Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hodges Reading Room Hosts Public History Exhibit and Reception

On the afternoon of December 10th, the Hodges Reading Room played host to a reception celebrating the opening of an exhibit featuring the work of students in History 627, a course in the Department of History's museum studies graduate track. The exhibit, titled "Everyday Change: Stories of UNCG, 1963-1973" featured oral history interviews, photographs, textiles, newspaper clippings, and other materials documenting various forms of student activism on the UNCG campus during the 1960s and early 1970s.

Dr. Anne Parsons, the course instructor, and her students were on hand to speak with the audience about their research and interesting findings. In addition to the many UNCG faculty, staff, and student in attendance, a number of alumni from the time period came to view the exhibit and talk about their experiences on campus.

Student exhibits covered a number of issues relevant during the time period, from changing dress code regulations to the move to co-education to student views on the Vietnam War. Oral history interviews conducted during the development of the exhibit will be donated to University Archives and added to our large collection of interviews documenting the history of UNCG.

While the exhibit and reception serve to mark the end of the students' work this semester, it doesn't signify the end of their work documenting UNCG history during this time period. In Spring and Fall 2014, the collaboration between this cohort of students, Dr. Parsons, and SCUA will continue as the student conduct more oral history interviews and further develop their exhibits.

The "Everyday Change" exhibit will remain  in the Hodges Reading Room through January 6, and is available for viewing whenever SCUA is open (Monday-Friday from 9am to 5pm, excluding Winter Break - December 21-January 1).

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The WVHP celebrates Veterans Day 2013

On November 9, 2013 over 100 women veterans, student veterans, family, friends, and community members attended the Annual Women Veterans Luncheon.  Dr. Laura Browder, author of the book When Janey Comes Marching Home spoke about the oral histories she conducted with women who had served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Photos from the luncheon can be seen here:

On Veterans Day, members of the UNCG community marked the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War with a remembrance event and a roll call of North Carolinians who died in the conflict.  The keynote speaker was WVHP veteran Ann Fisher, who served in the Women's Army Corps from 1949-1976.
ll Call of North Carolinians who were killed in action, died while prisoners of war or are missing in action/presumed dead. - See more at:
Members of the UNCG community will mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War with a Roll Call of North Carolinians who were killed in action, died while prisoners of war or are missing in action/presumed dead. - See more at:
Members of the UNCG community will mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the Korean War with a Roll Call of North Carolinians who were killed in action, died while prisoners of war or are missing in action/presumed dead. - See more at:

Finally, the WVHP collections are featured in the video for the UNCG crowdfunding campaign UNCG 4 Vets, which raises money for the Yellow Ribbon Campaign. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

SCUA to host UNCG Public History Program Exhibit, December 10th

Everyday Change: Stories of UNCG, 1963-1973 
An Exhibit by UNCG's Public History Program 

To mark the 50th anniversary of UNCG, please join us and explore how everyday activism played out on campus. Topics include:
  • Challenging Gender and Sexuality Norms 
  • Racial Integration & The Neo-Black Society 
  • Debates over Vietnam 
When: Tuesday, December 10th from 3:00-5:00 PM
Where: Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives, 222B Jackson Library (SCUA Reading Room)

Refreshments provided

Please RSVP to Dr. Anne Parsons at The exhibit will remain up at Special Collections until January 6, 2014. 

Friday, November 1, 2013

UNC Greensboro Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project Honors Student Veterans

In honor of Veterans Day 2013, we asked UNCG students who are active duty, in the reserves, or veterans to share their photos and tell us what they learned from their military  service.

There are:
21,500,000 military veterans in the U.S.
72,000 veterans living in North Carolina.
468 UNCG students using their G.I. Bill educational benefits.

UNCG is proud to have been selected as a top military-friendly university by Military Advanced  Education (MAE) for their 2014 Guide.


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The Top 5 Scariest Items in Special Collections and University Archives

As one may imagine, in our department's efforts to preserve unique and historical research, we happen upon certain...  unsettling items. Whether these items are morbid or gruesome, they have a home here, and we cherish them.

