Recruiting nominees for SNCA Board

The Nominating Committee is now accepting nominations for open positions on the Society of North Carolina Archivists Executive Board. The positions that will be open in the next election are:

  • Vice President /Programming Chair: The Vice President serves for 1 year and is responsible for coordinating the annual meeting. The VP usually moves into the role of president the following year for a 1-year term.
  • Secretary: The Secretary serves for 2 years and is responsible for keeping active records of the Society including the minutes of the Society’s business and Executive Board meetings.
  • Development Chair: The Development Chair serves for 2 years and is responsible for encouraging and facilitating both sponsorships of SNCA conference events and philanthropic donations, exploring and recommending methods of increasing the endowment and investing the Society’s funds, and exploring and recommending new ways to use the endowment funds.
  • Education Chair: The Education Committee Chair serves for 2 years and is responsible for planning and promoting archival education opportunities. The Education Committee selects the Gene Williams Award and C. David Jackson Scholarship winners.
  • Electronic Resources Chair: The Electronic Resources Chair serves for 2 years and is responsible for overseeing the maintenance of the Society’s web page, listserv, and other electronic resources that may be developed.
  • Membership Chair: The Membership Chair serves for 2 years and is responsible for  overseeing the maintenance of membership lists and directory, sending out dues notices, and contacting those members who do not renew. Furthermore, the membership committee will actively solicit new members including staffing an information table at the Society’s meetings. The membership chair will also appoint and manage social coordinators for regions on a yearly basis.

More details about responsibilities of board members are included in the SNCA By-laws. Potential candidates may be suggested by others or self-nominated, and nominees must be current members of SNCA. If you have a question about your membership, please contact Thomas Flynn.

Nominations should be submitted online by December 15, 2020, at If you have additional questions, please direct them to the Nominating Chair.

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Archives Month: Sanitaria in Western North Carolina

Contributed by Ashley McGhee Whittle

By the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, sanitaria had become a health craze and in the tourist destination of Asheville. The sanitaria became a mecca for those suffering from tuberculosis and other ailments. The basis for treatment during this time was climate, and Asheville’s climate had long been considered ideal by those who traveled to the Western North Carolina highlands. Indeed, for those who followed climatotherapy, Asheville was considered a premier destination for the treatment of various lung diseases.

postcard of Veranda View of Highland Hospital, Asheville
Veranda View, Highland Hospital, Asheville, from the Fred Kahn Asheville Postcard Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville, 28804.

Asheville was generally considered a top health resort during this time, from the low-country elitists to the Cherokee Indians, and by the 1890s the city and surrounding areas were firmly engulfed in the building explosion of various sanitaria. The largest sanitaria in Asheville were St. Joseph’s Hospital and the Fairview Sanitorium. 

postcard of St. Joseph's Hospital, Asheville, NC
An airplane view of St. Joseph’s Hospital, Asheville, NC, from the Fred Kahn Asheville Postcard Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville, 28804.

Even the tiny hamlet in the eastern part of Buncombe County has its own sanitarium - Dunnwhyce - a sanitarium for consumptive nurses that was championed by two local nurses, Birdie Dunn and Mary Whyce. Unfortunately, Dunnwhyce did not last, as World War I made it necessary for the United States Army to build a 1,500 bed sanitarium in Oteen to care for soldiers with lung ailments ranging from tuberculosis to exposure to poison gas on the battlefield. The building of this sanitarium effectively led to the declining maintenance and financial instability of the nearby Dunnwhyce, and the building was sold with proceeds invested into Liberty Bonds. 

postcard of US Veterans' Administration Facility at Oteen, NC
Night-time scene US Veterans’ Administration Facility, Oteen, NC, near Asheville, from the Fred Kahn Asheville Postcard Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville, 28804.

