its Search Room a selection of records from the Folklife Program run by the North Carolina Arts Council.  Through the Folklife Program, the North Carolina Arts Council promotes public knowledge and appreciation of North Carolina’s folklife and traditional arts through planning and producing special projects, publications, recordings and films; documenting living traditions; maintaining an archive of documentary materials and other resources; and assisting individuals and organizations through a grants program and technical assistance.  On display are brochures, programs, and flyers promoting some of the main endeavors of the Folklife Program, including the North Carolina Folk Heritage Award, the North American Native American Artist Directory, and the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative.  Also on display are photos of North Carolina artists, musicians, and craftspeople as well as a booklet about traditional medicine shows that combined medical lectures and sales with entertainment acts in a traveling venue.  The exhibit includes a photo of Tommy Scott, who ran a rambling road show called Carolina Cotton.  He was hailed as the last Medicine Show man.  These records are in the custody of the North Carolina Arts Council’s Folklife Program.  Related online exhibits are available through the North Carolina Folklife Institute:

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Mercy Heritage Center Publishes Collections List and Finding Aids

Contributed by Emily Reed

Mercy Heritage Center (MHC), which holds the archives of the Institute of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, has made its collections list and select finding aids available online for public access. MHC has thirty-four collections from former communities, regional communities, and congregation-wide associations across the country. The collections document ministries, including schools and hospitals, as well as the histories of individual sisters and the story of the Community itself. The U.S. collections range geographically from Maine to California, and MHC also holds information about ministries in Africa, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Micronesia, and Southeast Asia.

At the 2015 Archivists for Congregations of Women Religious (ACWR) Triennial Conference, discussions concerned the under-representation of women’s religious archives. MHC responded with this work to provide online access to collection information.

Mercy Heritage Center is located in Belmont, North Carolina. Staff can assist visitors with on-site research (by appointment) or remotely (by e-mail request). They are also available for contact if researchers need further information about any collection.

For more information, contact Betsy Johnson,

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