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.
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 Jennifer Daugherty at East Carolina University.
The first Pitt County American Legion Agricultural Fair opened to the public on Tuesday, Sept. 21, 1920, at what is now Guy Smith Stadium on Memorial Drive in Greenville, North Carolina. For the first decade or so of the fair, it was a tradition to have an hour-long parade along Dickinson Avenue leading to the fairgrounds at the fair’s opening.
Above is an image from the official 1958 Pitt County Fair program along with this vintage photo from the Daily Reflector Negative Collection. You can see more images from the Pitt County Fair in East Carolina University’s Digital Collections.
Contributed by Sarah Downing
The SNCA Archives Month Committee is excited to announce “The Lighter Side of Tarheelia: Fun, Frolic, and Festivals in the Old North State” as the theme for Archives Month 2022. Kickback and relax as we highlight pleasant pastimes—family reunions, county fairs, beach trips, church picnics and assorted shindigs. North Carolina hosts a myriad of festivals to celebrate everything from azaleas to mullet to bluegrass to white squirrels. What does your institution hold that documents merriment and festivity? Let’s come together and share the diversity of what and how we celebrate in the Tar Heel State.
Use this form to submit Events and Exhibits on our Archives Month Calendar:
And this form to submit photographs for Archives Month Posters and Bookmarks:
East Carolina University is pleased to announce the completion of a year-long project to set up a born-digital archiving workflow.
First, we’ve got an in-house app to register and track accessions through bagging, processing, and access.
Second, we set up bagger to bag the accessions.
Third, we have a virtual machine to run ClamAV and Autopsy for minimally processing files.
Fourth, we set up access through our existing Digital Collections platform. For example, see https://digital.lib.ecu.edu/64445. Born-digital files are also linked from the finding aid.
Finally, we created a user flow diagram for in-house reference as well as for sharing with those who want to geek out with us!
For more information on this project please email Kelly Spring at email@example.com.
Contributed by Alston Cobourn
In 2021, East Carolina University received a Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) EZ grant to digitize theses and dissertations and provide access to them through The ScholarShip institutional repository. Through this one-year grant, 1,327 works were digitized, and so far approximately 450 have been added to the repository. The works will be freely available online to all or to those with a campus login depending on copyright limitations. This grant also provided the opportunity to engage alumni by inviting them to participate in the project and to share information about library programming and services.
WRA has assisted thousands of researchers from over 35 states and 25 countries in person, by telephone, and via email. Very popular with students and scholars are the WRA’s collections involving Black Mountain College, an experimental liberal arts school that operated near the town of Black Mountain from 1933-1956.
Sarah Downing, Archivist (left) and Heather South, Lead Archivist (right) are the cheerful staff at the Western Regional Archives.
Since its inception, over 100 private, organizational, and audio-visual collections have made their way into the WRA’s holdings. Volunteers and interns have contributed thousands of hours to help process them.
Western Regional Archives is located on the third floor of the Western Office of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources at 176 Riceville Road. The Search Room is open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
The Education Committee is pleased to announce Madison Evans, Shima Hosseininasab, Ariel Matthews, and Lovenia Morrill as recipients of the 2022 C. David Jackson Memorial SNCA Meeting Student Scholarship. The award provides professional development support and includes SNCA membership for a year.
Madison Evans holds a BA in Pan Africana Studies from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, the first degree-granting historically Black college/university (HBCU) in the United States. Currently, she is pursuing an MS in Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She works as a graduate assistant in Research and Instruction Services at Wilson Library. Madison is passionate about building and preserving Africana collections and increasing pathways for Black genealogical research.
Shima Hosseininasab is pursuing a doctoral degree in Public History at North Carolina State University. Currently, she works as a graduate assistant at Special Collections Research Center, NC State University Libraries. Her interest resides in documenting, preserving, and facilitating access to architectural records of communities of color. She is particularly passionate about using digital archives and tools to increase the discoverability and accessibility of archival collections.
Ariel Matthews is currently in her penultimate semester of an MS in Library Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She works at Given Memorial Library & Tufts Archive, the heart of the community in Pinehurst, NC. Her passions lie in making the history of this community available for generations to come as well as fostering a love of reading in those generations. She is also a devoted mother and military wife.
Lovenia Morrill is a second-semester MLIS student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is passionate about information literacy and closing the digital divide. She has previously worked as a Digital Navigator for the Homework Gap project at the State Library of North Carolina and will soon begin a temporary position as a technical library assistant for the Mountain Area Health Education Center. Her archival career goals include records management and digitization, research support, and public outreach.