Posted by: Ashley | September 15, 2014

A Housing for Cigarettes

[This blog post was written by Emily Rainwater, Conservator for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Closed housing for the David Tudor concert programs, BMCRP Series VI Box 76

New housing for the David Tudor concert programs, BMCRP Series VI Box 76. Click the image to see a larger view.

David Tudor (1926-1996) was a pianist and composer of experimental electronic music. He was an instructor and pianist-in-residence at Black Mountain College during the summer sessions from 1951-1953. On July 4, 1953 David Tudor gave a concert at Black Mountain College with programs printed on cigarette papers by BMC Print Shop. The State Archives of North Carolina holds two of these programs at the Western Regional Archives, one printed horizontally in red and one printed vertically in blue. These programs are in their original rolled cigarette form and remain filled with tobacco.


H-frame during construction for the David Tudor concert programs.

H-frame during construction for the David Tudor concert programs. Click the image to see a larger view.

David Tudor concert programs, BMCRP Series VI Box 76

David Tudor concert programs, BMCRP Series VI Box 76. Click the image to see a larger view.

The concert programs needed a new housing which would better protect the fragile objects. A support structure was created for them by cutting an “H” shape out of several layers of museum quality mat board. The legs of the H hold the cigarettes in place while the cross of the H allows for easier handling if they ever need removing from the housing. After adhering multiple layers of mat board together, the frame is thick enough to protect the programs from pressure coming from above. The cut edges of the H were lined with Japanese tissue to help smooth the transition between the layers. The H frame was adhered to several more pieces of mat board to form a backing layer. The completed frame was inserted into a custom cloth covered clamshell box which will provide additional protection.

A view of the new housing for the David Tudor concert programs, BMCRP Series VI Box 76.

A view of the new housing for the David Tudor concert programs, BMCRP Series VI Box 76. Click the image to see a larger view. A closer look at the programs is available through the NC Digital Collections.

[This blog post was written by Josh Hager of the Correspondence Unit, part of the Collection Services Section at the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Through the remainder of 2014, the Correspondence Unit of the State Archives is creating small exhibits in the Search Room to explore the histories of the schools in the University of North Carolina System. The first installation of the exhibit, entitled “For All Useful Learning: The Records of the UNC System Schools,” included records documenting the history of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the first state-sponsored public university in the nation. From September 16 to September 27, the exhibit will feature documents pertaining to North Carolina State University, Fayetteville State University, and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. NC State started life as a land grant university while both Fayetteville State and UNC Pembroke started as normal schools. This blog post is a companion piece to this second installation of the UNC Schools exhibit. It will briefly explain what both “land grant university” and “normal school” meant and how those definitions influenced the schools’ histories.

Gov. Kerr Scott in North Carolina State University's yearbook, the 1917 edition of the Agromeck.

Gov. Kerr Scott in the 1917 edition of North Carolina State University yearbook, Agromeck.

NC State began as a land grant institution, defined by the (federal) Morrill Act of 1857 as a university teaching agriculture, military science, and mechanical arts. Although North Carolina received land from the Morrill Act shortly after the bill’s passage, the state did not attempt to open a Morrill-style school until the 1870s. Initially, the state attempted to alter UNC Chapel Hill’s curriculum to conform to the educational goals of the Morrill Act, but public outcry prevented changing Chapel Hill’s traditional liberal arts focus. Instead, the state opened two land-grant institutions in Raleigh: the North Carolina College of Agricultural and Mechanical Arts in 1887 (which became NC State) and the North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College for the Colored Race in 1891 (which became North Carolina Agricultural and Technological University State University, later moving to Greensboro). While NC State’s curriculum has grown significantly since its founding in 1887, it is still renown nationally for its academic programs in engineering, agricultural science, and veterinary medicine—all subjects that the Morrill Act recommended over one hundred years ago.

While “land grant institution” has a specific meaning thanks to the Morrill Act, the term “normal school” has a more general meaning: a school dedicated to training new teachers. Derived from the French phrase école normale and a Parisian school so named in the 1830s, normal schools first became widespread in the United States in the second-half of the 19th century. It is not coincidental that the increase in normal schools correlated with an increase in the degree to which state and local governments became more involved in offering quality public education to growing numbers of students.

University of North Carolina at Pembroke, The Museum of the Native American Resource Center

Photo of the Museum of the Native American Resource Center at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. This photograph is part of the North Carolina ECHO Project available through the NC Digital Collections.

