Contributed by Jonathan Dembo
The Manuscripts & Digital Curation Department of J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC announces that the papers of former ECU faculty member and U. S. Senator John P. East (R-NC) are now available for research.
Researchers may access the finding aid online at: https://digital.lib.ecu.edu/special/ead/findingaids/0513?q=east
Researchers may select items of research interest to access through the online finding aid and may make appointments to visit the repository or obtain copies of documents in the collection through the Special Collections Division’s website at: https://library.ecu.edu/specialcollections/
Senator East’s election marked a significant change in North Carolina politics and reflected changes in most of the rest of the Southeastern states. Before he was elected to the Senate in 1980, the Democrats had held the seat since Andrew Jackson won the presidency in 1828, with only two, one-term, interruptions, in the 1840s and the 1890s. After East won election in 1980, no Democrat has won reelection to the seat.
The John P. East Papers (1908 – 1986, undated [bulk: 1964 – 1986]) consist of 607 archival containers and 7 oversized folders and contain over 258 cubic feet of manuscript materials. The papers include biographical, genealogical, and historical materials relating to his life (5 May 1931 – 29 June 1986); his marriage to Priscilla Sherk East and their children; his service as an officer in the U. S. Marine Corps; his battle against poliomyelitis and the paralysis it caused; his graduate studies in political science and as a professor of Political Science at East Carolina University (1964 – 1980), including his teaching files for each of his classes, his academic and professional publications, speeches, and interviews; and also his conservative Republican political beliefs and affiliations and political career, including his several unsuccessful attempts to win political office in North Carolina (1966 – 1976), culminating in his successful campaign for and election to the United States Senate in 1980; but the bulk of the collection focuses on his service in the Senate, where he was aligned with Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) and a member of Helms' political organization, the Congressional Club; including his mailing lists, correspondence and constituent cases and projects files; his office and staff files, including files of this administrative assistants, press secretaries and legislative assistants; his political patronage and nomination files, committee and legislative activities; his voting records, newsletters, voluminous clipping files, press and public relations files, including publications, audio and video of interviews, speeches, and political events; his frequent bouts of ill health due to poliomyelitis, hyperthyroidism, urinary tract blockages, and depression, and their side effects which may have contributed to his decision not to run for reelection and his death by suicide in 1986; also including photographic prints and negatives, microfilm of committee records, correspondence, case and general files, voter registration files; and also oversized materials (1981 – 1986, undated).
For more information, please feel free to contact Prof. Jonathan Dembo, who processed and cataloged the collection. You may reach him by email or at the address below.
Professor Academic Library Services
Manuscripts & Digital Curation Department
J. Y. Joyner Library, Room #4014
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858-4353
Phone: (252) 328-2661
In April 2023, a couple of archives repositories across the state opened their doors to host SNCA members and give folks an opportunity to attend an in-person event together. Thanks to Stephanie Bennett at Wake Forest University, Adreonna Bennett at UNC Charlotte, and Joshua Hager at N.C. State Archives for arranging tours. And of course thank you to the archives folks who came out - it was nice to see some familiar faces and meet some new ones.
Here is Instruction Archivist Randi Beem doing some show and tell at UNC Charlotte's Atkins Library.
And State Archivist Sarah Koonts and Records Description Unit Supervisor Josh Hager touring folks around the State Archives.
Here's to many more tours in the future!
Contributed by Alston Cobourn
In January 2023 East Carolina University’s Records Management merged with University Archives to take better advantage of synergies between the two areas, resulting in a new department located in the Special Collections division - University History and Records. Records Manager Amy Bright moved to the division at that time, and just recently Zach Dale assumed the new position of Records and Archives Assistant. The department is now fully staffed with four FTE.
Contributed by Adina Riggins
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 fall 2023.
Submissions on archival methodology, metadata, collecting practices, outreach, and rethinking the goals of archival work in our current age, especially considering the ongoing recovery from COVID-19 and the national conversation on efforts towards antiracism, are all welcome.
The deadline for article submission is July 1, 2023 August 1, 2023. All members of the archival community, including students and independent researchers, are welcome to submit articles. Contributors need not be members of the Society of North Carolina Archivists or live in the state of North Carolina. Article proposals are welcome and encouraged.
Submission contact: email@example.com
Don't miss these offerings for Records and Information Management month at UNC Wilmington:
The Education Committee is pleased to announce Ashlie Brewer, Jillian MacKinnon, Juliana Siler, and Dylan Ward as recipients of the 2023 C. David Jackson Memorial SNCA Meeting Student Scholarship. The award provides professional development support and includes SNCA membership for a year.
Ashlie Brewer is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Public History at North Carolina State University. She works at the North Carolina Digital Heritage Center scanning, describing, and publishing North Carolina-related historical materials online from partners across the state. Ashlie is passionate about digitization, community archiving, and increasing accessibility of archival materials to all.
