U-Boat, Right Ahead!

Contributed by Travis Souther

Did you know a German U-Boat once sailed up the Cape Fear River right into the port of Wilmington? The U-117 was launched in December 1917 and commissioned into the Imperial Germany Navy on March 28, 1918. During its first four months at war, the ship sank 20 vessels and damaged 4 others.

postcard of U-117

Thankfully, when the German submarine entered the port of Wilmington it was not on a mission of ill-intent. The vessel’s first four months at war were its only four months at war.

The submarine was surrendered to the victorious Allies on November 21, 1918, 10 days after the armistice ending World War I. In the weeks that followed, the United States expressed an interest in obtaining a number of Germans subs as prizes of war to serve as floating exhibits for a Victory Bond Campaign. In March 1919, the U-117 became one of six subs given to the United States. The vessel was transported back to the United States and opened to the public for the enjoyment of tourists, photographers, reporters, and military and civilian engineers.

Sailing up and down the East Coast, the U-117 made ports of call in Philadelphia, PA; Wilmington, DE; Charleston, SC; Wilmington, NC; Norfolk, VA; Baltimore, MD; Annapolis, MD; and finally Washington, DC. The postcard images seen here show the submarine tied up along docks in Wilmington, NC. Prominent signs on the sub’s conning tower display posters for the Victory Bond Campaign.

On June 21, 1921, the submarine was anchored 50 nautical miles off Cape Charles, VA and used by naval aircraft for target practice. The submarine went to a watery grave within 7 minutes.

postcard of U-117
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Michelle Francis Scholarship Awarded

The Development Committee is happy to announce that Finley Turner has been awarded the Michelle Francis Scholarship. This award covers costs associated with attending the annual conference for archive professionals who may not otherwise attend.

Finley Turner is a recent MLIS graduate from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She currently works in two positions as an archives technician at UNCG helping to clean up metadata from migration projects and as an archives assistant at Wake Forest University performing a variety of duties from reference to creating finding aids.

Ms. Turner is participating in the presentation "What a Tangled Web We Weave: Two Data Migration Projects at UNC Greensboro" at this year's conference in Wilmington.

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New hire at ECU’s Joyner Library

Contributed by Alston Cobourn

photo of Patrick Cash

East Carolina University’s Joyner Library is pleased to welcome new Assistant University Archivist Patrick Cash.  Patrick previously worked at Mars Hill University outside Asheville, North Carolina.  He earned his undergraduate degree there before earning a Master’s Degree in History at East Tennessee State University.  He then returned to Mars Hill to work in their Special Collections department and teach History, including an Introduction to Oral History course.  Patrick’s enthusiasm and expertise have been a huge benefit to the department since he began working at ECU in January. You can contact Patrick at cashpa18@ecu.edu.

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Scurvy Dog

Contributed by Kelly Spring

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

When our manuscript container list database showed signs of Roman numerals mixed with numbers, duplicate boxes, sub-sub-series, container lists that start with box #3, and, I’m not kidding, an entire series devoted to "Empty Photo Albums" (really?!?), we knew we needed to go straight to the naval surgeon. 

Enter our Lead Programmer and months of painstaking work. It was immediately apparent that updating the container lists from EAD would have required replacing the whole record and breaking accession links. Importing the container lists from our local database into AT and pushing the AT-AS migration tool was considered. However, in testing that method the migration would run for hours before producing results. Blimey!

So, the Lead Programmer tested the Harvard Excel import template’s ability to handle hierarchy, instance types, and date strings with multiple dates (of which there were thousands).  He ran reports to assess the number and scale of issues, often conversing with the migration team on the value of retaining data as-is. This, too, ended up not being the most viable option for our migration.

Ultimately, our Lead Programmer studied the AS database schema while the migration team created and updated test records directly in AS to illustrate structure, allowing him to work backward to the migration code. He developed a console application that restructured the container lists from our local database, wiped existing AS container lists, and generated a ship-load of SQL commands that were saved and then run to insert the container lists into AS. As the team worked on running the script, we checked to see that we implemented series properly, handled boxes spanning across series correctly, and checked the accuracy of merged container lists for partially processed collections. We had a surgical scare when we thought that the top container relationships flatlined and went missing. Thankfully, though, a full re-index was all it took to bring them back from the brink.