In North Carolina specifically, the General Assembly passed two landmark resolutions that led to the establishment of Fayetteville State and UNC Pembroke. First, the General Assembly passed a resolution in 1877 calling for a normal school for the training of African-American teachers. For the location of the new normal school, state officials selected the Howard School in Fayetteville, which opened in 1869 as a school providing primary education to Fayetteville’s African-American population. Thus, in 1877, the Howard School became the State Colored Normal School, the first state-sponsored institution for educating African-American teachers both in North Carolina and anywhere in the South. The school was renamed as the Fayetteville State Teachers College in 1939, and became Fayetteville State University in 1969. Visitors to the exhibit case can see evidence of Fayetteville State’s commitment to education by having the chance to examine a list of graduates in the 1920s and their placement at schools throughout the Sandhills and further afield.

The second landmark resolution, which is on display in the exhibit case, came to the floor of the North Carolina House in 1887. Robeson County Representative Hamilton McMillan, with the support of a petition of Lumbee Indians from the area, introduced a resolution to found a normal school for the training of American Indian teachers. Croatan Normal School opened in 1887 as a result of this piece of legislation. Croatan Normal School was the first state-sponsored normal school for American Indians in North Carolina. The school underwent several name changes over the years, including Pembroke State College, and became the University of North Carolina at Pembroke in 1996.

Other normal schools followed, including the North Carolina State Normal and Industrial School (1891, later renamed as the University of North Carolina at Greensboro), the Normal and Industrial School in Elizabeth City (1891, later renamed as Elizabeth City State University), and East Carolina Teachers Training School (1907, later renamed East Carolina University). Later exhibit cases will showcase these institutions, but Fayetteville State and UNC Pembroke have a special significance in North Carolina history as the first two normal schools and the first two education schools for minorities.

[This press release comes from Kim Andersen, Audio Visual Materials Archivist in the Special Collections Section of the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Home Movie Day Spotlights Families,
Communities and Roadtrips!

It’s a Social Event…Bring Films, Watch Films and Play Bingo!

Raleigh, NC – Home Movie Day Raleigh will be held on Saturday, October 18, 2014
from 1:00-4:00pm in the auditorium at the State Archives of North Carolina, 109
East Jones Street, Raleigh. The event is free and parking is available around the
Archives. This year’s event is sponsored by the Film Studies Program at NCSU, the
State Archives of North Carolina and A/V Geeks Transfer Services. Participants spend the afternoon watching amateur films and win prizes playing Home Movie Day bingo.

Members of the public are invited to bring in cinematic artifacts of their personal pasts on any film format 8mm, Super8,16mm home movie – as well as VHS or
Video8 format (cued up, 5 minute limit) for inspection, discussion, and onsite
projection. Depending on the condition of the films, attendees will have the chance to view their own films on the big screen. Equipment provided by A/V Geeks
Transfer Services will allow participants to get a free transfer of their film.

Now in its 12th year, Home Movie Day is an international event held in local
communities around the world. It provides an opportunity for attendees to bring in
their home movies, learn more about their own family films, and—most
importantly—watch them and share them with others! Film archivists are on site and
to share information about how to care for films and videotapes so they can be
enjoyed by future generations.

Because they are local events, Home Movie Day screenings can focus on family
and community histories in a meaningful way.

“Home movies can allow us glimpses into the lives of regular people.” says Kim
Andersen of the State Archives of North Carolina. “These little movies provide
insight into that one person or family at a particular point in time and also, when studied with other films shot in and around the same time and locale, can show trends and shed invaluable light on socioeconomic groups and communities. Home movies are compact vignettes of life pithy little snippets chock full of detail and nuance that convey vastly more in much less time and space than a written document or a still image even.”

Charles Story attended the 2013 Home Movie Day event. He remembers, “seeing
the look of pure amazement and joy on people’s faces as they see themselves and
their loved ones, some who have been gone for decades, makes Home Movie Day
a truly unique experience. Hearing participants talk about what they are seeing on
the screen makes a full auditorium feel like a relatives living room, familiar and

Devin Orgeron is the Director of Film Studies at North Carolina State University, a cosponsor of the Raleigh event. “I’ve been a part of Home Movie Day for years now, and each year tops the previous year in terms of turnout and interesting material.” explains Orgeron. “What impressed me about last year’s event was the sheer number of local film lovers who came out, with or without films to show. I tell my students this every year and I think they are starting to get it now: you can’t really call yourself a film nerd and miss this event.”

For more information about the Raleigh Home Movie Day event on October 18,
please contact Devin Orgeron or visit the Raleigh Home
Movie Day website:

For more information about Home Movie Days around the world go to

Posted by: Ashley | September 10, 2014

Stranger than Fiction: True Stories Found in NCpedia

[This event press release is cross-posted from the NCPedia events page.]

