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).

Monday, May 14, 2018

University Archives and the McIver Building Cornerstone Time Capsule

On Friday, April 27, 2018, UNC Greensboro broke ground on its new Nursing and Instructional Building. The new 180,000-square-foot facility was made possible thanks to state funds from the Connect NC Bond, which was passed by North Carolina voters in the spring of 2016. The $105 million building is slated to open in the summer of 2020.

Chancellor Blackwell sealing the cornerstone, 1959
The new structure will sit on a site that has held a number of campus buildings over UNCG's 125 years. Most recently, the site was home to the McIver Building, which was demolished earlier this semester. Prior to demolition, a time capsule that had been placed in the McIver Building's cornerstone on October 5, 1959 was removed.

On Friday, April 20, 2018, the small copper box that served as the time capsule was opened. Sadly, the time capsule contents did not fare well against the ravages of the environment and time. Water damage and mold covered all of the materials, making them unsalvageable.

Fortunately, because the materials in the time capsule were not unique (most being published materials), the overwhelming majority of these items can be found in University Archives. Many are available for viewing online. Additional items not in University Archives can be accessed through various newspaper databases available to those with a UNCG login.

You can view the virtual version of the McIver Building Cornerstone Time Capsule here.


Monday, May 7, 2018

Organizing a Choreographed Life


Jan Van Dyke was one of the most prolific and well-known faculty members in the UNCG Department of Dance. Van Dyke had a long history with UNCG, beginning in 1989 when she received a doctorate in education.
Jan Van Dyke, ca. 1970s.
Van Dyke donated her personal and professional papers to the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives in 2014-2015. The papers were processed and made available to the public in 2017. They afford a unique glance into a life dedicated to dance.

The Jan Van Dyke Papers contain materials related to Van Dyke's personal life and professional career as a dancer, teacher, and administrator. The collection contains Van Dyke's choreography, correspondence, faculty materials, teaching materials, photographs, newspaper clippings, and video recordings. Van Dyke’s materials reach back to her earliest childhood years in the 1940s and 1950s – from a child ration book to programs and photographs from early dance recitals.

You can view the finding aid here, which gives a detailed description of the contents of the collection. 

Van Dyke (right) performing in a dance production, ca. 1950s.
Van Dyke was born in Washington, D.C., on April 15, 1941, but spent much of her early youth in Germany. From an early age, much of her energy was spent focused on dance. She attended high school in Virginia, taking dance lessons at the Washington School of Ballet.

Van Dyke earned a bachelor's degree in dance from the University of Wisconsin in 1963 and a master's degree in dance education from George Washington University. Van Dyke’s student materials, including an interesting essay on witchcraft, are included in the collection.

Most interesting, perhaps, are Van Dyke’s personal letters – to family, friends, and romantic interests. In them, Van Dyke lays out her own personal struggles to break into the dance world in New York City, the Midwest, and Washington, D.C. She is amazingly frank and forthright in her letters – expressing her feelings about the difficulties facing women in dance in the 1970s, her personal challenges, and her intense joy for life.

Van Dyke's life history is documented in her personal letters and extensive newspaper clippings, photographs, fliers, programs, and video recordings. A large portion of the materials in her collection are related to various dance groups that Van Dyke helped form, including the John Gamble/Jan Van Dyke Dance Group, Jan Van Dyke and Dancers, and the Jan Van Dyke Dance Group. These materials include original choreography, general files, photographs, fliers, programs, video recordings, and other ephemera.
First page of choreography for Van Dyke's "Spike," 1982.

While all of Van Dyke’s career is documented, another substantial portion of her collection is comprised of materials related to her time at UNCG.

During her time with the Department of Dance at UNCG, she taught a variety of courses, including technique, choreography, repertory, career management, and dance administration. In addition to teaching, Van Dyke also worked as a producer, administrator, and artist. Her choreography has been used by a variety of groups, ranging from the Washington Ballet to students at the Western Australian Academy for the Performing Arts in Perth.

Her work was supported by multiple outside agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the California Arts Council, and the D.C. Commission on the Arts and the Humanities.
Van Dyke also founded and directed the dance company Dance Project, which is responsible for the NC Dance Festival, Van Dyke Dance Group, and School at City Arts.

Van Dyke received a North Carolina Choreography Fellowship, and was a 1993 Fulbright Scholar. She has earned numerous accolades in her field, including: North Carolina Choreography Fellowship, 1993 Fulbright Scholar, North Carolina Dance Alliance Annual Award 2001, 2008 Dance Teacher Award for Higher Education from Dance Teacher Magazine, and the Betty Cone Medal of Arts Award in 2011. UNCG awarded Van Dyke the Gladys Strawn Bullard Award for leadership and service in 2010.

