Friday, February 17, 2017

Hop into History!: Guilford County, Slavery, and Freedom recap

On Thursday, February 16th, archivists from UNCG, Guilford College, and Wake Forest came together to create a display for Hop into History!: Guilford County, Slavery, and Freedom. David Gwynn and Richard Cox, both members of the UNCG Libraries' Electronic Resources and Information Technology department, were on hand to discuss their work in digitizing runaway slave ads and in building the Digital Library on American Slavery (DLAS). The Digital Library on American Slavery is an expanding resource compiling various independent online collections focused upon race and slavery in the American South, made searchable through a single, simple interface.

The exhibit is part of an ongoing series of Hop into History outreach events organized by UNCG's Special Collections and University Archives. These events take archival materials of the library and into the community, allowing more and more people to learn about local history and interact with these important and interesting documents.

Thank you to everyone who attended! The next Hop into History event is scheduled for Thursday, March 23rd from 5-7pm at Gibb's Hundred Brewing Company in downtown Greensboro. Hope to see you then!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Hop into History: Guilford County, Slavery, and Freedom event --- this Thursday!

On Thursday, February 16 from 5pm until 7pm, archivists from UNCG, the Heritage Research Center at High Point Public Library, Wake Forest, and Guilford College will be at Gibb’s Hundred Brewing Company in Downtown Greensboro (117 W Lewis St) with a multimedia exhibit on the slavery era in North Carolina, with a focus on Guilford County.

Come learn about Harriet Peck, an inspiring abolitionist and teacher at New Garden Boarding School from 1837-1839. Speak with archivists about North Carolina Quaker attempts to legally provide freedom to slaves. See anti-slavery tracts, runaway slave ads, and more, while discovering history made personal by searching the Digital Library on American Slavery for relatives and more.

For more information on the event, please see: We hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

An Archival Experience

*This blog post was written by Salem Academy student Alexaya McKelvey who spent her January Term working on a project at the University Libraries at UNCG.

For my January Term at Salem Academy, I chose to work with the Special Collections and University Archives and Digital Projects departments within the University Libraries at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). I was required to work for three weeks with six hours per day recorded. I was nervous to find an internship completely independent of my school. Was it going to spark my interest? Would it make me discover a calling I would have never considered before? Would the staff welcome a lowly intern that would only be temporarily remaining in their care? Luckily, the answer to all of these raging questions was yes. When I walked into the doors of the Special Collections and University Archives department, I knew I was where I was meant to be. I was greeted with open arms, bright minds, and thankful hands.

 First meeting with the UNCG librarians, Kathelene Smith and David Gwynn
Growing up in Greensboro, I thought I knew a lot about UNCG. I was in constant attendance on Tate Street. Friends and co-workers had become strong and proud Spartans and continue to do so. Walking into the archives, I thought I was coming in with an advantage. However, I was largely mistaken! Upon further research, I learned many things I had never known. In 1892, the State Normal and Industrial School, now UNCG, was open only to women. The school held amazing pageants and festivals and gave students the opportunity to learn about the subjects women had been denied for centuries. Literary societies maintained a strong hold over the social structure of the students’ lives.

Entering metadata for archival images
I learned all of this by researching the history of the school and by participating in various projects. I helped digitize a group of artifacts, ranging from 1876 to 2001, that are related to school literary societies and special occasions on the campus of UNCG. This included photographing pins, necklaces, badges, medals, letters, and even the famous May Day tiara. After taking the photos of the objects, they were uploaded to a hard drive where I organized them into folders with their corresponding identification numbers. I got to work with the Kathelene Smith, the Instruction and Outreach Archivist and David Gwynn, the head of the Digital Projects Department.

Literary Society pin worn by early UNCG student
Though this project was completely out of my comfort zone, I have loved getting to work in the archives and delving into the mysterious and beautiful history of one of Greensboro's oldest women’s colleges. From these discoveries, I have been able to compare them to my own experiences attending a strictly female school. I am so thankful for this opportunity to learn about an essential aspect of a library. I cannot wait to further pursue digital archiving in my upcoming college career!

Friday, January 6, 2017

The Connection between Hidden Figures and UNCG

If you're going to see the new movie Hidden Figures, you might not realize the connection between the "human computers" in that movie and UNCG. The film focuses on three African American women who worked as "human computers" during the 1950s and 1960s. But one of the very first human computers hired by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, precursor to NASA) was alumna Virginia Tucker (class of 1930). Tucker earned a B.A. in mathematics and a minor in education from the institution that was then known as North Carolina College for Women. After four years of teaching, she took the Civil Service exam and earned an appointment at the Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory (now Langley Research Center) in Virginia.

