2019 Historian of the Year

On October 12th at Davidson College the North Carolina Society of Historians presented Highlands Historical Society Archivist Ran Shaffner with its highest honor: 2019 Historian of the Year. "Given to an individual who has contributed, in some very special way, to researching, recording, and perpetuating North Carolina's rich history," the award focused on forty years of Shaffner's devotion to public education and active promotion of the heritage of Western N.C. In particular, he was cited for his creation, preservation, and publication of what Walter Evans in the North Carolina Historical Review has called "the definitive history of Highlands." In accepting the award, Shaffner attributed his interest in Highlands to the characters and personalities of its unique residents and their fascinating stories.

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Now Open! C. David Jackson Memorial Student Scholarship

The Education Committee is now accepting applications for C. David Jackson Memorial Student Scholarship for the annual SNCA conference at Elon University! Pre-conference workshops will begin Wednesday, March 18, 2020, and the conference will run Thursday, March 19 to Friday, March 20, 2020.

This year, the committee will award two scholarships of $500 each to support student attendance at the society’s annual meeting and pre-conference workshops. Scholarship funds may be used for meeting registration, workshops, lodging, meals, travel, and other expenses. A one-year SNCA membership is also included with the scholarship. 

Scholarship funds will be disbursed to recipients prior to the conference as a one-time payment. Applicants must be students enrolled in an archival studies, public history, or library science program in North Carolina. 
Applications must be received by Wednesday, January 15, 2020. We will notify applicants of the committee’s decisions in early February. You can find the application form and additional details here

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Updates from Central Piedmont Archives

Contributed by Erin Allsop

The finding aid database for Central Piedmont Community College is now publicly available! They are working to clean up records and enter information for new collections. Please visit archives.cpcc.edu for more information.

In collaboration with library staff, the Archives staff has created some digital exhibits using LibGuides. There is still much work to be done, but this is a great start!

Faculty Collaborations:

  • Legacy Series Project
    • Collaborating with Liz Rogers and her JOU110 students to conduct oral history interviews with Central Piedmont Retirees. These interviews will be led by student reporters, as part of their final assignment, and will be added to the Archives upon completion and will be used for future exhibits. The interviews took place on Tuesday, Nov. 5th and Thursday, Nov. 7th. Final summary and updates of the project will be shared after the new year.
  • Creative Writing Project 
    • Collaborating with Angelina Oberdan and her ENG125 students to curate creative writing poems, using archival images as prompts. These works will be incorporated into the archive collection and into exhibits.
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Upcoming lecture at ECU’s Laupus Library

Contributed by Marlena Rose

On November 11 at 4:30PM, East Carolina University’s Laupus Library will host “Coca, Cacao, and Chinchona: Medical Marvels and Curiosities from the Iberian New World,” a lecture given by Angela Thompson, Ph.D., retired ECU history 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.

When Columbus “bumped” into the lands of the New World, he hoped to find spices and gold. What he found instead in these lands he never understood were “new” plants and animals unknown in the Old World that would provide an unlimited cornucopia of foods and medicines far more valuable than gold or the spices of Asia. Coca, cacao, and chinchona are just three of these marvels from the New World that have had religious, medicinal, and food value for Native Americans and beyond. Thompson will explore the history of these and other marvelous and curious plants and animals from the New World.

lecture poster

Angela Thompson recently retired from ECU’s Department of History, where she was a professor of Latin American and Atlantic World history for 30 years. She has researched, written, and taught about the history of medicine, disease, food, and public health in the Atlantic World, among other topics.

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: https://hsl.ecu.edu/about/directions/

RSVP on Facebook here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/656394651552254/

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Exhibit on RiverLink: Asheville-Based Activism in the French Broad Watershed

UNC Asheville Special Collections recently posted a blog about their exhibit for Archives Month. Contributed by Gene Hyde.

The month of October is considered Archives Month across the nation and the theme for the upcoming year is Activism and Social Justice in North Carolina. The purpose of Archives Month is to raise awareness in the Archives and what better way to do so than to spotlight Archival collections that illustrate a passion for local activism. Our Special Collections and Archives staff are members of the Society of American Archivists, as well as the Society of North Carolina Archivists, and we are excited to participate in Archives Month as well.

On that note, UNC Asheville’s Special Collections received a collection from RiverLink in 2017, and in 2018 the collection was processed by both staff members and interns. The collection has an online finding aid and is available for researchers to use. Special Collections will also be receiving additional material from RiverLink, which we will add to the collection soon.  And because it is Archives Month and this collection is an excellent example of a local activism group, let’s take a closer look at RiverLink and the new exhibit we just installed regarding their collection.

RiverLink is an organization in Asheville that for more than three decades has protected the French Broad River and its watershed. The non-profit environmental group was formed in 1987 by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce and through the vision of Karen Cragnolin, who remained RiverLink’s director for 30 years.  RiverLink’s history, based on the ties the Asheville area has had with the French Broad for thousands of years, is a rich story of community activism.

RiverLink’s primary goal is to provide permanent access to the river for the public and to educate individuals and groups on the importance of the river and its watershed. Since its inception, RiverLink has successfully promoted the environmental and economic vitality of the river through a variety of initiatives, including community-based projects such as the development of Greenways and Blueways, riverbank restorations, and watershed plans.

Education of the public remains a core component of RiverLink’s program. The various educational programs they lead, including the French Broad RiverCamp and Voices of the River: Art and Poetry Contests, focus on hands-on learning in order to empower the next generation of youth to protect the French Broad. RiverLink also partners with various other groups in order to create a collaborative of educational opportunities, including groups such as the North Carolina ArboretumAsheville GreenWorks, and in the past, groups such as the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition.

