Monday, October 22, 2012

Spartan Stories: A New University History Blog

Learn more about UNCG campus history at Spartan Stories, a new blog from the staff of University Archives. The blog officially launched on October 1, with a post about classes during the first year of the school's existence -- 120 years ago. Stay tuned in the weeks to come for posts focused on the 1967 Black Power Forum, the founding of the campus Athletic Association, the 1899 Typhoid Epidemic, and (everyone's favorite) the ghosts that haunt the campus.
Edwin Alderman, Charles Duncan McIver and the Class of 1893
New stories will be posted every Monday morning. From its founding in 1891 as a publicly-funded school for women's higher education to its current standing as a learner-centered public research university, UNCG has a rich and unique history filled with interesting stories. Through Spartan Stories, we look forward to sharing these tales with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others who wish to learn more about how our university became - and, in many ways, has always been - a source of innovation and leadership within North Carolina and beyond.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

SCUA Open House

On Wednesday, October 17, SCUA hosted an open house for the staff of the University Libraries. We discussed many of our department's major initiatives, including management of the University's digital records, classroom instruction, outreach to veterans groups, digitization of SCUA materials, oral history projects, and new digital projects (including the new North Carolina Literary Map and work to enhance the existing campus map with historical images). We also exhibited a number of our newest acquisitions, including a UNCG man's class jacket and materials from the Lois Lenski and Bernard Greenhouse collections.

Before and after the presentation, we also ran a slideshow of historical photographs from University Archives. These images cover 120 years of University history, from the beginning of classes in 1892 through the renovation of the Quad in 2012. You can view the slide show here.

The SCUA researcher room, filled with students learning more
about the history of the University.

Thank you to all of the University Libraries staff who attended! To further promote SCUA collections and initiatives, we look forward to doing  more of these open houses in the future.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

"The Quad at UNCG: Past, Present, and Future" exhibit

The Quad under construction in the 1920s
Learn more about the history of UNCG’s Quad in a new exhibit from SCUA. “The Quad at UNCG: Past, Present, and Future” exhibit will be featured in Jackson Library in exhibit cases beside the reference desk from October 15-November 5, 2012.

Under the leadership of its second president, Julius I. Foust, the college now known as UNCG saw one its greatest periods of growth in the 1920s. Enrollment doubled and the number of buildings on campus grew by 21 between 1920 and 1929. This construction boom began with the building of a dormitory, named for woman’s suffrage leader Anna Howard Shaw. Six others followed by 1923, forming the dormitory quadrangle: Gray, Hinshaw, Bailey, Cotton, Jamison, and Coit. Finally, in 1939, the empty north end of the Quad was filled with the construction of Winfield and Weil Halls.

All seven buildings on the UNCG Quad were designed by Harry Barton, a prominent Greensboro architect. Barton drew up plans for a number of other UNCG buildings, including Aycock Auditorium, Brown Building, the Curry School Building, Mary Foust Residence Hall, and Guilford Residence Hall.

In 2009, campus administrators held open forums to discuss the future of the Quad. The buildings were approximately $32 million behind in deferred maintenance and lacked air conditioning, fire sprinklers, and handicapped access. Some argued that it would be cheaper and easier to demolish and replace them. Others wanted to see the buildings renovated rather than destroyed. Ultimately, administrators decided to renovate and modernize the Quad.

Renovation work began on May 7, 2011, with renovations estimated to cost $52.5 million. Gifts from alumni and friends of the University were key in funding the renovation. The buildings were made ADA compliant and energy efficient air conditioning was added. The Quad residence halls officially reopened to student residents in August 2012.

The Quad today

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Transitions in Special Collections & University Archives

Dr. Bill Finley
With mixed emotions, we would like to report on several staffing changes within the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA).  On August 1, 2012, Dr. William “Bill” Finley stepped down as Head of Special Collections and University Archives to begin his phased retirement at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG).  Stepping in to assist with this transition, Dr. Keith Gorman has been appointed interim head of the department.  During the coming year, Bill Finley will work as the Special Collections Librarian on a part-time basis as well as teach several courses for the Department of Library & Information Studies at UNCG.

 Upon his arrival at UNCG in 1998, Bill Finley became Head of the Special Collections and University Archives Department where he has not only served as head of the department, but also as the Special Collections Librarian.  In his fourteen years at the University, Dr. Finley has overseen the expansion of the department’s instructional services and collections.  Bill has noted on more than one occasion that one of his greatest joys is finding just the right rare book to enhance one of the many collections housed in SCUA.

Dr. Finley received his BA from the College of William and Mary, MA in English from The University of Kentucky, PhD in English from Duke University, and MLS from The University of South Carolina.  He began his academic career as an English professor at Old Dominion University in 1970 and held similar positions at Duke University from 1973 to 1976 and Concord College from 1976 to 1987.  From 1988 to 1992, he was an archivist at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University.  Bill also served as Head of Special Collections at the College of Charleston from 1992 to 1998. 

Dr. Keith Gorman
Dr. Keith Gorman takes the helm of SCUA with a rich and varied experience in history, teaching, and archival and museum management.  Prior to joining SCUA as assistant head in April 2010, he served as the executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Museum in Edgartown, Massachusetts.  Along with his museum work, Dr. Gorman has worked in a number of archives from private repositories to the Smithsonian Institution Archives in Washington, DC.  During his teaching career, he taught European history at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts.  Gorman has a BA in history from Loyola University in Chicago, MA and PhD in European history from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and a MLS from Simmons College.  He also taught courses in archival theory and research methods at Simmons’ Graduate School of Library and Information Science. 

During his time at UNCG, Gorman has helped oversee an eighteen month construction project and the relocation of staff and collections.  Keith also directed his energy to enhancing the department’s reference and instructional services, the processing of hidden collections, and expanding of the number of digital projects.  Asked about his new position, he expressed great excitement about the department’s plans and admiration for its staff.  For the coming year, he noted that SCUA established a robust set of objectives that include reviewing collection development policies,  broadening community outreach, employing MPLP processing, as well as adopting tools and policies to collect and preserve born digital records.  Gorman’s research interests range from the role archives play in a community’s collective memory to the growth of digital humanities and its impact on research.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Invitation to the Women Veterans Historical Project Luncheon

The 15th annual women veterans luncheon will be held on Saturday, 10th November from 11:30-2 at the Elliott University Center at UNCG. The luncheon will feature a panel discussion with activists who work on different military-related issues such as student veterans, homelessness,and sexual assault and trauma in the military. The program is open to everyone, with a special focus on veterans, their friends and families.

Tickets will be $12 for all military veterans and $16 for non-veterans. Table sponsorship opportunities to sponsor students will be available for $300. Invitations will be sent in late September.   

For more information contact Beth Ann Koelsch at or 336/334-5838.