Now that the container lists are in AS, it’s back to data cleanup and quality control for this crew. We’ve identified 50 collections (out of about 2,000) that came out of SQL surgery with known errors such as duplicate box and folder instances. Currently, a sub-team is looking at data mapping for the resource descriptions, consulting our online collection guides to validate the container lists against AS, and double checking the physical material for numbering discrepancies. Our sails might be shortened, but we’ve replenished our stock of vitamin C and will soon be able to haul wind towards our digital objects.

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2019 SNCA Election Results

The results are in! The new 2019-2020 Executive Committee Members are as follows:

President: Dawne Howard Lucas

Vice President/Programming Chair: Chrystal Carpenter

Education Committee Chairperson: Joshua Hager

Electronic Resources Chairperson: Anna Peitzman

Development Committee Chairperson: Hugh O'Connor

Membership Committee Chairperson: Thomas Flynn

Secretary: Erin Allsop

The new Board members will begin their positions on May 1, 2019. Many thanks to the Nominating Committee members Katie Howell, Kathelene McCarty Smith, Matthew Peek, and Rebecca Petersen May (chair).

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New accessions at ECU Manuscript Collection

Contributed by Dale Sauter

#1342 Benjamin W. Daniels and Mabel A. Grant Daniels Papers

Included are a copy of the Daniels-Murphrey Family History compiled and edited by Eleanor Daniels Casey in 1993, a photograph of the USS Nebraska on which Benjamin Daniels of Wayne County, North Carolina, sailed to Europe during WWI, and three photographs of Benjamin Daniels in his WWI US Navy uniform.

#1343 1st Battalion, 1st NC Volunteer Infantry, in Cuba Collection

The four-month stay in Cuba of the 1st Battalion, 1st North Carolina Volunteers, from December 1898 through March 1899 is documented in these sixty amateur albumen photographs with captions. The photographs are 3 1/2" x 3 3/8" in 5 1/2" x 5 1/2" mounts. The soldiers arrived in Havana, Cuba, the day after the Treaty of Paris was signed ending the Spanish American War.

#936 Vertical File Collection (Addition 15)

This ca. 1910 cabinet photograph is of the C. T. Munford store located at 402-404 South Evans Street in Greenvillle (Pitt County), North Carolina.

#1345 Goldsboro, NC, Store Ledger

This ledger (1873-1874) chronicles the stock sold at a Goldsboro, North Carolina, store including, among other items, turpentine, staves, hoops, chicks, postage, timber, and bbls (barrels), and also mentions labor, hauling, and “stilling.”

#1346 Stallings Air Force Base, Kinston, NC, Collection

This collection documents Stallings Air Force Base for the years 1952 and 1953 through 44 slides (most are identified with names and dates) and ephemera such as scrapbook pages containing photographs and notes, a Christmas card, a dinner program, newspaper clippings, a base map, and a pilot training certificate.

#0294 Pitt County Historical Society Papers (Addition 18)

This addition includes Historical Society minutes and financial information (2005-2014), photographs (original and copies) gathered for possible use in Vol. II of the Pitt County Chronicles, and documents related to the historic Red Banks Primitive Baptist Church after it was deeded to the Historical Society in 2000. The remaining material (previously stored in the Red Banks Church) includes published Primitive Baptist Association Minutes for North Carolina and other states, the Red Banks Home Demonstration Club minutes and correspondence (1946-1950), large oval photographs of George W. Stokes and his wife Mary Ann Hardee, scan prints of Cherry family members, old Greenville advertising fans, a scrapbook for the Town & Country Senior Citizens Club (1978-1999), and 35 8mm reels of home movies (1947-1967) made by the Keel family of Greenville, N.C. North Carolina Primitive Baptist Association minutes were transferred to the North Carolina Collection in Joyner Library. 

#1323 Pitt County, N.C., Schools Historical Records (Addition 2)

Correspondence (1967-1970) with Superintendent of the Pitt County Board of Education Arthur S. Alford; printed memos (1968-1972) from the Pitt County Board of Education and Superintendent Arthur S. Alford; Plain Talk newsletter (Nov.-Dec. 1971); operational data; lists (1968-1971) of Board of Education members, teachers and staff, and attendees at workshops; and health certificates. Also included are documents related to State of North Carolina Teachers’ and State Employees’ Retirement System (1970-1971), financial and salary matters (1962, 1967-1970), and athletics (1968-1969). 

#1347 Brake Family Papers

Included are a Brake Family History; a survey (1984) and history of the Brake Family Cemetery located near the corner of Cokey Road and Calhoun Road in Rocky Mount, North Carolina; a deed and a marriage license; documents (1957-1980) related to the West Edgecombe Volunteer Fire Department which included volunteer firefighter Robert Earl Brake; tobacco sale bills (1926-1933, undated) from several warehouses in Rocky Mount;  and a 1931-1932 Faculty and Student Directory for N.C. State.