On this Halloween, Special Collections and Archives shares with you the top 5 scariest items in the collection. Click here to cast your vote for the creepiest item.

1) The Death Mask of Charles Duncan McIver

One of the creepiest items in the University Archives Collection is the death mask of Charles Duncan McIver, the founder and first president of the State Normal and Industrial School (now The University of North Carolina at Greensboro). On September 17, 1906, McIver was traveling on the campaign train of William Jennings Bryan when he suffered a stroke and died at the age of 46. Created by Wells L. Brewer, the death mask is a three-dimensional mold of McIver's face, made soon after his death. The McIver statues on the UNCG campus and at the State Capitol in Raleigh were constructed using this mask.

2) Blades, William. Enemies of Books. London: Trübner & Co., 1880

Special Collections purchased the first edition of Blades’ Enemies of Books in August of 1997 from the bookseller California Collectibles. Unexpectedly, the bookseller chose to send a [thankfully dead] book enemy with the purchase. The enclosed note reads:

THE Book worm

aka “Silver fish”

aka Lepisma saccharina

The above catch weighing in at ¼ gram, was
landed at California Collectible Books July 20
1995 by the store’s manager. Bait used was an
1888 edition of Harper’s Magazine. Said the
conquering hero – who happened to find the dead bug’s
carcass lodged into the old books binding -
“This one won’t be gnawing up and more books!”
A Bookman’s cry of victory.

Blades, both a scholar and a bibliophile, recognized books’ enemies in multiple forms: fire, water, gas and heat, dust and neglect, ignorance, the bookworm, other vermin, bookbinders, and even collectors. Of books themselves he writes:

An old book, whatever its subject or internal merits, is truly a portion of the national history; we may imitate it and print it in facsimile, but we can never exactly reproduce it; and as an historical document it should be carefully preserved.

Along with preserving the historical document that is Blades’ book, we also preserve the bookseller’s documented catch.

3) Parry, John. 1854. The Ploughboy's Polka. Philadelphia (188 Chesnut St., Philadelphia): Lee & Walker.

Although any randomly selected Rachmaninov piece from our archival music collections would be terrifying, this lithograph from a score in the Janos Scholz Music Collection is the stuff of nightmares. There is nothing intrinsic to this piece of music explaining why this caricature looks like it wants to eat your soul, but the longer you look at him, the worst it becomes. This may explain why there are only four libraries (including UNCG) in the world with this item in their collection.  

4) "Skull of My Kitty" from the Scrapbook of Margaret C. Moore

Any random manuscript collection can yield unusual items, but this fragment of a cat skull  in the Margaret Catherine Moore Papers, 1913-1982 is impressively eerie. Well, to be honest, the note below the bone fragment reading, "skull of my kitty," is what makes it creepy. We suspect it is from one of her dissection classes.

Margaret Catherine Moore (1913-1975) was a Woman's College alumna, nurse and nurse educator after whom the UNCG School of Nursing building is named. Moore enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps in May 1944. In 1949, Moore took a position as Instructor of Medical-Surgical Nursing at the Winchester Hospital before moving on to become the Administrator and Director of Nurses at the Warren Memorial Hospital in 1951.

5. "Dead Man's Boots" from the Helen Bolling Potts Papers (Women Veterans Collection)

Helen Bolling Potts was a "Donut Dolly" during WWII. The Donut Dollies were women working with the Red Cross who were responsible for boosting the morale of wartime soldiers long separated from their girlfriends and wives. It was critical that these women not only be cheerful in personality, but also attractively dressed.

While working in the Red Cross Clubmobile providing refreshments to soldiers, Potts' stylish shoes were ruined. The commander of the regiment on to which Potts was attached ordered his assistant to fetch a pair of boots from the room in which the items of dead soldiers were stored. Potts continued working that day, bolstering the morale of soldiers while wearing the boots of a dead one.

