Weighing Anchor

Contributed by Kelly Spring

[This is the 7th in a series -- see also the 1st and 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 5th and 6th installments about ECU's migration to ArchivesSpace.]

Commandeering a ship can be a complex, difficult, and risky business. As pirates you’d think we’d prefer our migration to be a hit-and-run raid of data and turn-key solutions. Not us! Instead, we chose to survey our crew for their functional requirements and scout the shipping lanes for design inspiration. After months of testing the rigging, stockpiling sea biscuits, trimming out the galleries, and checking the jackstays, our new public user interface is under full sail!

ECU Libraries Collection Guides

Users will be quick to get their sea legs with new features such as the unification of all ECU Libraries archival collections, improved ease of use, highlighted search results, and even a little user-friendly humor.

About ECU Collection Guides

But we didn’t stop at keel depth. Our interface includes a custom-built request system taking our project all the way to the crow’s nest!

Earhart Collection bib record

In addition to requesting archival material, the in-house request system allows users to request Special Collection’s rare books as well as non-circulating material in the North Carolina Collection directly from the library catalog.

ECU Request for Onsite Use

Curious about the code at the helm? On the public user interface, our EAD publication looks like a standard Carolina Two-Step: Export from ArchivesSpace, publish to the interface. Don’t be fooled, though, pirate tricks are running in the background! One bit of code programmatically matches component unique identifiers against digital objects, while another bit lets the interface talk to our authorities database to pull names and subjects as linked data.

ECU Libraries Name Authority

In our request system, the program queries ArchivesSpace for the location codes of top containers to generate call slips. The system also includes the ability to request material down to the item-level using the component unique identifier. This feature is invaluable when tracking through processes such as conservation, digitization, or exhibition! For example, the material being tracked below is folder c from collection 0323, box 2b.

ECU Active Components

Have a look around, mateys, and let us know what you think! Email your comments to springk18@ecu.edu.

The address for our public user interface is https://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/.
You can pillage our code at https://github.com/ECULibraries/ead-frontend.


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New Interim Head of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives at UNC Greensboro

Contributed by Hollie Stevenson-Parrish

Kathelene McCarty Smith photoKathelene McCarty Smith has been appointed interim head of UNC Greensboro’s Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives following the departure of Keith Gorman in 2019. Smith is an assistant professor in University Libraries and, until this appointment, served as instruction and outreach archivist. She earned a BA in history and an MA in art history from Louisiana State University. She also holds a master’s degree in library and information studies from UNCG. Smith’s research has involved the role of academic libraries in fostering life-long learning, primary source outreach in the K-12 community, and the mobilization of North Carolina’s women’s colleges during World War I.

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Spring 2020 Medical History Group Lecture Series at ECU

Contributed by Marlena Rose

Laupus Health Sciences Library at East Carolina University is pleased to announce the Spring 2020 Medical History Group Lecture Series. These lectures are sponsored as part of the Ruth and John Moskop History of Medicine Lecture Series.

Spring 2020 ECU lecture series poster

Monday, January 27 @ 4:30

Accident at Compound 19: Unraveling A Cold War Medical Mystery
David Durant, MLS, Collection Development Librarian for Federal Documents and Social Sciences, Joyner Library

Monday, February 24 @ 4:30

Emma Dupree, Pitt County Herbalist
Alex Albright, MFA, English (retired)

Monday, April 13 @ 4:30 pm

The Scientific Revolution in Management Efficiency and Its Effects on American Medical Practice from the Early Twentieth Century On
William C. Wood, MD, Col. (USAFR) Ret., Cardiovascular Sciences (retired)

These events are free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided. The lectures will also feature pop-up displays.

For directions and parking information, visit: https://hsl.ecu.edu/about/directions/

Lectures may be video recorded. For the presentation schedule and an archive of our previous recordings, visit: https://hsl.ecu.edu/events/mhig-lectures/

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Statement about salary information in job ads

During our last meeting, the SNCA executive board approved adding a statement to our website encouraging employers to include salary information in job ads posted on the SNCA listserv:

"Although SNCA does not require that you include a salary figure in your job ad, we believe that including this information is advantageous to both the job seeker and the employer and we encourage you to include such a figure in all job ads that you may place with us."

This statement is consistent with the statement posted by the Society of American Archivists (SAA). In addition to this post, you can find this statement on our Job Resources Page and our Follow SNCA page.

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An Archivist’s Tale, SNCA style

It caught my attention that the last two episodes of An Archivist's Tale feature North Carolina archivists, so I went looking to see if other SNCA folks are represented. Here's what I found:

  • Episode 31: Things We Need to Know about Ourselves (Tanya Zanish-Belcher
  • Episode 96: That Mechanism That Can Improve People's Lives (Chrystal Carpenter)
  • Episode 97: Once the Sallie Bingham Center Got Its Hooks in Me (Kelly Wooten)
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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.
  • Archives Month Chair: The Archives Month chair serves for 2 years and is responsible for coordinating the state-wide theme and outreach for Archives Month (October).
  • 2 Members-at-Large (both are 2-year terms):
    • RAAC Representative: This member at-large serves as liaison to the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Regional Archival Association Consortium (RAAC) and will receive a travel stipend to attend the SAA Annual Meeting.
    • New professional/student member: This member at-large must be a graduate student or a professional in the first 5 years of professional work and serves as liaison to library schools across the state.
  • Treasurer: Responsible for managing the finances of SNCA, including a bank account, payments and donations to the organization, and issuing payments. Nominees must have 2 years of membership in SNCA to qualify. (2-year term)
  • Publications Chair: Responsible for coordinating publications including the SNCA Newsletter/Blog, J-SNCA, and social media (Facebook/Twitter). The chair serves on the editorial board of J-SNCA and participates in and delegates other communications.