The sanitaria movement in Western North Carolina would go on to cement Asheville’s status as both a celebrated health resort and acclaimed tourist destination across the globe. Today, all that remains of much of the area’s history on sanitaria is simply a memory. Fortunately, this memory remains a vibrant legacy at UNC Asheville’s Special Collections, the repository of the Fred Kahn Asheville Postcard Collection. In this collection, there are several magnificent binders which house over 108 postcards depicting Asheville and Western North Carolina’s sanitaria. To see more about the Fred Kahn Asheville Postcard Collection please visit here. To see more about Asheville’s history of sanitaria please visit the UNC Asheville Special Collections blog here.

postcard of Meriwether Hospital, Ashveille, NC
Meriwether Hospital, Asheville, NC, from the Fred Kahn Asheville Postcard Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville, 28804.
postcard of Wesnoca
Wesnoca, Asheville, NC “In the Land of the Sky,” from the Fred Kahn Asheville Postcard Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina Asheville, 28804.
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Archives Month: Dorothea Dix Hospital Project

Contributed by Leah Tams and Robert Allen

Since our presentation at the 2019 SNCA Conference, the Community Histories Workshop (CHW) at UNC Chapel Hill has continued its excavation of historical records from the Dorothea Dix Hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina. Dix was the state’s principal insane asylum for many decades, and its records are now held in the State Archives of North Carolina. The state’s open records law makes state records created more than 100 years ago available to the public, so we have a wealth of intriguing—and confronting—records to excavate and interpret. Of course, COVID-19 has temporarily halted our access to the State Archives, but we have a rich trove of CHW-digitized Dix records from which to work.

General Case Book entry from Dix hospital

Our student employees have continued their excellent work in transcribing general case book forms (essentially extensive intake records) of patients, and thanks to their work we now have over 1,300 case book forms transcribed. Additionally, we have been working with the Odum Institute at UNC on getting our Admissions Ledger Database and other sets of digitized records published and requestable in UNC’s Dataverse. Due to the sensitive nature of the Dix materials, we crafted an ethics and professional practice agreement so that researchers will be fully aware and mindful of such sensitivities. We are looking forward to publishing the Dix materials and collaborating with our partners at UNC Chapel Hill, as well as eventually with partners outside of UNC.

Finally, we are teaching a graduate-level American Studies seminar that centers around the Dix records, focusing this semester on constructing case studies of select Dix patients. With these case studies, we are seeking to better understand the experiences of patients at Dix and how mental illness and other related diseases at the time were understood. We also believe that these case studies are important exercises in reinserting elements of humanity into asylum records and returning agency to individuals who were otherwise confined to an institution and stripped of their agency.

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UNCG on The State of Things

Part of today's episode of The State of Things on WUNC radio featured the Unsung Heroes Project at UNC Greensboro. You can read more at about this collaboration to conduct oral history interviews of civil rights movement veterans. Although I was intrigued by the subject matter, what really caught my attention was the kudos given to the UNC Greensboro Libraries for their work digitizing these interviews, specifically:

  • Erin Lawrimore, Associate Professor and University Archivist
  • David Gwynn, Associate Professor and Digital Projects Coordinator
  • Richard Cox, Digital Technology Consultant

The participant list links out to the individual interviews. Because they've used the OHMS (Oral History Metadata Synchronizer) tool, these interview transcripts are easily searchable.

You can listen to the entire story at You can also find a press release by University Communications at

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Archives Month: Central Piedmont Community College Nursing Program

Contributed by Erin Allsop, Archivist at Central Piedmont Community College

Central Piedmont's nursing program is the oldest nursing program in the N.C. Community College System and has graduated more than 3,000 students since its inception. When the Associate Degree program began as the registered nursing program in 1965, the campus of Central Piedmont, located in Charlotte, consisted of only a few buildings. Most classes were held in the Central High building, carrying over similar procedures from the Central Industrial Education Center (which would later become Central Piedmont).

The image above shows the location for the courses offered by the Central Industrial Education Center, one of Central Piedmont's educational predecessors. Practical Nursing classes, which would become Registered Nursing in 1965, were located on the third floor.
Students in the Practical Nursing Program of Central Piedmont Community College, 1963.