Saturday, September 13, 2014
NC Museum of History
5 E. Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27601


Did you know that Craven County was once home to a self-kicking machine? That Tarboro had a refrigerated pool in 1930s? Or that the state laid claim to the world’s longest beard? Come celebrate North Carolina history by hearing about some of its stranger stories.  They can now be found in the State Library of North Carolina’s online encyclopedia, NCpedia!


Make your own “Stranger than Fiction” booklet, filled with North Carolina facts and activities, or a paper cardinal, North Carolina’s State Bird! More of a dog person? Color a Plott Hound, North Carolina’s State Dog!


A panel of experts will share lesser known, entertaining stories from North Carolina’s history!
You’ll hear from:
  • Kelly Agan, Digital Media Librarian, Government & Heritage Library, State Library of North Carolina.
  • Robert Anthony, Curator, North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.
  • B. J. Davis, Education Section Chief, North Carolina Museum of History.
  • Michael Hill, Head, Research Branch, North Carolina Office of Archives and History.
  • Dr. William S. Price, Jr., Former Director of the N.C. Division of Archives and History and Former Kenan Professor of History, Meredith College.
  • Mark Simpson-Vos, Editorial Director, University of North Carolina Press.

This event celebrates the publication of thousands of articles in the NCpedia from the University of North Carolina Press’s Encyclopedia of North Carolina, Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, and North Carolina Gazetteer, as well as articles from the Research Branch of the Office of Archives and History, the Tar Heel Junior Historian magazine, UNC Chapel Hill Libraries, NC Natural Heritage Program, and more! NCpedia’s expansion has been funded in part with a Library Services and Technology Act grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

There will be something for the entire family including children’s activities! Join us to learn more and to talk with one of our NCpedia project partners! For more information, call the NC Government & Heritage Library at 919-807-7450 or send us an email. Reservations are not required.

[This blog post comes from Andrea Gabriel, Outreach and Development Coordinator for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Images of photographs on top of a scrapbook. The Traveling Archivist Program (TAP) provides onsite consultation in best practices for the preservation of and access to archival materials held in North Carolina repositories in order to preserve items like this.

The Traveling Archivist Program (TAP) provides onsite consultation in best practices for the preservation of and access to archival materials held in North Carolina repositories.

Could you use some help with managing and caring for your archival collections?

Applications are now being sought for admission to the Traveling Archivist Program (TAP), a program providing onsite consultation in best practices for the preservation of and access to archival materials held in North Carolina repositories.

TAP addresses best practices in accessions and acquisitions, preservation and conservation including environmental conditions, proper handling and storage, public access tools and outreach, and administrative infrastructure. Each site visit includes a collections assessment, discussions with staff and administrative personnel, and practical low-cost recommendations to improve preservation and access. These recommendations will be formalized in a written report provided to your organization. Some basic supplies will be supplied.

Institutions eligible for this project can include historical and genealogical societies; public libraries; the archives of colleges, hospitals, and other organizations; museums; and other institutions that hold materials documenting the state’s history and culture. Archival materials may include institutional and administrative records, letters, ledgers, journals and diaries, scrapbooks, audio visual materials, rare books, photographs, drawings and ephemera. The TAP is not designed for institutional that house only objects.

Since 2009, TAP has assisted more than 70 institutions throughout North Carolina, several of which have used the formal report to secure outside funding. Many of these collections were started by individuals interested in preserving the local history of their communities and were later donated to historical societies, public libraries, or community colleges.

The TAP program is open to all North Carolina cultural and heritage institutions that house and maintain active archive and record collections accessible to the public. Applications will be accepted until September 26, 2014. The application and instructions are available from the News and Events page on the State Archives website.

Questions relating to the application or the program may be addressed to Andrea Gabriel, State Archives of North Carolina , 919.807.7326;

Posted by: Ashley | August 29, 2014

Labor Day, New Finding Aids, and Blockade Runners

The State Archives of North Carolina will be closed August 30 – September 1 for the Labor Day holiday. Even though the building will be closed, our website is always open to you. Here are some new items that you may find interesting.

New in Government Records

New digital records guidelines are available for:

New Finding Aids

Several new finding aids are available on the State Archives of North Carolina website.