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 January 10, 2020, at https://forms.gle/3MkggdjbwGn7rRFL8. If you have additional questions, please direct them to the Nominating Chair.

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WWII NC Military Base Newsletters Online

Contributed by Matthew Peek

The State Archives of North Carolina’s Military Collection is excited to announce the publication online of the first half of its original wartime holdings of North Carolina military installation camp newsletters and newspapers from World War II. As part of a two-year digitization project begun in 2018 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of World War II, the State Archives has been digitizing its unique, and in some cases, complete runs of newsletter issues published by official military officials and various base units during the war.

Most of these newsletters were collected between 1942 and 1947 and have been available for research by the public at the State Archives since 1947. However, the State Archives saw a need to place all of the newsletters online in order to increase statewide, national, and international use of the invaluable information contained within.

Many of these newsletters were informally published by the various units while they were stationed at bases such as Fort Bragg for a year or two during the war. They had varying sections and topics discussed, with much of the information and news bent towards the humorous side to make the service individuals laugh. Individuals in the units with artistic skills contributed original artwork and cartoons for the newsletters, many featuring soldiers in funny situations, lessons regarding service life, or having to do with women (often with sexual innuendo included).

One of the most important things about the newsletters — especially those published by camp or base officials — are that they contain names of individuals in military units (including training units), civilian workers in various departments on base (such as mail clerks at the Charlotte Quartermaster Depot), female civilian and military personnel working at the installations, and news of casualties from those in the war formerly stationed at those bases.

cover of 1942 Camp Lejeune newsletter

These newsletters also contain information regarding military entertainment, parades, and sports games that were put on off and on base for civilians in the North Carolina communities surrounding the military installations. They contain some of the rarest information about life in North Carolina communities during WWII (apart from regular newspapers). The newsletters provide some of the most detailed information on the arrival of female military reservists at North Carolina military installations between 1943 and 1944, including the integration of Women’s Reservists at Camp Lejeune.

Although some of these newsletters’ issues have existed in various local libraries and universities around the state, the newsletter issues contained by the State Archives’ Military Collection are some of the most complete runs for newsletters from major bases such as Camp Lejeune, Camp Davis, Morris Field, and Elizabeth City Naval Air Station. Also included are a large number of Army press releases from Camp Butner between 1942 and January 1944.

As of November 15, 2019, the first half of these newsletters have been digitized and placed online through the digital WWII collection in the North Carolina Digital Collections (NCDC), a joint effort of the State Archives of North Carolina and State Library of North Carolina.

The remaining newsletters, including the majority of the Camp Lejeune newsletters, will be placed online by the end of December 2019. All of the original newsletters can be viewed in-person at the State Archives’ public Search Room in the North Carolina Military Camps Publications collection (WWII 5) in the WWII Papers of the Military Collection. A draft of the collection’s finding aid is currently available online on the landing page for World War II Papers.

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SNCA West social

Contributed by Sarah Downing

Social gathering of the SNCA Western Contingent last Friday evening. Professionals from UNC Asheville, Biltmore, Warren Wilson College, and Western Regional Archives (State Archives) represented!

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Meet your President: Dawne Lucas

What jobs have you had in the archival realm?

Dawne Lucas pictureAs a graduate student, I processed archival collections at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After I graduated, I became the Head of Technical Services for the Duke University Medical Center Archives. In 2013, I became a Special Collections Librarian at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Health Sciences Library. In 2018, Health Sciences Library special collections moved across campus to the Wilson Special Collections Library, where I am now a technical services archivist.

What is your educational background?

I have an MA in Public History from North Carolina State University and an MSLS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to pursuing my graduate degrees, I double majored in History and Media and Journalism from the UNC-Chapel Hill. Before attending graduate school, I worked at a television station in Raleigh and an apartment community in Durham.

What is your favorite part of your job and what do you consider to be the most important part of your job?

Right now my favorite part of my job is implementing ArchivesSpace. I also consider it to be the most important part of my job.

Tell us about something you're particularly proud of from your job or your institution.

I am proud that my colleagues work together to make sure we are doing the best we can to provide access to our collections, including evaluating and changing established procedures. Our profession is changing, and sometimes decisions that made sense years ago don't make sense today. Change can be hard, but well thought out changes usually pay off in the end.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a similar career?

My advice is to get involved in professional organizations such as SNCA. It’s a great way to network and build your resume. Don’t be intimidated to join committees or run for positions. Many professional organizations rely heavily on their members to serve on committees to plan events, set policies, etc. – those organizations can’t exist without you! I also encourage new professionals to apply for scholarships, such as SNCA’s C. David Jackson Memorial Scholarship. Organizations want to award this money to make conference attendance and participation easier for its members. The worst thing that can happen to you if you apply is that you don’t win.

Who has been key to shaping your professional outlook?

There are numerous people throughout North Carolina who have shaped my professional outlook. In addition to mentors, professors, and colleagues at NC State, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Duke, I have been influenced by SNCA members throughout the state. Some of these key people no longer live in North Carolina and I rarely see them, but I hold on to the nuggets of wisdom that they passed on to me.

What do you hope to accomplish during your time in SNCA leadership?

I have served on various SNCA committees since 2004 and have seen the organization change and grow during that time. Before becoming the VP/Program Chair in 2018, I took a break from serving on SNCA committees for several years and missed being involved in the organization. I am
now looking forward to helping to guide SNCA into the next decade.

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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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