Bonus Features

Alma and Spencer Garlow Doll Collection: An American Family — 1630 to 1900

The dolls in the collection were created ca. 1962 by doll maker Helen Bullard (1902-1996) and carved from horse chestnut wood. Ms. Bullard named this collection of dolls “An American Family — 1630 to 1900.” She created nine generations of couples dating from 1630 to 1900. Each couple is shown at their age of marriage wearing their Sunday-best clothes and identifies their station in life. In 1985 Mrs. Alma Garlow, Woman's College (now The University of North Carolina at Greensboro) Class of 1934, loaned the dolls to The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) School of Home Economics.

Intending to represent the ideal of an American family, it is difficult to determine which is scarier--the dolls or the artist's interpretation of the perfect household.

Photograph Album from the Clara Fredere Sullivan Collection (Women Veterans Collection)

Clara Releder Fredere Sullivan served in the US Army as a nurse during WWI. During this time, packs of small postcards were sold as commemorative souvenirs to troops and support staff stationed in Europe. These pictures sometimes depicted some of the more disturbing, candid shots from the war front. The men laying down in the above photos as not sleeping; they are dead German soldiers.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Celebrating North Carolina Archives Week

This week -- October 21-27 -- is North Carolina Archives Week, an annual, week-long observance of the agencies and people responsible for maintaining and making available the archival and historical records of our nation, state, communities and people. The Archives Week theme for 2013 is "Home Grown! A Celebration of N.C. Food Culture and History."

Preserving food during World War I
To celebrate, SCUA has developed an exhibit in Jackson Library featuring images, publications, and other archival materials related to culinary history. Stop by the large exhibit case at the library's College Avenue entrance through the end of October to see historic images from the campus's dairy farm, home economics department, dining halls, and more!

You can also read excerpts from Tea-Kettle Talk, a 1924 cookbook published by the Alumnae Association of the North Carolina College for Women (now UNCG), on the Spartan Stories blog.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The George Darden Music Collection

George Darden
The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) is pleased to announce the donation of an extensive opera and piano music collection by the distinguished pianist and conductor, George Darden. The new George Darden Music Collection enhances the University Libraries’ support of student learning in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, and provides an exceptional archival music resource to researchers worldwide. It includes nearly 200 annotated scores, 22 monographs, and an impressive collection of signed photographs and tear sheets from the Metropolitan Opera.

George Darden’s 1963 debut featured a solo piano performance with the Savannah Symphony. After studying under pianist, Carlisle Floyd, and mezzo-soprano, Elena Nikolaidi, at Florida State University, Darden established himself in the Texas Opera Theatre and the Houston Grand Opera in major projections such as Il Barbiere di Sivilia and Of Mice and Men. In 1985, he began his collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera, providing piano and music preparation for major works by Mozart, Verdi, and Rossini. Darden is acclaimed as the authority in productions of Porgy and Bess, having directed the musical preparation for 165 performances.

George Darden’s reputation for expertise in piano and vocal music preparation contributed to his collaboration with the biggest names in opera. He has been heard as the piano behind some of the most famous performances by soprano Renée Fleming, including Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah, Dvorak’s Rusalka, and Massenet’s Manon. Additionally, he accompanied such celebrated vocalists as Marilyn Horne, Kiri Te Kanawa, and Sir Thomas Allen. George Darden’s friend, Plácido Domingo, has said, “If I was singing or conducting, I always hear in your playing the weight, feeling, and colors from the orchestra.”

The George Darden Collection is marked by its documentation of these artistic collaborations, featuring the original, thoroughly annotated scores employed for the productions. Notable items include Darden’s annotated copies of Porgy and Bess and Of Mice and Men. In addition to the performance notes, many of the scores and books are signed by the stars of the productions, such as a cast-signed score of Fledermaus and a collection of specially bound works of Carlisle Floyd, many of which are inscribed by Floyd to Darden.

Mr. Darden retired from the Metropolitan Opera in 2006, having been credited with musical preparation for five operas televised on PBS’s Emmy Award-winning The Metropolitan Presents series. He is recorded on several labels, including RCA. George Darden was awarded South Carolina’s Order of the Palmetto, the state’s highest civilian award for lifetime service to the state and nation, in 2000. This award is included with the collection, as well as a framed photograph of Darden receiving the award from South Carolina governor Jim Hodges.