Audio Visual Materials

Century Film Productions Motion Picture Films Collection (pdf)
Century Film Productions (AKA Century Studios; Century Films) was a Raleigh-based film studio owned and operated by O.B. (Ollie) and Lynn Garris. O.B. – while also a cameraman for WRAL-TV – was the primary cinematographer, and his wife, Lynne, played a variety of roles from set designer to director, editing and sound to production assistant. The Century Film Productions catalog spans from the late 1950s through the early 1980s, and including completed films, production elements, and outtakes – all but two in 16mm format – numbers over 200 items. A few highlights include sponsored films for Carolina Power & Light, Occoneechee Council of the Boy Scouts of America, the North Carolina Department of Transportation with R.J. Reynolds, the U.S. Navy, and the North Carolina Police Information Network; a North Carolina State University football game; commercials for Mt. Olive Pickles and Record Bar; short films and television spots for the political ad campaigns of state governors Dan K. Moore, Terry Sanford, and Robert W. Scott, United States Representative Jim Gardner, and others. There are also important events in North Carolina history that are captured on film such as a Ku Klux Klan march from circa 1965, the Pullen Hall fire at North Carolina State University in 1965, the inauguration of James E. Holshouser, Jr., and more. (204 items)

Governors Papers

  • David S. Reid, (in office January 1, 1851-December 5, 1854)
  • Daniel L. Russell (in office January 12, 1897-January 14, 1901)
  • Alfred M. Scales (in office January 21, 1885-January 16, 1889)
  • Richard D. Spaight (in office December 14, 1792-November 18, 1795)
  • James Turner (in office December 6, 1802-December 9, 1805)
  • Zebulon B. Vance, 1st Administration (in office September 8, 1862-May 28, 1865)
  • Zebulon B. Vance, 2nd Administration (January 1, 1877-February 4, 1879)

Private Collections

Cunningham, Josiah H. and William A., Letters, 1861-1865 (pdf)
Josiah H. Cunningham (ca. 1841-1863) and William Alexander Cunningham (ca. 1843-1904) were sons of George Washington (ca. 1807-1872) and Susan Turner Rives Cunningham (ca. 1817-1901), Granville County. On 8 June, 1861, the two brothers enlisted as privates, trained at a school of cavalry instruction at Camp Beauregard, Ridgeway, Warren County. It was there that the 9th Regiment N.C. State Troops (1st Regiment N. C. Cavalry) was formed on 12 August 1861. William survived the war, but Josiah was wounded 15 October 1863 near Manassas Junction, Va., and died the following day. Consists of fifty-six letters, the majority of which were written by the Cunningham brothers to family at home. Of these, a small quantity were written by Daniel B. Duke, company bugler, and by Robert D. Grisham/ Grissom, a private, both from Granville County, and one by Turner, probably a kinsman. Most of the letters consisted of references to life in the camps, with news that would be of interest to family at home, and did not dwell on the dangers and horrors of war. A couple of letters after Josiah’s death provide a few scant details to the grieving family. (1 box)

New on YouTube

If you missed the Civil War 150 talk “The Blockade and Blockade Running in North Carolina, 1861-1865″ by Andrew Duppstadt on August 11, 2014, the video of the talk is now available on the Department of Cultural Resources YouTube channel.

New Blog Posts

Happy Friday! I have a few updates to pass along.

Time for the Big Chill

Friday, August 8 through Friday, August 29, 2014, the Archives and Library Building’s heating and air will be serviced. It is likely that the building will be colder than usual during this period, so we suggest that researchers dress in layers.

See the beta version of the new North Carolina Digital Collections

See the beta version of the new North Carolina Digital Collections and let us know if you have any suggestions.

A New Look for the North Carolina Digital Collections

The State Library and the State Archives are demoing a brand new “beta” redesign of the NC Digital Collections!

Take a test drive, and let us know what you think at the survey at the top. We would appreciate your feedback.

Additions to the Website and Digital Collections

Currently 17,599 1901 Confederate Pension Applications are available in the NC Digital Collections.

On the Private Collections Finding Aids page, a new finding aid is available for:

Miscellaneous Papers, 1689-1912
This is a collection of miscellaneous items such as letters, deeds, grants, surveys, wills, leases, miscellaneous items, that also included a number of photocopies and transcripts from other repositories. Writers, letter recipients, and subjects of these materials vary widely. They range from governors, generals, to ordinary citizens and cover a range of historical periods, from the pre-Revolutionary period on to the 20th century, with 21st century additions expected. Papers from the colonial period include letters such as a contemporary abstract of letter about Governor Dobbs’s marriage to a girl of fifteen.Revolutionary War letters discuss topics such as the Batttle of Moores Creek Bridge and southern campaigns, loyalists, privateers, condition of soldiers, among various others.Post-Revolutionary material includes an unsigned and incomplete but detailed discussion of the U.S.Constitution; and letters about western and bounty lands (1795-1797), and more.Subjects of Civil War letters include preparations in South Carolina; blockade-running; and the fall of Fort Fisher. Postwar letters include Lillie Devereux Blake on the New York Women’s Suffrage Association (1886); Jefferson Davis about North Carolina’s distinguished history (1889);William Jennings Bryan to Walter Clark (1909, n.d.), as a small sample. Throughout the collection are letters relating to court cases and personal business affairs. (7 boxes)

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