Monday, February 18, 2019

Kick Off Event for Archives, Archiving, & Community Engagement

Join us on Friday, March 15th at 2pm for a kick off event for the campus-wide Archives, Archiving, and Community Engagement discussion group. This group will be led by UNCG University Archivist Erin Lawrimore and is sponsored by UNC Greensboro's Institute for Community and Economic Engagement (ICEE) Faculty Fellows Program.

We will meet in Hodges Reading Room (219 Jackson Library) to chat about how we can collaborate to ensure that artifacts of community-engaged scholarship as well as the archives of our partner communities are preserved in a sustainable, accessible way.

Everyone - faculty, staff, administrators, students, and community members - is welcome to join us and help guide the direction of the group's discussions throughout 2019. For more information, please see:

You can also keep up with the event via Facebook at:

Monday, February 4, 2019

Hop into History this Spring - save the dates!

We're once again going to Hop into History at Gibb's Hundred Brewing this semester! We've got three dates scheduled this Spring:

  • Thursday, February 21 
  • Thursday, March 21 
  • Thursday, April 18 
All will be from 5-7pm at Gibb's location at 504 State Street in Greensboro.

The February event will focus on Charlotte Hawkins Brown and the Palmer Memorial Institute. The awesome folks at the Charlotte Hawkins Brown Museum in eastern Guilford County will be bringing artifacts that show Dr. Brown's work as an educator, as well as her work as a supporter of suffrage, civil rights, and social justice. Founded by Dr. Brown in 1902, Palmer was one of the first elite Black boarding schools in the South. Open until 1971, Dr. Brown transformed the lives of more than 1,000 African American students. You can learn more at the Facebook event page:

Also, if you want to do some preliminary reading to learn more about a connection between Dr. Brown and UNCG, we have a Spartan Stories post from a few years ago about how the state's Jim Crow segregationist laws impacted her students and their ability to attend performances in Aycock (now UNCG) Auditorium:

We hope to see many of you at these events!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

A Well Crafted NC update!

Our Well Crafted NC project continues to grow! Well Crafted NC is a collaborative project that documents the history of North Carolina beer and brewing through oral history interviews with industry leaders and archiving the records of individual small businesses. The craft beer industry in North Carolina has an annual economic impact of over $2.1 billion and provides more than 12,000 jobs across the state, so Well Crafted NC was created to ensure that the history of this important business sector is preserved.

In Summer 2018, University Archivist Erin Lawrimore received a UNCG Faculty First Award to support a series of oral history interviews with women brewers and brewery owners in North Carolina. Twenty-three women's stories were recorded for the project, bringing to total number of interviews in Well Crafted NC as of January 15, 2019, to 34. You can read more about this work in the Spring 2019 issue of UNCG Research Magazine (see the article online here). You can also listen to some of the women interviewed during this project talk about the importance of the Pink Boots Society, an organization focused on supporting women in the beer industry, in this video:

Additionally, the Well Crafted NC team received a grant through UNCG's Community-Engaged Pathways and Partnerships Collective Scholarship Fellows program, which aims to strengthen collective approaches to community-engaged scholarship through the development of sustainable pathways and partnerships that build deep, reciprocal processes to achieve mutually beneficial, community-identified priorities. The team, which includes faculty from the University Libraries as well as the Bryan School, will work with the Triad Brewers Alliance to document the history of local breweries and train local breweries on how to utilize their history to increase marketing and tourism for craft beer in the Triad.

We also received an in-kind award (100GB of digital storage) from Archive-It to create two web archive collections focused on beer and brewing. The Archives of Beer and Brewing will focus on documenting websites of influential craft breweries across the U.S. The Beer Bloggers Archive will focus on prominent national beer blogs. We're asking the public to help us identify beer blogs for inclusion in this web archive collection. You can nominate sites here.

In addition to the grants and special projects, in November 2018, the Well Crafted NC team set up an exhibit and information booth at the North Carolina Craft Brewers Conference in Winston-Salem. Erin Lawrimore was interviewed by Spectrum News for a piece on the importance of craft beer to North Carolina. You can see that piece here.

There are also a number of upcoming opportunities for folks to learn more about Well Crafted NC through presentations and exhibits.

On Wednesday, January 23 at 4pm at ZSR Library at Wake Forest University, Erin Lawrimore will discuss the original concept for the project, the continued development of the project through strategic partnerships and grant funding, and new initiatives focused on helping breweries integrate history into their individual and regional marketing efforts. You can learn more on the event's Facebook page. This event is free and open to the public. A reception, with an exhibit of materials from Well Crafted NC, will follow.