Among the most visually stunning items within the collection are a series of performance photographs, signed tear sheets, and letters framed in gilt, chronicling George Darden’s performance history while at the Met. Displayed within this portion of the collection are the official Metropolitan Opera performance photographs with opening night tear sheets, frequently signed by the stars of the production. Prominent gems are a framed and signed photograph of Sergei Rachmaninov, and a signed photograph and manuscript piece by Frtiz Kreisler. Included among the framed material is a group portrait from the 10th Anniversary Gala for the National Endowment of the Arts signed from Lady Bird Johnson to George Darden.

“Given Mr. Darden’s association with numerous universities and production companies nationally, as well as his distinguished career internationally, we are deeply honored by Mr. Darden’s selection of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro as the official repository of his archive,” says Dean of the University Libraries Rosann Bazirjian.

The George Darden Collection at UNCG further expands the Special Collections and University Archives rich collection in the performing arts, joining such noted music collections as the Harold Schiffman Archive, the Egon Wellesz Contemporary Music Collection, and the Cello Music Archive.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What’s New in SCUA

Mary Channing Coleman
This month in SCUA, we’re showcasing a painting that we’ve recently acquired from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) Kinesiology Department.  The portrait is of Mary Channing Coleman, painted by Albert A. Wilkinson, head of the UNCG News Bureau from 1947-1967. Coleman was a long-time faculty member at Woman’s College; she was both a Professor of Physical Education and later the department head. Born in 1883 in Virginia, she attended the State Female Normal School (Virginia), Wellesley College and Columbia University.  In addition to her work at Woman’s College, Coleman served on the faculty of Winthrop College (South Carolina), Detroit Public Schools (Michigan), Margaret Morrison College of the Carnegie Institute of Technology (Pennsylvania), Columbia University (New York), and Toronto (Ontario, Canada).  She also served with the Red Cross Military Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during World War I.

Beyond her academic involvement, Coleman was heavily involved in organizations devoted to the advancement of physical education, including the North Carolina Physical Education Society (president), Southern Physical Association (president), and National Amateur Athletic Association (charter member).  She traveled all over the world studying centers of recreation, including those in Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Turkey, Greece, Austria, and Poland.  Coleman wrote articles for several professional journals and other publications.  She died in 1947 at the age of 64.  Coleman Gymnasium, now located on the UNCG campus, is named in her honor.

In an essay written about Ms. Coleman, now located in the University Archives, the author talks about her as being “knowledgeable, stimulating, inspiring, and strict…Her chief concern for the profession was to emphasize that physical education was an integral part of the education of all children.”  We hope that you’ll come by to view the painting of Mary Channing Coleman, and be sure to keep an eye out for our monthly exhibits.  And now you know “What’s New in SCUA.”

Rachel Sanders
Student Libraries' Advisory Council 
UNCG Historical Society 
Peer Career Ambassador
UNCG Career Services Center 
Phi Alpha Theta - History Honor Society
Kappa Delta Pi - Education Honor Society

Monday, August 26, 2013

Newly Processed Manuscript Collections

As the summer come to a close, it is a good time to look back at the accomplishments of the last few months.  We have five newly processed collections in the Manuscripts area of the Special Collections and University Archives that are open and ready for research.  Here's a bit more about them:

Kay Hagan
 The Kay Hagan Papers range from 2004-2010 and contain: government documents (such as statute books, budget information, etc.), correspondence with interest groups/issue representatives, constituent concerns/correspondence, legislative project information, news articles, campagin paraphenalia, and other miscellaneous items/documents. It must be noted that most of the items and documents come from Senator Hagan's time in the North Carolina State Senate.  Find out more about the contents of her collection at:

David Olson
The David Olson Political Ephemera collection, compiled by Dr. David Olson, documents political campaigns, both in the United States and on a global level, from the early nineteenth century to the most recent American presidential election in 2012. While elections during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are represented, the majority of the material relates to elections held after 1960. The first series of campaign material includes pamphlets, mailings, party documents, and promotional posters. This includes an array of material from American presidential elections as well as state level elections, with North Carolina and California receiving the most attention. The second series of political ephemera includes campaign stickers, buttons, and various other items related to elections at the national, state, and local levels.  Find out more about what his collection contains at:
Margaret Maron
Margaret Maron is an award-winning mystery writer who was born in Greensboro, North Carolina, and attended Woman's College (now the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, or UNCG) from 1956 to 1958.  The Margaret Maron Papers date from 1973 to 2010 and include drafts of Maron's mystery novels, and related correspondence, clippings, notes, timetables, diagrams, and other items. There are also files on talks and readings given by Maron, book signings, publicity tours, and similar events, as well as videotapes and audio recordings of interviews, talks, and readings by Maron between 1990 and 2010.  Check out her manuscripts at:

Michael Gills

The Michael Gills Papers document the writing career of Michael Gills, author of many short stories and novels, from 1979 to 2013. Material representing Gill's early writings include story drafts for college courses as well as work for his master's thesis and doctoral dissertation. The bulk of the collection documents Gills' post-graduate publications through various drafts of his works and related planning and research material. These include the short story collections Why I Lie (2002), Go Love (2011), and "The Death of Bonnie and Clyde" and Other Stories (2012) as well as the 2013 nonfiction work, White Indians: Notes From A Sundance. Additional material includes miscellaneous story ideas and research, assorted poetry, documents relating to Gills' time at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (1987-1989), miscellaneous correspondence, and photographs.  See what's in his collection at:

Angela Davis-Gardner
Angela Davis-Gardner is a noted author and teacher from North Carolina. This collection documents the writing and teaching career of Angela Davis-Gardner from 1963 through 2012. Included are Davis-Gardner's early writings and story ideas as well as material pertaining to her college career and time as a faculty member at North Carolina State University. The bulk of the material relates to Davis-Gardner's four published novels, Felice (1981), Forms of Shelter (1991), Plum Wine (2006), and Butterfly's Child (2011). The collection contains research notes, planning materials, and drafts for each of Davis-Gardner's major works as well as related correspondence, press materials, and book reviews collected by the author.  Find out more about the Angela Davis Gardner Papers at:

Thursday, August 22, 2013



The 16th Annual Women Veterans Luncheon will be held on Saturday, November 9th from 11:30-2 at UNCG‘s Elliott University Center. The featured speaker will be Dr. Laura Browder, the author of the timely book When Janey Comes Marching Home. This collection of first-person accounts from dozens of military women who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan provides a dramatic portrait of women at war. The oral histories give a presence and a voice to American women returning from service in a war zone. Browder will highlight the stories of several women she interviewed for the book, and discuss the current issues surrounding women in combat. The program is open to everyone. Tickets are free for UNCG student veterans reserves or active military, $12 for all other military veterans, and $16 or non-veterans. Table sponsorship opportunities to support student attendance will be available for $300. Contact Beth Ann Koelsch for tickets and questions at 336/334-5838 or

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Article on Woman's College Resources in Segregated North Carolina

If you're interested in learning more about the Library's - and specifically librarian Charles Adams' - struggles in allowing students from Bennett and North Carolina A&T to use Woman's College Library resources, there is an article in the newest issue of North Carolina Libraries focused on the topic. And almost all of the research was done here in UNCG's University Archives! Here is the link and additional information for those who are interested in reading:

Charles Adams and the Controversy over Use of the Woman’s College Library in Segregated North Carolina
Erin Lawrimore
North Carolina Libraries, Vol. 71, No. 1 (2013)

Abstract: In 1951, the Library at the Woman's College of the University of North Carolina faced attacks from administrative leaders due to its policy of allowing African-American students from neighboring colleges to access the catalog, borrow books, and use reference resources. Librarian Charles Adams refused to ban these students from the Library's facilities, leading to repeated confrontations with the chancellor and the University of North Carolina Consolidated System's Board of Trustees. In developing guidelines that were applicable to all - not just African Americans - Adams bucked the University's segregationist policies and ensured that information needs were met, regardless of a patron's skin color.

