Monday, April 18, 2016

SCUA at Reunion Weekend: Welcoming back the Class of 1966!

On Friday, April 15 as part of the University's Reunion Weekend activities, staff of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives set up a large exhibit on University history and the University in the 1960s in the Pre-Function Room of the EUC Auditorium. Members of the Class of 1966 were able to reminisce while looking at photographs of former faculty members, gym suits, yearbooks, scrapbooks, and other items from their time on campus. Materials from members of the Class of 1966 who were veterans were also on display.









Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wondrous Works: Illuminated Manuscripts from Three Continents February 2016 - May 2016

Special Collections and University Archives at UNCG’s University Libraries has mounted an exhibit highlighting the rich tradition of illuminated manuscripts in Europe, India, Persia, Ethiopia, and Armenia.  By presenting these works within a global perspective, the exhibit, Wondrous Works: Illuminated Manuscripts From Three Continents, strives to broaden our understanding of the history of the book, the influence of artistic trends on illuminated works, and the cultural contact and cultural exchange amongst peoples. 

Working with local bookman Norman Smith and his collection of rare works, the exhibit features manuscripts that were created during or shortly after the invention of movable type in 1454.  Despite the wide spread adoption of print technology, the exhibit reveals a continued interest and market for illuminated works well into the 1600s.

The term manuscript comes from the Latin word for “handwritten.”  Before the invention of movable type, all books had to be written out by hand.  It was a time-consuming and labor-intensive process that could take months or years to complete.  Some manuscripts were made even more special by the process of “illumination.”  This term comes from the Latin word for “lit up” or “enlightened” and refers to the use of bright colors and precious metals to embellish initial letters or to portray whole scenes.

The Hodges Reading Room is open to the public from 9 AM - 5 PM, Monday - Friday.

The exhibit closes on May 20, 2016.

- Keith Gorman

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Student Researcher positions with University Archives for 2016-2017 academic year!

Beginning in October 2017, UNCG will be celebrating the 125th anniversary of the opening of the institution as the State Normal and Industrial School. In anticipation of this year-long celebration, many departments and units across campus will be researching their organizational histories and using the resources in University Archives to plan and promote their commemorative events. To assist with these efforts, we will be hiring six student researchers in University Archives during the 2016-2017 academic year.

These positions are only open to undergraduate and graduate students who will be enrolled at UNCG during the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters. Each student researcher will be expected to work 10-12 hours during the academic year (pay rate is $10 per hour). Preference will be given to students who are able to work the complete academic year (as opposed to just the Fall 2016 semester).

Available positions are:

Archives Researcher (2 positions available; upper level undergraduate or graduate students preferred). The archives researchers will work with departments and units across campus to conduct historical research, add entries to our online encyclopedia, write blog posts on key subjects in university history, select and scan photos for use in other publications/websites, etc. Previous research experience in an archives is welcomed, but not required. A demonstrated interest in history, strong research and writing skills, and the ability to learn quickly are the biggest requirements.

Oral History Researcher (2 positions available; graduate students preferred but upper level undergraduates with an interest in oral history will be considered). The oral history researchers will conduct oral history interviews with key individuals in UNCG's history. These researchers will also conduct preliminary archival research, create transcriptions of interviews, work on indexing existing interviews to enhance access (using OHMS), and create snippets of interviews for use in promotional videos and websites. Previous experience conducting oral history interviews or archival research is strongly desired, but we would consider training the right person. We definitely want these people to have strong communications skills (oral and written) and a keen attention to detail. This person should also be comfortable with learning new technologies.

Exhibits Designer (1 position available; graduate/undergraduate student with an interest in history or exhibits design). The exhibits designer will work with the SCUA staff as well as the other student researchers to develop online and physical exhibits focused on university history. We would strongly prefer a student who is familiar with Photoshop and basic HTML. Previous experience with archival research would be nice, but not required. This position is one that will be collaborating with many others, so an ability to juggle tasks and communicate effectively is necessary.

Marketing and Events Planner (1 position available; graduate/undergraduate student with an interest in communications and marketing). The marketing and events planner will coordinate events and activities aimed at educating current students about university history in fun and innovative ways. This may include working with Student Affairs and other student groups to incorporate university history in existing events. This person will also assist in coordinating social media efforts in University Archives. This position requires strong communications skills (written and oral), strong organizational skills, and an ability to think creatively in order to reach desired groups.


If you are interested in working as a student researcher in the University Archives during the 125th anniversary celebration, email SCUA@uncg.edu, including your resume along with a cover letter that addresses why you are interested in the job. Please be sure to indicate which of the student researcher position or positions you are interested in. Initial application reviews and interviews will take place in late March/early April.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Act of Establishment Creating UNCG -- 125 Years Ago Today!!