On Saturday, January 26 at 7pm at the Beer Growler in Winston-Salem, Richard Cox will join journalist and beer blogger Kat Bodrie for a discussion of the history and future of craft beer in North Carolina. We will also have an exhibit focused on North Carolina beer history. This event is free and open to the public. More details can be found on the Facebook event page.

On Saturday, March 2 at 1pm at Highland Brewing Company in Asheville, Well Crafted NC will have an exhibit focused on the history of women in North Carolina beer as part of the annual Biere de Femme festival, sponsored by Pink Boots Society North Carolina. Biere de Femme is focused on highlighting women in the craft beer industry. 100% of all proceeds go toward scholarships to help women in North Carolina and beyond improve their lives by giving them education and marketable skills in the beer industry. This is a ticketed event, and tickets are currently available here. The event also has a Facebook page you can follow for updates (including a list of participating breweries).

We hope that you'll join us for one (or more) of these upcoming events! You can learn more about Well Crafted NC and keep up with news about other events and activities on our Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Interning at Special Collections and University Archives

For the past two months, I have been an undergraduate intern at the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA). During the summer of 2018, I was a soon-to-be senior in the Arts Administration program at UNCG. I knew I would need to complete an internship in Arts Administration for my major, so I began looking into options in the Greensboro area. I had been fascinated by Special Collections, and benefitted from the resources they provided, since I had been at UNCG. Previous experience in museums had given me an interest in historic preservation and exhibit curation. As a double major in Arts Administration and Drama, I was interested in the extensive collections of theatre materials held by SCUA, which I had gotten a chance to glimpse during a visit with a Theatre History class.

Working with the photographs.
Since SCUA appealed to so many of my areas of interest within the field of Arts Administration, I decided to reach out via email to inquire if any internships were available. I was delighted when the answer was yes, and a little back and forth later, administrators from SCUA met with me and with my Arts Administration advisor to set the parameters of my internship. As per the requirements of the Arts Administration department, my internship supervisor and I worked out an internship contract including a time frame, learning goals, and deliverable projects. It is a semester-long internship that I commit eight hours a week to. 

Due to my focus on theatre, I was assigned to a collection donated shortly before I arrived - the Livestock Playhouse and Greensboro Children’s Theatre Collection. Working on the Livestock Playhouse Collection has been a fascinating experience. The collection was donated by Barbara Britton, a veteran director who headed both theatre programs from 1971 to 2005, and contains materials from productions from the 1970s-2000s. 
An original, hand-drawn poster for 1987's production of "Mame."

One exciting element of this collection is that these materials are in multiple formats: photographs, hand-rendered sketches for posters, audio reels, slides, and more. Not all of these materials are ones I have worked with before, so learning the different ways of handling them has been a great learning experience. It also gave me a reason to be introduced to other departments within the library.

The collection contains thousands of photos, presenting difficult storage and preservation challenges, so I visited Preservation Services to in discuss options for long-term preservation and  storage. While at preservation services, we focused on the photographs and scrapbook pages. The scrapbook pages will need the most attention, as the adhesive backing begins to degrade and harm the attached photographs.

Scrapbook page for the earliest production in the collection, "The Wizard of Oz" (1971).

For help understanding the best practices and options for dealing with the abundant audiovisual materials, like audio reels and VHS tapes, I visited the Digital Projects unit, part of the Electronics Resources and Information Technologies (ERIT) department in the Library. I loved learning about the work these departments do, and from an Arts Administration perspective, getting to know how the Library’s departments are internally organized was invaluable.

Most of all, though, what I loved about this collection is seeing how one theatre grew and changed over the course of three decades, and all the lives it touched. It is an important piece of Greensboro history to preserve, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunity to help do so and learn more about my field in the process. The arts go beyond just performances and exhibitions – the people who preserve the records of art happening, giving us a continuum to look back on, are part of the equation too. As an Arts Administrator, seeing the whole picture of everyone and everything keeping the arts alive is important to me. My time at SCUA has helped me do this and has made me excited to look more into careers in library science in the future.

By Audrey Dubois, UNCG Arts Administration, Spring 2019

Friday, November 9, 2018

Then & Now: Photo Restoration and Creative Responses

Please take a minute to view the wonderful new exhibit in the cases at the College Avenue Entrance and in the Lobby of Jackson Library! The exhibit is a collaborative effort between Professor Amy Purcell’s ART 344: The Digital Darkroom classes (fall 2017 and 2018) and UNCG’ Special Collection and University Archives.