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Student's Perspective: Behind the Stacks in Manuscripts and Archives

I started in the Department of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) as a volunteer during the fall semester of my freshman year at UNCG (2010). I had emailed someone (I can’t remember who now) in the library and asked if there was any need for volunteers in the library. I thought I’d be checking out books or reshelving things. The person replied and told me that there was no need for help in the main part of the library and suggested that I email Kathelene Smith in Archives. I did, and a week later I started as a volunteer. I mentioned this to my older brother, Dr. Joe Sanders, who is a faculty member at Kansas State University. He was surprised to hear this; he had just given a lecture on some research that he had done at SCUA. This was a nice surprise and made me even more interested in the work that goes on here.

Throughout my first year at SCUA, I worked on many different projects. The most extensive was some cataloguing with the State Normal Magazine that I did for Hermann Trojanowski, one of the archivists here. Hermann was a great sport and taught me a LOT about many aspects of archives. I also worked on organizing some photographs, supervised by Kathelene and Hermann. As it turns out, I knew less than I thought I did because after proudly presenting the results of my photograph organizing, Hermann gently pointed out that I had done the notes on the back of the photographs upside
down! Regardless of my stumbling during the first year, Keith Gorman and Kathelene pulled me aside and told me that if I wanted to return the next year, they would allow me to do so as a paid departmental student employee!

During the fall 2012 semester, I had to do a class project. It was a biography of a student who had gone to UNCG when it was still the State Normal and Industrial School, and we were required to use the archives to do it. It was great fun to experience SCUA from a researcher’s point of view, and I definitely had a head start because of my experiences and knowledge of what the archives contain. But I was surprised at how many more resources exist – it never ends!

Over the course of the last two years, I've learned about an amazing world of processing, administration, and project planning that I had no idea even existed. I absolutely love what I do; there are so many great things about working at SCUA. I've worked on some projects with nearly every staff member here and gotten to know them fairly well. I can honestly say that I have never worked with a group of people who are this kind and understanding and hilarious to be with. Every day there is something new to explore within the projects that I’m doing, and every day I learn more about UNCG – an entire history that I never would have guessed was there.

Rachel Sanders
UNCG Historical Society
Student Libraries' Advisory Council
Peer Career Ambassador
UNCG Career Services Center
Kappa Delta Pi - Education Honor Society

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Student's Perspective : Behind the Stacks in Archives and Manuscripts

When I first started my graduate career at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), I decided to look for a job with the University Libraries. Directed to the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives department, I learned that they only had a volunteer position available, for which I promptly interviewed.

In the fall of 2011, I began working as a volunteer in the University Archives for a relatively modest ten hours each week. My first exposure to history at UNCG’s Archives came through the personal recollections of prominent local Rotarians through working with the Preserving the Past: The Rotary Club of Greensboro Oral History Project. I proofread transcripts, drafted abstracts, and organized the digital interviews. I was captivated by their first-hand recollections of the history of Greensboro, the Civil Rights Movement, World War II, and the changing economics of the United States. My first few months working with the Project showed me the importance of preserving these valuable memories, which would otherwise be lost.

I enjoyed my experience in the department and found the entire concept of an archive fascinating. While I had experience with using archival resources, I had never really given the academic archive serious consideration. Nestled away in libraries across the country, archivists and librarians were preserving the past – of both institutions and individuals – for future generations.

After a semester as a volunteer, I was offered a student assistant position in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives. With this new position, I began to tackle more varied and difficult projects. I began processing the records of the International Double Reed Society and the University’s historical photographs and postcards collections. Each new challenge and experience made me more assured that I wanted to pursue a career in archives.

Although I had entertained thoughts of obtaining a Ph.D. in English, my time in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives showed me that I was better suited to a career as an archivist. I would still be able to teach, assist students and researchers, and maintain a connection to literature within this one wonderful field. Encouraged by my supervisors, I applied to several schools’ Library Science graduate programs, settling on UNC-Chapel Hill’s SILS program which I will begin in the fall of 2013.

It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment or experience that altered my life and career plans. Whatever it was, I am remarkably pleased that my family encouraged me to volunteer at the library and that I found such an enjoyable career path.