Today marks the 125th anniversary of the passage of the bill that established the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG). On February 18, 1891, the General Assembly of North Carolina agreed to fund a "normal" (teaching) school for women. The act appropriated $10,000 per year for maintenance of the school, but did not include any money to support contribution, land, or other facilities costs. In fact, the act stated that "the institution shall be located ... at some suitable place where the citizens thereof shall furnish the necessary buildings of money sufficient to erect them."

Class of 1893, the first graduating class of State Normal
In June 1891, Greensboro was selected as the official site for this new school, making a bid of $30,000 plus a site location. The chairman of the school's founding Board of Directors, Major S.M. Finger, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, stated, "I congratulate Greensboro on the result. I believe this is the proper place for [the school]. The Piedmont is the coming part of the State."

Stop by Jackson Library between 1pm and 3pm to see a pop-up exhibit featuring the actual charter, the letter received by Charles Duncan McIver naming his as the first president of the school, and many more photographs and other records from the earliest years of UNCG.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

New Air Force Recruiting Posters in the Women Veterans Historical Project


Recruiting posters and brochures are a great resources not only for information about the U.S. military, but also for the history of graphic design and cultural attitudes about women.

The Women Veterans Historical Project recently acquired two new WAF (Women in the Air Force) recruiting posters.

In the dark about your future? enjoy travel...prestige...and excellent job opportunities in the WAF is from 1960 and was designed by the team of John Morning and Sheldon Streisand (sadly, no relation to Barbra).  This poster packs quite a visual punch!

 http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/ref/collection/WVHP/id/10374




Forecast with a smile--who cares about the weather? is from 1968. Well, it IS the first lieutenant's job, so I hope her commanding officer cares!

Monday, February 1, 2016

New Online Exhibit on African Americans at UNCG: A Collaboration between the University Libraries and Google

Starting today, over 200 records from UNCG's University Archives can be viewed online by people around the world due to a new partnership between the Google Cultural Institute and the UNCG University Libraries. Staff in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives and the Libraries' Electronic Resources and Information Technologies departments uploaded the records and built the online exhibit "African Americans at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, 1892-1971."

Pete [last name unknown] and Ezekiel Robinson, early 1890s

This exhibit traces the history of African American faculty, staff, and students at UNCG, from its opening as the State Normal and Industrial School in 1892 until 1971. Through digitized photographs and documents as well as audio clips from oral history interviews conducted as part of the African American Institutional Memory Project, viewers can learn more about African American employees on campus prior to desegregation, Jim Crow-era debates over the use of facilities by African Americans, the fight to integrate the student body, student involvements in the sit ins and protest movements of the early 1960s, the founding of the Neo-Black Society in 1968, and the hiring of the first African American faculty members.


JoAnne Smart and Bettye Tillman, 1956


The Google Cultural Institute and its partners are putting the world’s cultural treasures at the fingertips of Internet users and are building tools that allow the cultural sector to share more of its diverse heritage online. The Google Cultural Institute has partnered with more than 1,000 institutions giving a platform to over 250,000 thousand artworks and a total of 6 million photos, videos, manuscripts and other documents of art, culture and history. You can learn more about the broader project in this article.

Students in the Neo-Black Society Lounge, 1971

If you have questions about the exhibit, please contact Erin Lawrimore, University Archivist, at scua@uncg.edu.


Friday, January 29, 2016

New Exhibit: African American Staff at State Normal, 1892-1919

A new exhibit titled "African American Staff at State Normal, 1892-1919" is now on display in the case in the Elliott Center University connector. This exhibit features photographs of many of the African Americans who worked on the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) campus during its earliest years.

While the student body of the State Normal was limited to white women, nearly all of the support staff (cooks, maids, janitors, handymen, etc.) were African American. There were at least 21 African American support staff employees at State Normal during its opening year (1892-1893). Two years later, that number had doubled to 42. These African American employees were essential to the operations of the campus, ensuring that the lights operated, the buildings and grounds were clean, the students and faculty were fed, and the general operations proceeded smoothly and did not disrupt the school's educational mission. But sadly many of their stories -- and some of their names -- have been lost to history.

Housekeeping Staff, late 1890s

One person featured in the exhibit is Ezekiel "Zeke" Robinson. Robinson was hired by State Normal's founding president Charles Duncan McIver soon after the school opened. In addition to managing the African American support staff, Robinson performed numerous tasks that were critical to the function of the school, including ringing the campus bell, waiting table at state dinners, delivering the mail, and serving as porter for three college presidents. Ill health forced Robinson to retire in 1944 after a 52-year career. During his time on campus, he saw the transition from horses to automobiles, from oil lamps to electricity, from fireplaces to central heating, and from wells and pumps to running water. He saw the acreage of campus increase tenfold, and saw the student body grow from 200 to over 2200. On December 1, 1960, Ezekiel Robinson died at a local nursing home at the age of 93. He was the last surviving member of the faculty and staff from the first year of State Normal.

Ezekiel "Zeke" Robinson

Please stop by the exhibit to learn more about this important part of UNCG's history. The exhibit will be available through March 1, 2016.