Another of RiverLink’s fundamental values is promoting clean water. In order to advance this project, they have adopted the practice of a “riverkeeper.” RiverKeepers were long employed in the British Isles and in the late 1990s, RiverLink added a fifth RiverKeeper to their program, specifically covering the French Broad River. This position was created in order to safeguard the French Broad and to act as a public advocate for clean water throughout the 5,000 mile watershed.

At UNC Asheville’s Special Collections, one of our core drivers is documenting the diverse culture and history of Asheville and Western North Carolina. Some of our strongest collections which help to tell this story are those with ties directly to the land. In recent years, our mission has expanded in order to encompass those collections which are of interest to our undergraduate researchers, scholars, and general users - including those collections with strong environmental ties to our beloved mountain region. RiverLink’s collection is a vibrant example of the history of environmental activism in this area, and we invite you to come take a closer look at both the exhibit and the collection itself!

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Lecture at Laupus Library: 1918 Flu Epidemic

Contributed by Marlena Rose

On October 28 at 4:30PM, East Carolina University’s Laupus Library will host “Eastern North Carolina and the 1918 Influenza Epidemic,” a lecture given by Layne Carpenter, MA, Archivist at Laupus Library. This lecture is part of the Ruth and John Moskop History of Medicine Lecture Series and is hosted by the Medical History Interest Group.

Carpenter will speak about a time in history when the Great War came to an end in the fall of 1918, and a lethal disease spread across the globe. By the time the epidemic concluded in March 1919, more people died from the “Spanish” Influenza than died in the war, including an estimated 13,000 North Carolinians. This lecture will explore the deadly influenza virus strain and its rampage throughout the eastern counties of North Carolina. The impact on eastern North Carolina society, medical care, and public health will also be explored by examining primary sources from the period.

Layne Carpenter is the Archivist at Laupus Library. She completed her undergraduate degree in history at Westminster College and her MA in history and public history at UNC Charlotte. Layne has worked with special collections and museums for over nine years and has been with Laupus Library for two years. Making history accessible to the public has always been her passion, and she loves researching history, no matter the time period. After designing an exhibition about the Spanish Influenza last fall, this topic has become her latest area of study. A link to the online exhibit associated with her research can be found here.

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:  https://hsl.ecu.edu/about/directions/

RSVP on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/events/2667018776651592/

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Oral History Workshop from the State Archives of North Carolina

Contributed by Donna Kelly

The State Archives welcomes you to join us at one of our two upcoming workshops to learn about oral history and the oral history projects we are currently working on:

  • Saturday October 26 at the Outer Banks History Center – Manteo
  • Saturday November 2 at the Western Regional Archives – Asheville

Each workshop will offer 2 sessions:

  • Session A – a 2-hour session on general oral history best practices, meant for anyone who is thinking about starting their own oral history project. (10am-12pm)
  • Session B* – a 2 ½ hour session on how to be a volunteer interviewer for State Archives projects. (1:00pm-3:30pm)

*Please note, if you plan to attend Session B you must also attend Session A.

We are currently collecting interviews for two major projects:

  • “She Changed the World” – focused on interviewing notable women around the State
  • Military Collection interviews – designed to document and provide access to the memories and experiences of military servicemen and servicewomen from the state of North Carolina

Capacity is limited and registration is on a first come, first serve basis, so sign up today!

To sign up for one of the workshops, please fill out the online form here.

Or you may contact oral historian Ellen Brooks at ellen.brooks@ncdcr.gov or 919-814-6847.

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Twilight at the Country Doctor Museum

Contributed by Marlena Rose

On Saturday, October 19 from 6-8:30PM, the Country Doctor Museum will be hosting Twilight at the Museum. This event is family-friendly and features abbreviated tours, plague doctors roaming the grounds, fortune-telling, and more!

Admission will be $4/person.

See the Facebook event for more information:  https://www.facebook.com/events/433474783943750/

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A&Tiques Roadshow: Voices of Aggie Generations

Contributed by James Stewart

On October 24 & 25 at North Carolina A&T State University, the F. D. Bluford Library Archives and Special Collections and the Library Community Engagement Committee are putting on the 2nd annual "A&Tiques Roadshow," a show and tell of rare items reflecting the university's history. This year they will also be collecting oral histories from alumni, so the theme is "A&Tiques Roadshow: Voices of Aggie Generations."

Specific times of the events can be found on the library website: http://library.ncat.edu/roadshow

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Ready About!

Contributed by Kelly Spring

[This is the 6th in a series -- see also the 1st and 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 5th installments about ECU's migration to ArchivesSpace.]

We pirates have been busy in the past few months. Our scallywag data is in ArchivesSpace (AS), 95% of our digital objects are reconciled to the finding aids, our authorities database is up and running, and the crew is fully using the AS staff interface. We’re preparing to tack towards the public user interface, so avast ye, mates! A new look is coming!

In true pirate fashion, we’ve commandeered our own PUI. New features of the frontend interface will include digital object integration, the ability to search across all repositories, highlighted search results, and a built-in request system.

search results for Pirate

Not to mention, the staff are ecstatic about directly importing EADs complete with digital objects and authorities! No more enticing the developer with Swedish fish and root beer barrels to script in container lists, and no more stockpiling Truffles (Confectionery) in case of cataloging mutiny. When can ye landlubbers expect to see the kumquats of our labor? Look for our new interface to come about just in time for the winter holidays.

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