#CR0004 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Papers (Additions 1 and 2)

Records (1990s-2018) of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greenville, North Carolina, including newsletters, bulletins, by-laws, reports, financial information, publications, photographs, correspondence, and clippings; and information concerning outreach ministries, the process of building and financing the new church building (including the stained-glass windows), and the purchase and installation of the C. D. Fisk organ.

#1169-017 Stuart Wright Collection: Fred Chappell Papers (Addition 3)

This addition includes correspondence (2008-2017) between Stuart Wright and Fred and Susan Chappell which also contains drafts of poems, photographs, and programs; and an original painting (2012) titled “René Magritte, Siegfried, Wo bist du?” (After “The Hat” by René Magritte) by Fred Chappell’s good friend, artist and illustrator, Fritz Janschka.  The painting is part of Janschka’s Homages to the Masters (and Mistresses) series.

#MN0015 Miscellaneous Newspapers: The London American: London, England

Included is the July 30, 1862, issue of  The London American.

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Vote in the 2019 SNCA Executive Board Elections!

Please vote in the election for the 2019-2020 SNCA Executive Board. ACCESS THE BALLOT HERE

Election voting will be open until March 1, 2019. You can learn more about the candidates here and read the SNCA Constitution and Bylaws here.

Please let the Nominating Committee know if you have any questions or concerns.
SNCA Nominating Committee

Rebecca Petersen May (Chair)    
Katie Howell

Kathelene McCarty Smith
Matthew Peek  

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2019 C. David Jackson Memorial Student Scholarship Award Winners

Contributed by Liz Adams

The Education Committee is pleased to announce Anicka Austin and Michell Gilman as the recipients of the 2019 C. David Jackson Memorial SNCA Student Scholarships. Their awards cover registration and expenses related to attending the 2019 SNCA Conference in Wilmington, NC.

Anicka Austin is a Carolina Academic Library Associate at UNC Chapel Hill. She works as a graduate research assistant in Wilson Special Collections Library, focusing on archiving performing arts and student organizations for the University Archives. She is ecstatic that she can go to a performance almost every week living in the Triangle. Some of her favorites from this academic year were Camille Brown’s INK, Lucas Debargue (piano), and Hilton Als’ Lives of the Performers. She is pursuing a career that would combine social justice archival practices, performing arts, and joyful wandering in beautiful places.

Michell Gilman came to North Carolina from Oregon to pursue her MA degree in anthropology at East Carolina University. After earning her MA degree, she went on to pursue her MLS at ECU, where she is in her final semester. Michell is passionate about cultural heritage preservation, and her career aspirations are focused on public outreach and community archives within a special collections or archives library. Currently, Michell enjoys her work a graduate assistant at ECU’s Joyner Library, where she assists the staff in the special collections, archives, and scholarly communications departments.

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Oral histories at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

For the past 20 years, the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Raleigh has been recording oral histories of its members, including both long-time members and those who grew up in the congregation. They use the interviews in a variety of ways:

  • during senior luncheons, they can share comments about the church
  • when pastors are preparing a homily for a funeral service, they can incorporate personal anecdotes
  • as background/context for displays about the church

These oral histories now number 60, and Kenneth Marks, the Archivist/Records Manager for the church, has plans to do more interviews. They recently migrated these oral histories from their original cassette tapes to CDs. They also produce transcripts of the interviews that are available for loan through the church library.

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University Libraries Welcomes Jo Klein as Geospatial and Data Visualization Librarian

Contributed by Hollie Stevenson-Parrish

Jo Klein photoJo Klein has been hired as the geospatial and data visualization librarian and assistant professor at UNC Greensboro’s University Libraries, where she will provide consultation services and training to support the geospatial/GIS and data visualization needs of faculty, staff, and students. Klein will also serve as the library liaison to the Department of Geography, Environment, and Sustainability.

Previously, Klein worked as a contractor for Oak Ridge Associated Universities in the Epidemiology Branch of the US Environmental Protection Agency, supporting research through geospatial and data analysis, web-app development, and lab tests.

Klein holds a bachelor of science in biology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and earned her master of library and information studies degree from UNCG in December 2018. While in the graduate program, she completed a practicum with Elon University's Archives and Special Collections, where she created an interactive online timeline of Elon’s presidents for the presidential inauguration pop-up exhibit.

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