Tucker was one of five women who began work in September 1935 as Langley's first "Computer Pool." NACA did not have modern electrical computers, but instead relied on the work of "human computers," a pool of female mathematicians. These women were tasked with processing the huge amounts of data coming in from wind tunnel and flight tests. Using slide rules, charts, and her deep mathematical knowledge, Tucker and the other "human computers" performed intricate calculations that enabled NACA engineers to design and perfect airplanes. By 1946, Tucker had advanced to the position of Overall Supervisor for Computing at Langley, and she was tasked with managing a department of over 400 women in computing sections across the laboratory facility.

Tucker in the 1930 Pine Needles yearbook

You can read more about Tucker in this wonderful article in the Greensboro News & Record or follow up with more detail in this Spartan Stories blog post from 2015.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

UNCG's Online History: Now in One Convenient Location!

For the last two years, University Archives has been working with the Internet Archive and their Archive-It member service to capture and preserve numerous UNCG-affiliated websites. You can learn more about the beginning of this work in January 2015 in a previous blog post. Now, in addition to seeing the versions of the site that we have archived since 2015, you can view all of the earlier captures of many of these sites done by the Internet Archive in one location.

You can quickly and easily explore how a single department's web presence has changed over the years (and, in many cases, access documents and other information about the department/unit's work that was never available in another format). For example, the Elliott University Center website has been captured 150 times, with the earliest being on August 19, 2000. On that earliest site, you can learn about the EUC Renewal Project which began in 2000.
EUC homepage in 2000

EUC homepage in 2016

The website of the Office of Housing and Residence Life has been captured 232 times, going back to January 19, 2004. Using this site, a researcher could examine the changes in housing rates from 2004 (where the site proudly advertises that "all rooms have ethernet connections for each student!") to 2016.

Unfortunately, many of these earliest crawls can't display some images, and some of the links will not work (particularly if they link to another web domain). And we are still working with the Internet Archive on a few small issues with missing crawls. But, this web archiving work still gives us a great opportunity to explore the changes to UNCG's online presence while also preserving the valuable and often unique information on those sites for current and future researchers.

Geography Department website, 2000

Geography Department website, 2016
If you have any questions about our web archiving work, please feel free to contact us! Also, if you have a UNCG-affiliated site that is currently not being archived (meaning the domain can't be found in a search of this site), let us know. This includes websites that belong to departments, centers, student groups, faculty/staff groups, and other UNCG-affiliated organizations.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Composer C. Alan Beeler's Collection Donated to Special Collections & University Archives

The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections &University Archives is pleased to announce the donation of the sheet music collection of composer Charles Alan Beeler (b. February 10, 1939 – d. April 28, 2016). Beeler began his studies at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington from 1957 to 1961, training with John Sibler and Will Ogden. Beeler earned his MA in Music Theory/Composition at Washington University, St. Louis, 1965 and PhD in Music Theory/Composition, Washington University, St. Louis, 1973, studying theory with Leigh Gerdine and composition with Robert Wykes, Robert Baker, and Harold Blumenfeld. His dissertation was titled “Winter Music, Cartridge Music, Atlas eclipticalis: A Study of Three Seminal Works by John Cage.” Ph.D. diss., Washington University, 1973.”

Beeler taught theory and composition at Wisconsin State University at Stevens Point for four years and at Eastern Kentucky University as Professor of Music Theory and Composition for thirty-six years. While at Eastern Kentucky University, Beeler was the co-author of a four volume music theory textbook. In addition to teaching and composition, Alan Beeler was a talented oboist, teaching oboe and performing in faculty ensembles and the EKU orchestra. His many compositions include works for solo piano, chorus, chamber ensemble, string orchestra, full orchestra, and voice. Several of his works were recorded by PARMA Recordings, Navona Records, and Ravello Records. His compositions have been performed by the Prague Radio Orchestra directed by Vladimir Valek and by the Slovak Radio Symphony conducted Kirk Trevor in Bratislava, Slovakia among others.

The Charles Alan Beeler Collection contains over a hundred manuscript compositions and arrangements, in addition to other music for multiple instrumentation, and some personal papers. Beeler joins a growing collection of composer archives represented in the UNCG Special Collections, including Harold Schiffman, Egon Wellesz, Peter Paul Fuchs, and Rudolf Matz

Friday, November 4, 2016

Nicholas Anderson & Margaret Rowell Join the UNCG Cello Music Collection

Margaret Avery Rowell and Nicholas Anderson

The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections &University Archives is pleased to announce the donation of two collections. Nicholas Anderson and Margaret Rowell join the company of the legendary artists represented in the UNCG Cello Music Collection. These collections are donated by the family of Nicholas Anderson.