After personally experiencing the numerous emotional, touching, comical, and just plain outrageous things you can stumble across in University Archives, I would encourage everyone to make a trip to an archive!
Patrick Dollar

Thursday, May 2, 2013

New Exhibits on Campus Literary Societies

In the second year of its existence, the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG) created two campus literary societies that were intended to provide a social and communal atmosphere for students. All students were inducted into either the Adelphian or Cornelian Literary Society; no one was excluded. These groups hosted many of the events on campus, including plays, debates, socials, and dances. Two additional literary societies were founded as the school grew -- the Dikean Literary Society in 1918 and the Aletheian Literary Society in 1923. These organization served as key sources of entertainment and extracurricular learning from 1893 until they were disbanded in 1953.

Adelphian Society performance of "The Rivals," 1913
To celebrate the 120th anniversary of the founding of these Societies, Kristen Thomas has created both a physical and online exhibit to highlight the activities and development of these groups. Kristen, a senior History major, interned with SCUA during the Spring 2013 semester. During her internship, she conducted research in University Archives and Manuscripts collections, wrote exhibit text, fabricated exhibit materials, and selected and scanned images for online display.

Presidents and InterSociety Representatives
from the four campus literary societies, 1937
The physical exhibit is housed next to the reference desk on the main level of Jackson Library, and will run through the end of June. It features photographs, publications, and ephemera  documenting the 60 years history of the literary societies.

The online exhibit can be accessed at

Additionally, on May 27th, the Spartan Stories blog will feature a guest post from Kristen with additional information on the literary societies.

Monday, April 15, 2013

“A Fine Suit of Clothes” Exhibit about Book Bindings Opens in Jackson Library: Noted Book Artist and Historian to Speak April 16

When the anonymous author of Commercial Bookbindings, a historical sketch and description of an exhibition at the Grolier Club, New York, wrote in 1894, “Nobody thought of expecting the publisher to throw in a fine suit of clothes with the book,” he was commenting on the early years of what was to be the golden age of American book cover design.  The period from 1880-1920 saw the rise and decline in the use of artist/designers, and the astonishing results they could achieve with colored cloth, a few colors of ink, gold and silver, and a canvas the size of a book cover.  The Charles Adams American Trade Binding Collection at the University Libraries has a large selection of bindings concentrating on this period and particularly its zenith, from 1890-1910.

To celebrate its collection and to accompany the new exhibit entitled "A Fine Suit of Clothes: American Publishers' Bindings, 1880-1920: A Progressive Exhibition,"   the University Libraries are sponsoring a presentation by Richard Minsky on the art and commerce of 19th and 20th century American trade bindings. The presentation will be held in the Hodges Reading Room (on the second floor of Jackson Library) on April 16 at 4 PM.  The talk and reception following are both free and open to the public.  

Richard Minsky is an internationally known book artist, author, historian, curator, and bibliographer. Minsky is the author of American Decorated Publishers' Bindings 1872-1929, The Art of American Book Covers 1875-1930, The Art of the American Book, The Golden Age of American Book Design, and The Book Cover Art of Thomas Watson Ball. In 1974 he founded the Center for Book Arts in New York City, the first organization of its kind.

The exhibit will run from March 18 through August 30. It is open to the public, Monday through Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM. Bindings on display will change throughout the exhibition period.

-Barry Miller 

Monday, April 8, 2013

What They Were Wearing While They Were Reading: 1940s

The events of the 1940s utterly transformed the foundations of American society. Impelled by World War II, the influx of immigrants fleeing Europe and the relocation of American soldiers to European and Asian war fronts led to the dissemination of new ideas, encouraged technological innovation, and altered traditional gender roles within American culture.

Forcing the United States from isolationism on to the world stage, WWII motivated the advancements of science and technology to support the war effort, both in terms of enhanced weaponry and modernized medicine. On the home front, the availability of automated home appliances liberated women to fill jobs previously only performed by men who had left to war, subsequently changing the overall structure of the American family.