Professor Purcell’s art students visited Special Collections for a presentation and a “pop-up” display of vintage cameras and historic photographs. Then, they selected three photographs from the collection and three photographs from their personal resources to study, repair, and restore. With an understanding of the craft of photo restoration, they were asked to use one image as inspiration for a creative work that responded to the restoration process and/or the content of the images.

The exhibit cases by the Reference Desk reflect how the role of photography has changed during UNCG’s 125-year history and how their position as students connects them to the university’s past.  Several students used photographs from the Dr. Anna Gove Collection. Dr. Gove was the second campus physician and an amateur photographer, who used her camera to document the college, the community of Greensboro, and her time with the Red Cross in France during World War I.

In one piece, a bombed-out cathedral is modified to include menacing clouds in the background. In a work by Alexis Brunnert, a fragment of a family photograph has been restored and colorized and, in another piece, Maryam Alamoudi changed places with the unknown woman in a tintype from Special Collections.  Kaiya Bitner’s grandmother’s walk on a beach offered inspiration to transform her into a flower fairy inspired by the infamous Cottingley fairies, and Johnny Nguyen overlays textile textures and colors as fabrics of today into an image of Duncan McIver with his students (ca. 1895). These works show an amazing range of talent, from digitally “restoring” historic images to adapting photographs in very surprising ways!

In the large case at the College Avenue entrance, Lean Bishop celebrates how the diversity of the student population defines UNCG today in her “I am UNCG” piece. The exhibit case also features an adapted image of Julia Alexander sitting on the same rock (plus many coats of paint) with sorority sisters from the 1970’s, as well as a piece by Anthony Carter that redefines the columns of the library entrance as flames of knowledge. Especially effective was the incorporation of student Peter No’s modern truck and car next to the bombed-out cathedral in France that Anna Gove photographed during the war. In another striking work, Sarah Tatum visually traces the evolution of the camera.

Please stop by both cases and see this stunning exhibit!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Nancy Drew – Girl Detective and Cultural Icon

If you have not had a chance to get by the Nancy Drew exhibit in the Jackson Library Lobby – please do so!

Perhaps more than any other book series, the Nancy Drew mysteries have captured the hearts and imagination of generations of young adults. First published in the 1930s, the books featured the adventures of the independent, plucky daughter of widowed attorney Carson Drew. With her best pals Beth Marvin and George Fayne in tow, Nancy Drew constantly finds herself in the middle of thrilling mysteries which were inevitably solved by the last chapter. The first three books were published in April 1930 and The Secret of the Old ClockThe Hidden Staircase, and The Mystery of Lilac Inn were immediate successes. By the seventh installment, Ned Nickerson is introduced as Nancy’s love interest, often tagging along on her adventures.

Nancy Drew Exhibit!

Originally penned by Mildred Benson under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene, later volumes were ghostwritten by various other authors, keeping a relatively consistent style. Through the many decades of publication, Nancy and her friends saw numerous updates. In the first books, Nancy sported pearls and pumps and drove a “roadster.” By the 2000s, her look was modernized and she drove a hybrid electric car and handily used her cell phone for quick calls and information queries. These updates have been reflected not only in the style of the characters, but also the framework of the books. In 2003, publishers Simon & Schuster concluded the format of the original series and featured her character in the new series, Girl Detective. By 2013, the publishers again changed the format of the books into The Dairies, further updating the character and her adventures.

The enduring worldwide appeal of Nancy Drew has been a result of engaging plot-lines and characters, as well as the successful marketing of the brand through the decades. Lunch boxes, cookbooks, games, and paper dolls have kept the characters active and relevant. This exhibit reflects the popularity of the Nancy Drew franchise by incorporating books and artifacts from the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

New LSTA Grant!

We're pleased to announce that UNC Greensboro University Libraries was awarded a 2018-2019 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) EZ grant. The grant provides $14,416 to support one year of work to research and develop a statewide archival processing service. This service would provide smaller cultural heritage institutions with assistance in arranging and describing their archival collections, thereby providing researchers with greater access to collections often considered “hidden.” University Archivist Erin Lawrimore wrote the successful application and will serve as the grant's principal investigator.

Through this grant, a steering committee will be formed to explore the most effective ways of providing these services as well as the scope of the future service. Guidelines to be developed through this initial project include an application process and rubric for prioritization of service requests from institutions, best practices for archival arrangement and description completed through the service, and a workflow for ingesting and sharing finding aids from institutions. Additionally, online training modules in archival management will be created to ensure that institutions benefiting from the service will be prepared to manage and provide access to their archival collections after the processing service concludes.

This grant is made possible by funding from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-00-18-0034-18).