Jillian MacKinnon holds a BS in History from Western Carolina University and is currently pursuing an MS in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She works as the Special Projects Graduate Assistant for the Southern Historical Collection in Wilson Library. Some of her interests include government archives, local history, and the history of the American South. She is particularly passionate about amplifying the stories of historically marginalized groups found in archives and increasing access to local history in communities that lack robust archiving resources.
Juliana Siler is currently pursuing an MLS degree with a concentration in Archives and Records Management from North Carolina Central University. She previously obtained two undergraduate degrees from Elon University, where she is currently working as a staff member in Belk Archives. Her passions are making history accessible to as many people as possible and preserving it for future generations.
Dylan Ward holds a BA in Film Studies from North Carolina State University. He is a second-semester student at East Carolina University pursuing an MLS degree in Academic Libraries. Currently, he works as a graduate assistant as part of an IMLS grant on archival research for rural community libraries and archival institutions. He has particular interests in equity, inclusion, and accessibility to archives and special collections. His archival career goals include motion pictures and photography preservation, as well as rare books and manuscripts.
This year's theme for Archives Month is “The Lighter Side of Tarheelia: Fun, Frolic, and Festivals in the Old North State.” Today's post is contributed by Grace May at the Forsyth County Public Library.
October is Archives Month - woohoo! It's a month about remembering the importance of historic documents and records. Here at the Forsyth County Public Library's Archives, we have great collections that reflect the history of our county. In celebration of this, I've looked through our collections to find some fun items. Turns out lots of people have fun at festivals, so here we go.
The Arts Council Collection (201501) has boxes and boxes of documents and ephemera. 86 boxes to be exact. You can find information on the founding of the council in 1949 to the 1988 Mayfest International. Speaking of the 1988 Mayfest International in Winston-Salem, did you know that the Arts Council helped fund the event?
Mayfest International was a celebration of international cultures, food, and customs. There was a cooking contest, homemade goods available for sale, and craft demonstrations. This means you could see how to make origami, eat Puerto Rican bacalaitosfritos (fish fritters) then Italian cannolis (fried pastry filled with cream), and pick up Liberian fashions and jewelry - all in one day!
The Mayfest International Festival happened every May in Winston-Salem for 15 years until 1991 when it was canceled. There had been major financial losses for the sponsors in 1990, the Arts Council included, and they put the festival (along with another annual festival called Carolina StreetScene) "on hold." They had hoped to find more sponsors or somehow renew interest from the community, but these festivals never came back.
Not current enough for you? Well, we do have the Hispanic League Collection (201805). The Hispanic League was established in 1992 to help better the lives of the Hispanic population of Winston-Salem. That same year, they had the first Fiesta. They've continued to have a Fiesta every year. It happens during Hispanic Heritage Month (mid-September to mid-October).
It's a free event offering live music, other entertainment, food, crafts, and even recently a mini carnival. In the Hispanic League Collection, you can find promotional materials, funding and financial documents, planning records, maps of the event, correspondence, and more on these absolutely fantastic Fiestas. See below for a video from their YouTube account recapping the 2021 Fiesta. Hey, maybe even try and make it out next year!
Fiesta 2021 Recap
This year's theme for Archives Month is "The Lighter Side of Tarheelia: Fun, Frolic, and Festivals in the Old North State." Today's post is contributed by Sarah Downing from the Western Regional Archives of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
The Haywood County town of Waynesville is home to North Carolina’s International Festival—Folkmoot. Each July, troupes of folk dancers and musicians from around the globe perform, and while scores of ensembles apply, only 8-10 are selected each year.
Colorful Folkmoot dancer, ca. 2007
The event was the brainchild of Dr. Clinton Border, following a trip he took to Europe with a group of local square dancers. Border reasoned that because western North Carolina has such a rich cultural history, hosting a dance festival—featuring a myriad of cultures from around the world—would be an endeavor for which the region was well suited. His hunch was right, and since its inception in 1984, Folkmoot has hosted hundreds of dancers from scores of nations. One hundred thousand people are drawn to Waynesville each summer to see one or more of the performances.
This year’s event hosted dancers from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Ukraine as well as local cloggers and a Cherokee group.
In 2016, Western Regional Archives in Asheville received a donation of 9 cubic feet of records from Folkmoot. The Folkmoot USA Records (1983-2008) contain correspondence, photographs, and videos.
This year's theme for Archives Month is "The Lighter Side of Tarheelia: Fun, Frolic, and Festivals in the Old North State." Today's post is contributed by Kathelene McCarty Smith from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Plays and productions were an important part of early campus life at the State Normal and Industrial School (now The University of North Carolina at Greensboro). They were not only a creative outlet for the students but also an ideal way for classmates from across the state to get to know each other better. In addition to obvious social benefits, the earliest campus productions drew attention to the new school during a time when the North Carolina Legislature was making important appropriation decisions for the state’s colleges. Charles Duncan McIver, the founder and first president of the small state women’s college, was constantly defending his school and advocating for recognition and financial and political benefits.
