Transcribing Civil War correspondence at the New Hanover County Public Library

Contributed by Travis Souther

One of the incredible collections in the New Hanover County Public Library’s care is the Cowan-Denson Family Papers, a collection of correspondence from just before and during the Civil War.  In addition to military concerns, notably the Battles of Fort Fisher where a family member actually took part, the letters also discuss civilian life in North Carolina during the conflict.  The family had connections to both Wilmington and Pittsboro (Pittsboro being the location of a plantation).  198 pieces of correspondence from the collection were previously digitized but never transcribed.  With the library closed to the public due to the pandemic, Souther reached out to the community to assist with the transcription of the letters.  This crowdsourcing initiative has generated great interest and has already proven to be a great success.  The digital collection can be accessed at the following link:

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Bucknall Receives the 2019 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Efficiency and Innovation and the 2019 Distinguished Service Award from NCLA

Tim Bucknall, Assistant Dean for Electronic Resources and Information Technology and Associate Professor for University Libraries has been awarded the 2019 Governor’s Award for Excellence in Efficiency and Innovation. The Governor’s Award is the highest honor a state employee may receive for dedicated service to the state and the people of North Carolina, recognizing the accomplishments and actions of individuals that are outside of the usual scope of their job duties. He was nominated in this category for his ability to improve the efficiency of state government services while also establishing new and improved methods, practices, plans and designs that have resulted in innovation, savings, and efficiencies.

As founder and convener of the Carolina Consortium, Bucknall has organized a group of more than 180 libraries at public and private colleges, universities, community colleges, and seminaries, as well as public libraries in North Carolina and South Carolina. These libraries are able to license databases and streaming video resources, subscribe to journal packages, and provide access to additional resources for their faculty, students, and communities with a cost avoidance of $398 million in 2018. The consortium’s service population is about 750,000 users.

Tim Bucknall  photo
Chris English/UNCG Photo

Bucknall was honored again in 2019 for his service to libraries when he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the North Carolina Library Association (NCLA). The award is presented every two years, or when deemed appropriate, to a member of the Association who has made significant contributions to the profession.

Criteria for receiving the award include distinguished service to North Carolina, significant service or other professional contributions provided during either a short or long span of time, and service resulting in a regional or national impact on librarianship in general. 

With Journal Finder, Bucknall invented the very first open URL link resolver in the United States, which changed how libraries and students access journals and e-resources, significantly improving the ability to do academic research. Not only has Bucknall created and developed these tools and services, he also shares his experience and knowledge with others in the profession through writing and presenting on various topics, such as technology, online catalogs, electronic resources, serials management issues, open access, and more.

Prior to joining UNCG in 1994, Bucknall served as Electronic Services Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH). He received his bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Texas-Austin and earned his MLIS and MA in Art History from UNC-CH.

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2020 Annual Meeting Update

The SNCA Executive Board held a Zoom call last Thursday to discuss the annual meeting. I am providing a few quick updates, with more information to follow soon. 

2020 Annual Meeting: Due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Executive Board has decided to cancel this year’s meeting instead of postponing it and trying to reschedule for later this year. We look forward to seeing everyone at the 2021 annual meeting.

***The program committee for the 2020 Annual Meeting will contact session chairs regarding options for sharing presentations in lieu of presenting at the annual meeting.***

Refunds: SNCA Treasurer Sean Mulligan is in the process of issuing refunds. Approximately half of the refunds have been processed. If you have any questions, please contact Sean at

Annual Business Meeting and Short Program: In adherence to our constitution and bylaws, we plan to hold a virtual annual business meeting and a short program for our organization in May. Stay tuned for more details.

Election Results: Thank you to everyone who voted in our recent election. The winners are:

Treasurer: Erin Gallagher, State Archives

Publications Chair: Bari Helms, Reynolda House

Vice President /Programming Chair: Nathan Saunders, UNC Wilmington

Archives Month Chair: Hope Ketcham Geeting, Duke University

Member at Large (RAAC Representative): Courtney Bailey, State Archives

Member at Large (New professional/student member): Ashley McGee Whittle, UNC Asheville

Erin, Bari, Nathan, Hope, Courtney, and Ashley will begin their terms on May 1. Thank you to outgoing board members Sean Mulligan, Jennifer Coggins, Kelly Wooten, Colin Reeve, and Leah Kerr.