Van Dyke's collection is important for researchers who are interested in studying the history of dance in the United States and North Carolina. Researchers may find Van Dyke's collection particularly interesting if studying the intersection of gender and dance in the 20th century. Van Dyke's own research, writing, and choreography often dealt with gender and dance, so the materials in her collection reflect her interest.

Finally, Van Dyke was a large part of the history of UNCG. Researchers who want to track the changes in dance studies at the University will certainly encounter names that are peppered throughout the collection - Van Dyke, Gamble, Stinson, and more. Van Dyke's collection is unique because it documents her time at UNCG -- as a student, adjunct professor, full professor, and department head. 

Van Dyke passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer in July 2015.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

A Well Crafted NC Update

After a very successful launch event on April 14th at Little Brother Brewing in Downtown Greensboro, the Well Crafted NC project continues to grow. The project, which began in Fall 2017 thanks to a University Libraries Innovation and Enrichment Grant, will be expanding its documentation scope to cover the craft beer and brewing industry across North Carolina. Between 2010 and 2017, North Carolina saw the number of independent craft breweries in the state skyrocket by 445% (from 45 in 2010 to 245 in 2017). In 2016, the craft beer industry had a $2.042 billion impact on the economy (ranked 10th in the country). During this new phase of growth, Well Crafted NC will focus on collecting more oral history interviews with brewers and brewery owners in our state. The project will also continue collecting and digitizing historical records from North Carolina breweries.

An image from the Well Crafted NC launch event
Additionally, one the project leaders - University Archivist Erin Lawrimore - recently received a Faculty First Summer Scholarship Support Award from UNC Greensboro's Office of Research and Engagement. This award will support a series of oral history interviews with women brewers and brewery owners in North Carolina. This project will ensure that the voices of the women in the industry are heard, that their stories are recorded in their own words, and that they are included as a vital piece of the history of beer and brewing in our state.

The Well Crafted NC team has expanded the project's outreach and educational components as well. In addition to the launch event, Well Crafted NC did pop up exhibits at the Biere de Femme festival as well as at the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce's April Coffee and Conversation event. They will also be doing an exhibit on June 2nd at the Beer City Festival in Asheville. The project leaders recently were interviewed on the local podcast Gate City Chatter. Fox 8 News also did a feature piece on the project and the history of beer and brewing in Downtown Greensboro. Other coverage includes a front-page article in the Greensboro News & Record as well as articles in Winston-Salem Monthly, Greensboro 1808, and Western North Carolina Woman magazine.
A promotional photo from Natty Greene's,
from the Well Crafted NC collection

Well Crafted NC is a project of the UNC Greensboro University Libraries. The project coordinators are Richard Cox (Digital Technology Consultant, ERIT), David Gwynn (Digital Projects Coordinator, ERIT), and Erin Lawrimore (University Archivist, SCUA). To keep informed about the new developments with the project, you can follow Well Crafted on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram. To learn how you can support the growth of the Well Crafted NC project, please see www.wellcraftednc.com/support.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

A MLIS Graduate Student’s Perspective: Interning with UNCG’s Special Collection and University Archives

During my final semester in the Masters of Library and Information Studies (MLIS) program at UNCG, I chose to do my practicum with the Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA). My educational background is in humanities (especially art and philosophy), so I already had a love for history, cultural heritage, manuscripts, and so forth. I was also impressed and curious after hearing a number of SCUA staff give presentations and talks to some of my classes. Kathelene McCarty Smith (Instruction and Outreach Archivist and SCUA practicum supervisor) greatly helped me - through class presentations and personal meetings - to recognize my passion and calling to do archival/special collections work. The SCUA team at UNCG has been very successful in promoting and implementing instructional outreach. This is done through a creative combination of interactive lessons (instruction in primary source, information, and digital literacies), exhibits, blogs, and social media posts, among other methods.

 
The exhibit required me to conduct archival research
with primary sources (photographs, textual documents, artifacts),
as well as digital materials (digitized facsimiles and born-digital files)

After meeting with my LIS and SCUA supervisors, we decided upon an exhibit project which would both meet my learning objectives (in research, instruction, and outreach) and fit into the semester’s time frame. The project involved highlighting the history of library education at UNCG; the pop-up exhibit itself was showcased for the occasion of the LIS department’s re-accreditation at the end of March. The practicum required 120 hours of work experience for the semester. Generally, my time was divided into research, digitization, selection of materials, and constructing, arranging, and displaying the exhibit. My practicum also included chronicling the exhibit’s preparation processes. Thankfully, my efforts were able to add upon and pull from the in-depth research already conducted by Professor James V. Carmichael Jr.


A curated exhibit is a perfect example of outreach fused with instruction.
It is outreach because of the aesthetic advocacy of collections and services, and it
is instruction through conveying narrative (interpretation) and description (metadata).

