Friday, April 30, 2010

The Airplane Girl

And the Mystery of Seal Island

Although not the first of the "flying girls" series (the "Girl Aviator" series appeared in 1911, and there are other earlier series involving a female aviator), the "Airplane Girl" books (four titles, all in 1930) demonstrated the continuing fascination with flying and the increased independence of daring women. The books concern the airborne exploits of Roberta Langwell, the "Airplane Girl."
"Her exploits are those of a modern young aviatrix who knows no fear. She will keep you tense with excitement. . ."
This series is one of the few girls' series in which a woman writes under a male pseudonym; a number of males (L. Frank Baum being one) wrote girls' books under a female pseudonym.
-Dr. William K. Finley

An Exhibit
Hodges Reading Room
February 15 - May 15, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Nancy Drew, Girl Detective

No other girls' series can match the popularity and durability of "Carolyn Keene's" Nancy Drew books. So endearing are these books to generations of young readers that many even today believe that a single author by the name of "Carolyn Keene" wrote the more than 170 titles that have appeared since 1930. Not so! "Carolyn Keene" was a "syndicate name" used by the many writers who penned these volumes. Wikipedia states that twenty-eight authors accounted for the series up until 1984, but this number may be low. The earliest ones were ostensibly written by Edward Stratemeyer, the founder of the Stratemeyer Syndicate that produced so many of the most popular series books for boys and girls in the early twentieth century. Stratemeyer's daughters, Harriet and Edna, also wrote a number of early titles. The name most commonly linked with "Carolyn Keene" and Nancy Drew is that of Mildred Wirt, who probably wrote more of the Nancy Drews than any other single author, though it is not entirely clear just how many titles she authored. It is probable that some titles had joint authors.

-Dr. WIlliam K. Finley

An Exhibit
Hodges Reading Room
February 15 - May 15, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pollyanna's Jewels

Like "Miss Minerva" and "The Wizard of Oz," "Pollyanna" represents a popular series begun by one author and continued by others. The first two books of the series (1913-1915) were written by Eleanor Porter; the next four (1924-1929) were penned by Harriet Lummis Smith; and the final eight (1931-1951) were by three other writers. Thus the series was sustained over thirty-eight years, one of the longer runs of any girls' series.As the cover announces, the "Pollyanna" books (the name featured in every title) formed L. C. Page & Company's "Glad Books" series. Pollyanna is very similar to Anne Shirley of "Green Gables" fame: both are orphans sent to live—unhappily at first—with strangers or distant relatives. Both quickly charm their adopted families and aid all in need of comfort, and both age from young girls to middle-age wives and mothers. The name "Pollyanna" has come to represent unstinted optimism in the face of great difficulties. As the dust jacket for the first "Pollyanna" book proclaims,
"Take away frowns! Draw up the window shades! Put down worries! Stop fidgeting and disagreeing and grumbling! Cheer up everybody! Pollyanna is here!"

-Dr. William K. Finley

An Exhibit
Hodges Reading Room
February 15 - May 15, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Building of Jackson Library, 1948-1950

This exhibit is on display in the
Jackson Library Lobby from March 22 - September 10, 2010.

On June 5, 2010, Jackson Library will celebrate sixty years of service to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Founding President Charles Duncan McIver once said, "a great library is the very heart of the literary life of a great institution" -- a statement even more true today than it was in the 1890s when the student population numbered several hundred.

Today Jackson Library, as part of the University Libraries, serves a student population of approximately 18,000 with a collection of over a million books, more than 47,000 electronic and print journal subscriptions, over 500 electronic databases, and 640,000 federal government documents.

When the school first opened in 1892, the library was located in a room of Main (now Foust) Building. The 1898 president's report stated that one of the most pressing needs of the school was a "library room and more literature. The former is a more serious need than the latter, as we have now more books than can be placed in our library room."

Main Building

In 1905, Andrew Carnegie donated $15,000 for a new library building and $3,868 for furniture and stacks. Soon this building was too small and in 1921 the North Carolina General Assembly appropiated a little more than $59,000 to enlarge the building. The Carnegie Library (now Forney Building) was partially destroyed by fire on September 15, 1932. During the reconstruction, the building was enlarged and was reopened in 1933.

Carnegie Library

By the late 1930s, there was a movement to build a larger library to meet the needs of a growing campus. This movement was interrupted by World War II.

The 1947 North Carolina General Assembly appropriated funds to erect a new library building and on September 27, 1948, Chancellor Walter Clinton Jackson broke ground for the new building, which would be named in his honor in 1960.

Chancellor Walter Clinton Jackson
breaking ground for the new library

Northup & O’Brien, of Winston-Salem, designed the new library in a traditional style using sand-finish colonial face brick and Georgia marble for exterior materials. Construction began on October 2, 1948, and was completed in March of 1950 at a cost of approximately $1,232,118.

Unpacking books in the new library

In May 1950, the books were moved from the Carnegie Library to the new building, which opened its doors on June 5, 1950.

Aerial view of the new library

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Our Newest Acquisition, or; What is old is new again

While the scope of the typewriter’s use contracted, it remains a vital part of our everyday work lives. We rely on it for typing file labels, addressing envelopes, and completing the odd form that is not available online. When our trusty old typewriter froze, never to move again, we were in a quandary – Do Typewriter Repair Technicians still exist? How do you find one? Do they still make typewriters?

We weren’t able to find a Typewriter Repair Technician – perhaps they’ve gone the way of the Maytag Repairman – but were relieved to find typewriters still for sale. Here is our newest purchase, able to do all the things we need it to do.

Here it is, in its new home. Welcome.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Campfire Girls & Radio Girls

The Campfire Girls at Camp Keewaydin

Undoubtedly the most complex entry among girls' series, there were at least ten separate series about the "Campfire Girls," all by different publishers, representing the work of at least eleven different authors. The ten Hildegard Frey titles were published by A. L. Burt between 1916 and 1920; the titles in the other series—totalling sixty books—appeared between 1912 and 1935.

As one might gather by the titles, the various publications espoused the outdoor life and camaraderie among young girls while generally introducing mystery, adventure, and problem relationships into the plot.

The Radio Girls of Roselawn

Like the many series focused on the modern inventions of the automobile, the airplane, and motion pictures, this series, a spinoff of the "Radio Boys' series, exploited the fascination with radio in the early years of the twentieth century. The series was short-lived (four titles from 1922 to 1924), indicating how quickly the novelty of radio wore off. Surprisingly, these books, originally published by Cupples & Leon, were reprinted word for word by Goldsmith in 1930 as titles in its version of the "Campfire Girls" series!

-Dr. William K. Finley

An Exhibit
Hodges Reading Room
February 15 - May 15, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Masters Tournament 2010 Exhibit

The Masters, "A Tradition Unlike Any Other"

The Masters Tournament is one of the four major championships in professional golf. It has been played every year since 1934 at the Augusta National Golf Club in August, Georgia. The Masters is considered one of the premier sporting events in the world with its famous list of champions and renowned traditions. This year the Masters Tournament will be held from April 8th-11th with over one hundred golfers from around the world competing for a green jacket and a cash prize of $1,350,000.

UNCG University Archives and Manuscripts has put on display materials from the Joseph M. Bryan Collection related to the Masters Tournament. Items include his Augusta green jacket, his Augusta hat, commemorative books, pins, buttons, letters and photographs. They will be on display in the vertical connector case from April 5-12, 2010.