Awards:  Award winners who would have been recognized at our annual awards ceremony will be recognized during the annual business meeting and on SNCA’s website and social media channels.

Stay connected!: Please take care, stay sane and safe, and let us know if there’s anything we can do to help.  Share ideas on library/archives/museum work from home, tips you are using to balance life, or whatever else via our listserv. 

On behalf of the SNCA Executive Board,

Dawne Howard Lucas

President, Society of North Carolina Archivists

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2020 Annual Meeting Canceled Due to COVID-19

Due to the governor's emergency declaration and a growing number of institutions prohibiting non-essential travel, I regret to inform everyone that next week's meeting and workshops are now canceled.

All meeting and workshop registrants will receive registration refunds from SNCA, but please be patient. Refunds should start being issued next week. Registrants who reserved hotel rooms should be able to recover all or most of their hotel costs. Please contact the hotels directly to discuss refund options.

The SNCA Executive Board is discussing options for how to proceed, but we do not have solid answers at this time. This is an unusual and fast-changing situation. Stay tuned.

Thank you to the 2020 Annual Meeting Program Committee and all of the scheduled participants and volunteers who worked hard to plan this year's meeting. I am confident that if not for such unforeseen circumstances, next week's meeting would have been well-organized, successful, and inspiring.

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Newly accessioned collections at the East Carolina Manuscript Room

Contributed by Dale Sauter

#1361 Dig and Delve Garden Club of Greenville, North Carolina Records

This collection contains minutes (1961-1970, 1999-2005, 2013-2014, 2016-2017) for the Dig and Delve Garden Club of Greenville, North Carolina.  Also included are the constitution and bylaws, correspondence, and loose minutes for one meeting in 1975 and one in 1994.

#1363 Lt. Commander Godfrey Cheshire, Jr., Papers

This collection (1942-1999) contains papers related to the World War II service of Lt. Commander Godfrey Cheshire, Jr., in the Pacific Theatre aboard the USS Harold C. Thomas (DE-21), for which he was the commander for a year. Included are photocopies of the ship’s logs for the USS Harold C. Thomas, correspondence (1990-1992) with the Destroyer Escort Commanding Officers Association about reunions, Cheshire’s military records (1942-1945, 1947), photocopies of clippings and articles about the Thomas and other DEs, photocopies of certificates, photographs, and DVDs containing oral history interviews of Cheshire by family members.

#1364 Walter B. Jones, Jr., Papers

This collection contains the congressional files for U.S. House of Representatives member Walter B. Jones, Jr., who represented the 3rd Congressional District of North Carolina from 1995 until his death in 2019.  Included are files, scrapbooks, media, and electronic files.  The electronic files were created by his staff and included speeches, correspondence, articles, promotional material, notes, and videos for the years 2005-2018.

#1365 NC Northeast Commission Records

This collection (1997-2014) contains financial documents in chronological order and marketing, client, and other files organized by subject or county related to the sixteen North Carolina counties represented by the NC Northeast Commission. In 2014, the NC Northeast Commission merged into NCEast Alliance.

#1369 Mary E. Tatum Collection

This collection contains unrelated material belonging to Mary E. Tatum. Included are 108 Chatham County, North Carolina, warrants (1804-1840); 2 Onslow County, North Carolina, grants (1788, no date); and 1897 financial receipt with 4 handwritten medicinal cures by Wyley M. Cates of Teer and Alamance County, NC, and print ads for his cures.

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JCAS article by NC archivists

Our colleagues at UNC Greensboro (and now University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for Jennifer) have a piece that was published in the Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies:

McCarty Smith, Kathelene; Gwynn, David; Koelsch, Beth Ann; and Motszko, Jennifer (2019). "“Who’s Driving the Bus?” or How Digitization Is Influencing Archival Collections," Journal of Contemporary Archival Studies: Vol. 6, Article 28. Available at:


Archivists who work directly with unique collections, as well as librarians and other professionals who coordinate digitization, generally agree that access should be prioritized. However, each group has its own goals, standards, and timelines that may conflict with those of their colleagues. The push to maximize access to collections may, in some cases, go so far as to influence collecting policies. Is the lure of rapid digitization affecting best practices of arrangement and description? If online access to the collections is the ultimate goal, and if each stakeholder has a different perspective on how best to accomplish this, who decides how to proceed? These questions led the archivists and digitization librarian at a midsize state university library to ask, “Who is driving the bus with respect to digitizing archival collections?” This question will be explored through the experiences of three digitization initiatives at the library, each of which involved a different aspect of collaboration between archivists and a digitization librarian.