Of course, there are highlights to share from my learning experiences. First, archival research is both satisfying and exciting; it requires an investigative and nuanced mode of inquiry into both primary sources (photographs, textual documents, artifacts), as well as digital materials (digitized facsimiles and born-digital files).  The finding aid for the LIS Department Records guided much of my research and led me from concepts and collection descriptions to the access of the actual sources and items. Second, there is creativity in archival instruction and outreach (including curation); it requires an improvisational touch because of variable audiences, timelines, resources, and space limitations. There is also an aesthetic component as the arrangement and display of an exhibit contributes to the narrative in a visual and tactile way. Third, as archivists select, arrange, and narrate their research, they become influential storytellers. Fourth, refining my archival-library writing skills has been vital; it has required my documentation and description to be clear, succinct, and functional (in communicating relevant information and the significance of collections and services).

My SCUA experience has given the confidence and perspectives necessary to continue learning and growing into the profession! In the future, I am looking forward to performing reference services, creating finding aids, conducting and transcribing oral history interviews, and planning literacy lessons.

Anthony Arcangeli - UNCG SCUA/LIS - Spring 2018





Monday, March 26, 2018

UNCG-LIS Alternative Spring Break Students Work with Garden Club Scrapbooks

Over spring break week, UNCG’s Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) hosted three Library and Information Studies (LIS) graduate students for Alternative Spring Break. Jo Klein, Melissa Capozio, and Anthony Arcangeli spent the week working with scrapbooks contained within the newly acquired Greensboro Council of Garden Clubs Records.
Two scrapbooks from the Greensboro Council of Garden Clubs.
The students surveyed and inventoried the large collection of scrapbooks within the Council’s records. There are approximately 120 scrapbooks in the collection dating back to 1930, and each one contains photographs, newspaper clippings, handwritten correspondence, and ephemera. 
L to R: Anthony Arcangeli and Melissa Capozio recording information on the scrapbooks.
The interns’ work on the collection included documenting the name and date of the scrapbooks, assessing conditions of the items contained within the scrapbooks, reorganizing the boxes, and collecting contextual information for use in a collection finding aid. 

L to R: Jo Klein and Melissa Capozio working with the scrapbooks.
First, the interns worked to assess the condition of each scrapbook as a form of pre-processing for the collection. This included creating a description, and recording dimensions, content, and time period for each scrapbook. Interns also noted any factors that would need to be addressed during the preservation process, such as metal paper clips and staples or rapidly deteriorating items.

Students taking measurements of the scrapbooks.
After taking inventory of the collection, the scrapbooks were then reorganized into a more researcher-friendly format, and reboxed based on common attributes, such as time period covered and which garden club created the scrapbook.

Once reorganized, the interns went through each scrapbook and collected any notable data that might be used in the creation of a finding aid, such as the garden club presidents, the time periods the clubs were active, and major events and dates.

According to Jennifer Motszko, Manuscripts Archivist and the spring break project coordinator, the interns’ work saved Special Collections staff about two months of processing time, ensuring that the materials will be prepped for access and research far sooner than initially planned.

With this initial processing complete, Special Collections staff can begin work on a finding aid for the collection, and the materials will be available for research once full processing is complete.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

SCUA is Hiring for Student Employee Positions - Undergraduate and Graduate UNCG Students

SCUA is currently hiring for the following positions:

Positions Available January 2018

Special Collections, Manuscripts, and University Archives [Jackson Library] Student Assistant Position
Description:
The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives [ http://library.uncg.edu/info/depts/scua/ ] at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro relies on the skills and energy of its student employees to perform the necessary work in supporting research and learning.
SCUA currently has openings for students interested in working with University Archives and UNCG-related collections. Positions are available beginning spring 2018.


Responsibilities:
• assisting in the organization and inventorying of material, which includes but is not limited to Women Veterans Collection, rare books, manuscripts, cello music, and/or artifacts
• labeling processed and unprocessed collections
• packing/unpacking archival records, manuscripts, rare books, cello music, and related materials
• completing additional projects as needed
The successful applicant will be working on a variety of projects which may involve Special Collections and University Archives. Duties include, but are not limited to:

Qualifications:
Student must be dependable, adaptable, detail oriented, able to follow complex instructions, work with diverse colleagues, and lift boxes weighing up to 40 lbs. This position will call for repetitive bending and lifting. The successful candidate will have excellent oral, written, and interpersonal skills and familiarity with MS Office software. Library or Archives experiences helpful, but not required. Knowledge of Library of Congress classification system helpful, but training will be provided. Strong interest in archival management, books, the books arts, preservation, history, and violoncello music appreciated and encouraged.
How to apply:  Search SpartanCareers