With the return of service personnel at the end of the war, the repercussions of these changes were not fully understood. As the population began to recognize it could not restore its pre-war way of life, the conflict arising from the realization continued into the following decades.

A collaborative exhibit presented by Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections & University Archives and Dr. James V. Carmichael, Library and Information Studies Depratment, UNCG.

Friday, February 22, 2013

New Exhibit! Spartan Evolution: A History of Basketball on the UNCG Campus from the 1890s to Today

Woman's College versus Guilford College, 1963
Just in time for March Madness, the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives presents "Spartan Evolution: A History of Basketball on the UNCG Campus from the 1890s to Today." This exhibit is housed next to the reference desk on the main level of Jackson Library, and will run through April. Featuring images ranging from the women of the Athletic Association in 1900 to current head coaches Wes Miller and Wendy Palmer, this exhibit highlights key events and people in the development of intramural and intercollegiate basketball on campus.

An online exhibit also features a number of images used in the exhibit:

And, stay tuned to Spartan Stories! The March 4th post will also delve deeper into UNCG basketball history.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Few Items of Romance from the Cello Music Collections

The Cello Music Collections at UNCG are filled with classical masterpieces of music that can woo the most frigid heart, but we also preserve manuscripts and artifacts equally stirring, though of a more personal nature. On this Valentine's Day, we would like to share with you a few of the more romantic items from the Janos Scholz Cello Music and Personal Papers Collection.

Above is the diary of Therese Russ (picture on the left from the front of the diary). Written on pink paper, the journal covers the daily accounts of her life in the Austro-Hungarian Empire before her marriage. The lock of her hair was given to her husband, as was the common courting practice at that time. The journal dates from some time in the late 1800s and was to be buried with Therese, but it was lost in the family papers. As the family story goes, the maternal line of Janos Scholz' lineage was of inspiration to many composers of their day, including Franz Schubert, Franz Liszt, and Karl Goldmark.

In processing archival collections, we read a lot of mail, and love letters always rouse the imagination (especially since we only see one side of the conversation). To the left we have two letters, the first letter, undated but signed by "Alice" begins, "Your departure from this section of the country left a great void - I can't find words to describe it."  The second is an excerpt of a text reminiscent of Robert Herrick's "To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time." The first part of the Scholz letter reads, "Gather the roses bravely. God has given them to you so as to delight your heart and mind..." We do not know who the admirer is, as the letter is unsigned, but included within the envelope is a pressed rose.

Of course, this being an archival music collection, we must leave you with this very special Valentine message. Composed for voice and piano, the title of this short piece is "A Valentine," and it appears to be written in the hand of Janos Scholz. The song verse is as follows:

"Little Love sat sobbing, sighing, 
Bitter winds about him flying.
'I have come a weary way,
Not a rose bud blooms this day'!
Good old Winter heard him crying,
Smoothed his curls and smiled replying:
'Gather up my snowflake showers.
They are ghosts of true love's flowers.'"

If you would like to find out more about UNCG's Cello Music Collection, visit our website or email us. Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

WVHP Photographs in Action

On January 24, 2013, the WVHP curator was contacted by The New Yorker. They asked to use some of the images of "our" veterans in an online slide show that illustrated a story discussing the Pentagon's decision to end the ban on women in combat. 9 of the 11 images are of WVHP vets. These women's service eras ranged from WWII to the Iraq War.

You can see the slide show here:

This year's UNCG Libraries' travel grant recipient, Andi Gustavson, spent a week looking at ALMOST ALL of the WVHP collections for research for her dissertation.

Story here:

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Art Exhibit on Joanne Smart Drane and Bettye Tillman

The Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives invites students, faculty, and researchers to view an artistic exhibit created as a tribute to Joanne Smart Drane and Bettye Tillman, the first two African American women to graduate from UNCG.  Using 1956 original photographs from the archives, art student Rachel Propst created her own unique images through the process of cyanotype, which uses ultra violet light to create the image.

This exhibit will be on display in the Multicultural Resource Center located on the bottom floor of the Elliot University Center from January 11-March 8, 2013.

There will be artist talk on Wednesday, February 06, 2013 from 3-4pm.