Practical Nursing became the Registered Nursing program in 1965, two years after the all-White Central Industrial Education Center merged with the all-Black Mecklenburg College to create Central Piedmont Community College. The program was created during the Civil Rights era and was one of the first desegregated nursing programs in Charlotte. This program had a few name changes over the years; it was first known as the Registered Nursing program from 1965-1967; followed by the Associates Degree - Nursing (1968-1984); Nursing - Associates Degree (1984-1999); and lastly the Christa A. Overcash Associate Degree in Nursing (1999-present day).

In order to accommodate the exponential growth of the nursing program, the Belk Building was opened in 1982 to house most of the health programs offered by the college at that time. Today, the Belk and Health Careers buildings still house some of the nursing program courses. Most recently, the newly constructed Health Sciences building on our Central Campus provides lab and classroom settings for students in our health sciences programs and includes state of the art equipment, labs, and testing facilities.

During its more than 50 years at the college, our nursing program has evolved and grown to meet the needs of today’s healthcare industry leaders and college student population. As a way to honor the many achievements of this historic program, the Central Piedmont Archives works to preserve the legacy of the nursing program for future generations. More information on the Central Piedmont Archives can be found here:

Below are some images of nursing students throughout the years.

nursing students photo
Nursing students participating in an on-campus, nursing skills practice lab during the 1970s. You will notice several skills in practice – taking blood pressures, moving patients safely using good body mechanics, learning different medical/surgical instruments, administering oxygen, and wrapping an extremity. AR.0036 - Programs, Central Piedmont Archives.
1979 nursing class photo
Associate Degree Nursing Program, Class of 1979. Dr. Ruth Hedgpeth, former dean of the Health Sciences program is in this photograph, fourth row; second from left. AR.0036 - Students, Central Piedmont Archives.
Christa Overcash photo
Christa A. Overcash photographed during the dedication ceremony for the Christa A. Overcash Nursing Program, 1999. Her generous donation provided the resources, equipment, and tools necessary for a quality nursing education. AR.0036 - Dedications, Central Piedmont Archives.
nursing lab photo
Associate Degree Nursing Students, 2018. Credit: Darnell Vennie.

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Archives Month: Health Alert!! Polio Outbreak on UNC Campus! UNC-NC State Football Game Cancelled!

Here begins a series of posts celebrating SNCA's 2020 Archives Month theme of "20th Century Health and Medicine." This post was contributed by Dawne Lucas.

This post originally appeared on the “For the Record” blog of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s University Archives and Records Management Services, 26 October 2012.

The year was 1952 and the United States was still three years away from Jonas Salk becoming a household name.  At the time, polio was the scariest public health issue in the United States.  So when five UNC students, all athletes, were stricken with polio from mid-September to early October, it was no surprise that university officials took the necessary steps to prevent the disease from spreading further, cancelling the two home football games against North Carolina State and Georgia, and requesting that students remain on campus.

Daily Tar Heel scan
Cover of the Daily Tar Heel, Oct. 3, 1952.
Daily Tar Heel scan
Daily Tar Heel editorial page, Oct. 3, 1952.

Although the editor of the Daily Tar Heel said there was “no cause for alarm,” students were understandably concerned as were their parents.  Parking lots were nearly empty and the highways out of town were “dotted with hitchhikers” as students ignored the requests to stay on campus and went home.  Long distance telephone calls to and from Chapel Hill doubled as students and parents kept in touch with each other.

Daily Tar Heel scan
Cover of the Daily Tar Heel, Oct. 4, 1952.

The five students, football player Harold “Bull” Davidson,  cross country teammates John Robert Barden, Jr. and Richard Lee Bostain, swimmer Robert Nash “Pete” Higgins, and freshmen football player, Samuel S. Sanders, all recovered quickly and none suffered any paralysis.

Full issues of the Daily Tar Heel from 3 October 1952 and 4 October 1952 are available online via the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center. For more information about the 1952 polio outbreak at UNC-Chapel Hill, listen to Chris Jensen’s 2015 Bullitt History of Medicine Club lecture, “And Polio Was a Nightmare”: Polio, UNC-Chapel Hill, And the North Carolina Memorial Hospital.”