Let me know of other scholarship I can help publicize within the SNCA community.

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February 24th History of Medicine lecture at ECU

Contributed by Marlena Rose

On February 24 at 4:30PM, East Carolina University’s Laupus Library will host “Emma Dupree, Pitt County Herbalist,” a lecture given by Alex Albright, MFA, English (retired ECU professor). This lecture is part of the Ruth and John Moskop History of Medicine Lecture Series and is hosted by the Medical History Interest Group.

Albright will provide an overview of the life and work of Emma Dupree, who was the subject of the 1979 ECU film Little Medicine Thing: Emma Dupree, Herbalist. Born in 1897 along the Tar River, Dupree was known as "that little medicine thing" because of her understanding of herbs at an early age. As an elderly woman, she shared much of her knowledge of the medicinal properties of native plants with physicians and medical anthropologists. Dupree received the Brown-Hudson Award from the North Carolina Folklore Society in 1984 and the North Carolina Heritage Award in 1992. She died just shy of her 100th birthday, in 1996.

Emma Dupree lecture poster

Alex Albright retired in 2018, after 37 years teaching in the ECU English department. He and his wife, Elizabeth, are proprietors of Fountain General Store, in Fountain, North Carolina, where they have lived for nearly 20 years. Alex's 2013 book, The Forgotten First: B-1 and the Integration of the Modern Navy, was a finalist for the Montaigne Prize. Among his most recent articles is "Langston Hughes in Reno," published in Nevada History in 2019.

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:

RSVP on Facebook:

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2020 C. David Jackson Memorial Student Scholarship Award Recipients

Contributed by Stephanie Barnwell

The Education Committee is pleased to announce Sarah-Esther Belinga, Carolyn Welker, and Taylor Wolford as the recipients of the 2020 C. David Jackson Memorial SNCA Student Scholarships. Their awards cover registration and expenses related to attending the 2020 SNCA Conference in Elon, NC.

Sarah-Esther Belinga is a second-semester MLIS student at UNC Greensboro. She found her place in the archival field after collaborating with several repositories in the Winston-Salem area. Presently, Sarah-Esther is a graduate instructional assistant for two undergraduate LIS classes. She also volunteers in Special Collections and University Archives at Jackson Library at UNCG. Sarah-Esther's passion lies in community-focused instruction and information literacy.

Carolyn Welker is currently pursuing her MA in Library Science at UNC Chapel Hill. She works as a graduate research assistant at the Stone Center Library, helping patrons with reference requests and curating mini-exhibits. She has previously worked for Costar, an historical clothing archive on the UNC campus, as well as Given-Tufts Memorial Archive in Pinehurst, NC. She is interested in community archiving and would love to work with minority communities in the South. In her free time, she loves to travel and read.

Taylor Wolford is a Library Associate for the Special Collections Research Center at NC State University. She works in technical services, processing manuscript collections and born-digital content. Currently, Taylor is finishing up her MA in Public History at NC State University while working toward a MSLS degree at UNC-Chapel Hill. After graduation, she intends to pursue a career working with military collections and veteran communities. She is particularly interested in documenting and preserving the stories of underrepresented populations in the military.

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New Assistant Professor and Curator of Manuscripts at UNCG

Contributed by Hollie Stevenson-Parrish

Stacey Krim photoStacey Krim has worked for UNC Greensboro’s University Libraries since 2007. Most recently, she became assistant professor and curator of manuscripts. In 2011, Krim was assigned to take over curatorial responsibilities for the Cello Music Collection in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives, including archival processing, research support, donor relations, collection development, instruction, community outreach, and marketing.

Krim has experience working in both public and technical services in public and academic libraries. She received her MA in anthropology in 2006 from East Carolina University and her MLIS from UNCG in 2008.

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2020 SNCA Annual Meeting Details

Uncovering the Hidden Labor and Faces of the Archives

Pre-conference workshops: Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Conference programming: Thursday, March 19-Friday, March 20, 2020

Registration Rates

  • SNCA Member (Early bird: by March 1): $65
  • Non-member (Early bird: by March 1): $75
  • Student SNCA Member: $40
  • Student Non-member, Volunteers, and Retirees: $45 
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