"The Bevy of Sailor Girls," New Hanover County, 1894
In this vein, during visits of the Legislature’s Education Committee in 1894 to assess State Normal’s buildings, grounds, and administrative management, McIver planned a State County Fair, intending to show off his new school and student body from across the state. He appointed four students to plan the auspicious event, during which the Committee, local businessmen, and the general public were entertained with a competition to present the most creative skit featuring significant local products and notable historic figures from the students’ home counties. The Fair took place in the auditorium, or “chapel,” of the Main Building (now the Foust Building), and included elaborate costumes and props as well as cleverly titled banners. The skits varied greatly in size, depending on how many students were from a certain county. A particularly large group from Yadkin County incorporated corn shucks and a large bottle with a banner reading, “Yadkin furnishes corn in all its forms.” Particularly singled out were the “bevy of sailor girls” from New Hanover County who sang a rollicking version of “A Sailor’s Wife a Sailor’s Star Should Be.” Only one “plucky” girl represented Greene County, but she did so with great flair, wearing a garland of corn and holding a squealing piglet on her back. It’s hard to believe that the piglet, as well as her banner reading “hog and hominy,” did not push her into the winner’s circle. Yet the victorious county was Rockingham, represented by a cradle holding a sugar-cured ham and students dressed as nurses carrying shields representing four governors from that area of the state. Their banner declared, “Nursery of Our Governors.” For winning the day, the Rockingham girls were awarded the Grand Prize of a framed picture of Pilot Mountain. The event was a notable success and hailed as “one of the most unique entertainments ever given in the state.” Afterwards, the students were feted with oysters and hot chocolate.
“Nursery of the Governors,” Rockingham County, 1894
The County Fair program was replicated during the next Legislative Committee visit in 1897. McIver welcomed the committee at a dinner at the Benbow House Hotel in downtown Greensboro, then accompanied them back to the State Normal to see the elaborate presentation prepared for them. It began with a costumed student chorus representing the three departments of the school - Business, Domestic Science, and Pedagogy. Subsequently, there was a presentation, which featured students parading across the auditorium stage with musical accompaniment representing home counties. The audience was ecstatic at the portrayals, which sometimes incited humor, patriotism, and pathos. The Mecklenburg County offering, with students dressed as hornets, was very well received, as was the Lenoir County skit which featured students as “Cotton,” with wreathes atop their heads. As many of the students were from Guilford County, the stage was filled with girls dressed as Revolutionary soldiers sporting tricornered hats, who were soon joined by peers in dresses of white and gold, the school colors. The entire group then sang “America” with patriotic fervor. But the high point of the pageant was a mock legislative session presented by thirty-five State Normal students dressed as senators and legislators, during which the College’s appropriation budget was increased by $100,000. The moving finale included a tableau vivant which featured students from their eighty-seven home counties gathered around the Great Seal of North Carolina singing “The Old North State.”
"Cotton," Lenoir County, 1897
Yet it was not only the students who held the stage. During the 1897 Legislative visit, one member of the committee announced to the students that he believed in women’s rights and that women should have the same educational advantages as men – this was met with enthusiastic applause. He went on to praise the school by saying, “I wish to say that I believe that with everyone on the committee, that after our investigation of this institution, that not before in history has there been an institution started with such a faculty, with such buildings, with such a student body, with so little money.” McIver’s plan to win over the committee had been successful. The visitors had found the Fair entertaining, original, and instructive, and they returned to Raleigh pledging to support appropriations for the school.
Mecklenburg Hornets, 1897
By the time the Committee visited again in February 1899, the student productions had taken on a more political theme, most likely due to the Spanish-American War. The tableaux vivants included representations of “E Pluribus Unum – American Types,” “Way Down Yonder in Dixie,” and “Justice.” Also featured was a scene symbolizing the “School of Education,” in which Uncle Sam played by E. J. Forney, the College’s treasurer and professor of business, gave the Philippines, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Cuba instruction in self-government. This was a common theme after the conclusion of the Spanish-American War and reflected political cartoons of the day, which showed Uncle Sam attempting to teach a new class of unruly American territories. The production was met with “deafening applause” and considered a rousing success. The presentation ended once again with a tableau vivant of the Great Seal of North Carolina surrounded by representatives of all of the counties singing “The Old North State.” Although these early State County Fairs were obvious attempts by President McIver to sway the State Legislature, the tradition of the County Fair Day holiday on campus, which included exhibits and rides, would continue until 1920 when it was finally abolished.