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ECU Libraries working to document the COVID-19 pandemic in eastern North Carolina

East Carolina University Libraries are documenting the effects of COVID-19 on the lives of eastern North Carolina residents and on normal campus operations. Preserving this period of our local history will be beneficial to scholars for years to come, much in the way documentation of the 1918 Flu Pandemic helps us have a broad understanding of how life changed during that time.

Individuals can submit reflections on personal experiences during the pandemic, including how daily life has changed, how perspectives have changed, how the pandemic has affected mental and physical health, and anything else you would like to record about your experience. You can write these in any form and style you would like. Click here to visit the online submission site.

Submissions can be viewed at

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Raising Archival Awareness in a Regional Studies Organization: The Appalachian Studies Case

Please join Liz Harper and Gene Hyde for this presentation, which was originally scheduled for SNCA last March. Please contact Gene Hyde,, if you have any questions. 

Thursday, September 24, 12 - 1 PM

Via Zoom - please register at this link to attend this Brown Bag:

"Raising Archival Awareness in a Regional Studies Organization: The Appalachian Studies Case"

Gene Hyde, Special Collections, and Liz Harper, NOAA Center for Environmental Information

This presentation describes how archivists led efforts to create a Special Collections Committee in the Appalachian Studies Association, as well as the Appalachian Curator, a newsletter highlighting the variety of archival collections in southern Appalachia. The Special Collections Committee was created to explore historical and current initiatives and programs and provide a forum for news and information about Appalachian archives. These efforts provide a model for increasing archival awareness in interdisciplinary or regional professional organizations.  This presentation was originally accepted for the 2020 Society of North Carolina Archivists Conference last March at Elon University, which was cancelled due to COVID.

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J-SNCA call for papers

J-SNCA is a peer-reviewed journal that seeks to support the theoretical, practical, and scholarly aspects of the archival profession. The editorial board of J-SNCA invites members of the research and archival communities to submit articles for a general issue on archival topics to be published in the Winter of 2020/2021. Focuses on archival methodology, metadata, collecting practices, outreach, and rethinking the goals of archival work in our current age, especially considering COVID-19 and the national conversation on efforts towards anti-racism, are all welcome.

The deadline for article submission is October 16, 2020. All members of the archival community, including students and independent researchers, are welcome to submit articles. If you were slated to present at the cancelled 2020 Society of North Carolina Archivists conference you are particularly encouraged to submit a paper based on your presentation. Contributors need not be members of Society of North Carolina Archivists or live in the state of North Carolina. Article proposals are welcome and encouraged.

Submission guidelines can be found at

Submission contact:

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Charlotte’s new presence on Google Arts & Culture

Contributed by Tyler Cline

UNC Charlotte Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, along with 12 other local museums, galleries, and cultural institutions, has partnered with Google Arts & Culture to launch Charlotte on Google's global platform. Atkins' contributions include images and stories from the historic Boyer postcard collection, Black history from the Alexander family and Julius Chambers papers, and early UNC Charlotte images featuring founder Bonnie Cone.

“We are thrilled to showcase Charlotte’s rich culture, history of innovation and thriving art scene for everyone to explore online at Google Arts & Culture,” said Simon Delacroix, U.S. Lead of Google Arts & Culture. “From its fascinating museums to its delightful culinary scene to its achievements as a business hub, Charlotte is captivating. Thanks to our 13 local partners, the world can go to one virtual  destination to experience this outstanding city.” 

Charlotte is the first city in the American south and third in the U.S. to be featured in Google Arts & Culture’s global initiative to capture and share the unique culture of cities. Along with Kansas City and Milwaukee, Charlotte joins European cultural hubs on the platform including Milan and Naples, Italy, Lyon, France, and Hamburg, Germany.

Charlotte arts & culture logo

Google Arts & Culture Charlotte partners in this project include: the Mint Museum, Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts & Culture, Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), Levine Museum of the New South, NASCAR Hall of Fame, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, Arts & Science Council, Atkins Library at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, Goodyear Arts, Carolina Raptor Center, Charlotte Symphony, and the McColl Center for Art + Innovation. Of these partners, Atkins Library is the sole archival repository.

The Charlotte site can be found at

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