Cellist Nicholas Anderson was acclaimed as an outstanding interpreter of the solo concert repertoire. His unique and inspired performances were received with the highest praise and enthusiasm by audiences and critics alike. Anderson began playing the cello at the age of eight, and made his first solo appearance on television the following year. In his early teens, Anderson studied in Pittsburgh with Theo Salzman, Principal Cellist of the Pittsburgh Symphony and Professor of Cello at Carnegie Mellon University. He spent his high school years as a resident student at the North Carolina School of the Arts. Anderson’s cello playing thrived there under the mentorship of Irving Klein, cellist of the internationally renowned Claremont Quartet. It was during this time that he performed in the master classes of Janos Starker, and studied in the summer with the great "cellist's cellist" Leslie Parnas.

Following this period, Anderson studied at Aspen with Claus Adam, cellist of the Juilliard Quartet, and at the age of nineteen, was invited to study at the Juilliard School. However, he became aware of the work of the master cello teacher Margaret Rowell in California and decided to turn down Juilliard and move to California to study with her in 1971. This evolved into a 24-year collaboration, and as his solo career flourished, Anderson became an expert in Rowell's revolutionary methods, both as a performer and teacher.

In terms of his career as a performer, Nicholas Anderson debuted at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. After moving to New York, his numerous solo concert appearances included the 92nd St. Y Kaufmann Concert Hall, Mannes College of Music, American University, and Community Concerts/Columbia Artists. He has made a specialty of performing the cycle of Beethoven Cello Sonatas, as well as the complete Bach Solo Cello Suites. Anderson premiered many works, as a champion of creative musicality in modern compositions.

In addition to serving on the cello faculty of Queens College, Anderson coalesced the teachings of Margaret Rowell into a dynamic series of classes called the “Breakthrough Cello Seminars,” which he presented worldwide. Organizations that have benefited from Anderson’s seminars include the Associated Music Teacher's League of New York, San Francisco State University, University of Hawaii, Fresno City College, the Pennsylvania Cello Society, the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Academy of New York, and the Sinfónica Juvenil in San José, Costa Rica.

Margaret Avery Rowell (1900 Redlands, CA- April 21, 1995 San Francisco, CA) was among the most prominent cello pedagogues of the 20th century. In the 1920's and 30's, Rowell had an eminent performing career as the cellist in the Arion Trio, which broadcasted live on NBC radio six days every week. She graduated from UC Berkeley in 1923. In 1927, she contracted tuberculosis and was hospitalized for three years. She later recovered, but after not touching the cello for such a long period, she found that while she still knew the technique and the music, she had lost the instinctive feeling of connection with the instrument. During the journey of Rowell’s intensive journey to recover her physical skill of cello performance, she was able to make conscious the mechanical processes taken for granted by “natural” musicians that she had previously done masterfully but unconsciously. This gave her an unprecedented access to the missing domain of cello-playing, which not only applied to her own work as an artist, but served as the basis for transmitting a breakthrough to generations of other cellists. As a result she came to be in tremendous demand as a teacher of the rarest value.

During her 60-year career, she was known as “the dean of cello teachers in the San Francisco Bay Area,” serving as distinguished Professor of Cello at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Stanford University, San Francisco State University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Mills College. Rowell founded the highly successful California Cello Club, which engaged masters such as Gregor Piatigorsky, Mstilav Rostropovich, Janos Starker, and Pablo Casals to speak to Bay Area cellists. The University of Indiana at Bloomington honored her with the title of Grande Dame du Violoncelle, and the American String Teacher Association presented her with their Distinguished Service Award.

Nicholas Anderson and Margaret Rowell are now the 14th and 15th musicians to be represented in the UNCG Cello Music Collection. Consisting of the archival music collections of Luigi Silva, Elizabeth Cowling, Rudolf Matz, Maurice Eisenberg, János Scholz, Fritz Magg, Bernard Greenhouse, Laszlo Varga, Lev Aronson, Lubomir Georgiev, Marion Davies, and Douglas Moore, Ennio Bolognini, Nicholas Anderson, and Margaret Rowell, the Cello Music Collection at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro constitutes the largest single holding of cello music-related material worldwide.