Posted by: westernregionalarchives | April 10, 2014

Interns Ignite Interest in WRA

This semester, the WRA played host and teacher to 12 interns (11 from UNC-A and one from Wofford College). While the number was a bit daunting at times for the archives to take on, the students have been integral to generating interest in the archives. As archivist Heather south describes it, “having so many extra hands has allowed us to blaze through projects and get more materials available to researchers.” From processing collections, indexing ledgers, judging history day and designing a new exhibit, these interns have been hard at work and the progress is amazing.

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Interns Andrea Smith and Emily Lauher work on finishing touches to exhibit signage for the building.

They have created finding aids, learned basic preservation techniques and methods, been on field trips to local repositories and expanded the WRA social media presence making the small branch have record setting numbers. “It has been an unbelievable experience. To think I have become part of the story of these records actually having hands on history is truly amazing” remarked one intern when asked about their time at the WRA.

Come see the new exhibit featuring the hard work and insights into the intern program that has got people fired up about history.

Posted by: Ashley | April 10, 2014

Raleigh Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon

This weekend will be very busy in downtown Raleigh. For those of you planning a research trip to the Search Room on Saturday or intending to take part in the Raleigh Occupied Living History event at the State Capitol or the Finding Your African American Ancestors 1870-1940 workshop hosted by the State Library and State Archives, please be aware that the Raleigh Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon will be taking place on Sunday. Parking restrictions are being put in place today and street closures will start on Saturday, so please plan accordingly.

For more information about parking and streets involved in the race, see this document from the race website. A course map is also available.

[This blog post comes from the Outer Banks History Center. It was written by researcher Ron Kemp.]

Captain Henry Clark Bridgers, Jr. retired from the U.S. Navy due to a heart attack following an illustrious career and returned to Tarboro, N.C., his home town. He wrote about banking, railroads (his father was a railroad man) and steamboats. His manuscript, Steamboats on the Tar, was completed but not published at the time of his death in 1981. At Bridgers’ request, his family gave the manuscript and research materials to author and historian David Stick who intended to publish the work. Stick donated the collection to the Outer Banks History Center in Manteo, N.C. for safekeeping. Author and historian Lindley Butler took on the project for a time but became diverted by other projects.

I was working as a researcher and unit production manager for a UNC-TV documentary, Birth of a Colony, the first episode of a proposed series on the history of North Carolina. While in the History Center, I came across six boxes of materials, Henry Clark Bridgers’ work. I started reviewing it and was fascinated with the depth and thoroughness of his work and distressed that it was never published. When my duties on Birth of a Colony ended, I began to look into getting the story published. I found his daughters, Meade and Penny, and obtained their support.

Steamboats on the Tar

Cover of Steamboats on the Tar .

With the assistance of the staff at the OBHC, I was able to obtain a copy of Captain Bridgers’ finished manuscript and photocopies of the photographs, newspaper microfilms and flyers that he had collected over a number of years. The Center’s assistance was invaluable in returning the materials to press-ready condition. Having a resource like the OBHC truly makes success stories like this possible—had these materials not been preserved, catalogued and made available for researchers, this book would have never been published.

Since there was only a typescript photocopy and hard copies of photos he had obtained, I needed to get a digital file created and obtain clearances on the selected photographs. There was far more material than I felt could be placed in a published book, so I limited the photos to steamboats actually mentioned in the manuscript.

I opted for self-publishing with Amazon’s CreateSpace, convinced a friend, painter Robert Pittman, whose grandfather captained a steamboat, to create an original cover and, with the help of another friend, designer Mike Quinlan, had the elements to make it all happen. Once the permissions came back from the Steamboat Historical Society of America, the Mariner’s Museum and North Carolina Archives and History, I placed the selected photographs and sent the work off for publication in December of 2013.

Any funds realized from the sale of Steamboats on the Tar will benefit the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center.

New finding aids are available from the Outer Banks History Center:

The Elizabethan Gardens Records, 1953 – 2003 (PDF)
More than 500 plant species are found within its 10-acre site on the north end of Roanoke Island, adjacent to Waterside Theater. The Shakespearean Herb Garden, the Queen’s Rose Garden, and the formal sunken knot garden are some of the Garden’s features. The Elizabethan Gardens is also home to an impressive collection of statuary including an enthralling Italian fountain in the formal garden and a larger-than-life bronze statue of Elizabeth I, the largest likeness of her in the world.

Shriner, Sara Papers, 1947 – 1993 (PDF)
Sara Greene Shriner (1904-2003) was born in New Bern, North Carolina. She moved to the Washington, D. C. area in 1929 to attend the nursing program at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. After graduating in the early 1930s, she spent a decade working at Walter Reed as well as taking private-duty jobs, among them one with The Lost Colony drama. Throughout her life, Shriner had an affinity for the Outer Banks and collected materials about the area’s history.

Stick, David, “An Outer Banks Reader” Research Papers, 1992 – 1998 (PDF)
An Outer Banks Reader is a collection of essays and articles by various authors on topics related to the history and culture of the Outer Banks. The writings were selected and edited by author David Stick and published by the University of North Carolina Press in 1998. Some topics covered in the book include natural history, social history, early exploration, shipwrecks, and military history.

New online finding aids are available on the State Archives website.

On the Governors Papers Finding Aids page:

Scott, Robert W., in office January 3, 1969 – January 5, 1973:

On the State Agency Finding Aids page:

[This event news comes from the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services, a division of the American Library Association.]

Preservation Week  is a presentation of the Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), and will be held April 27-May 3, 2014.

Two free webinars will offered during that week: on April 29 affordable ways to preserve family keepsakes will be highlighted and on May 1, the session will cover the best ways to preserve scrapbooks. The webinars will each begin at 1 p.m. CDT and will last about one hour. Registration is required. To register and learn more go to ALCTS Events.

The webinars are:

Low-Cost Ways to Preserve Family Archives  (Tuesday, April 29). Presented by Karen E. K. Brown, preservation librarian for the University at Albany, SUNY University Libraries. What can we do to protect our collectables from damage even if we don’t think we have a perfect place to keep them? Learn about possible risks from handling and the environment, and practical, inexpensive ideas to keep collections safe to help ensure what you have can be shared for many years to come.

Preserving Scrapbooks  (Thursday, May 1). Presented by Melissa Tedone, conservator at Iowa State University Library. Scrapbooks can be challenging to preserve since they often contain a diversity of materials. Learn about common problems with long-term preservation of scrapbooks and identify the most stable materials and bindings for new scrapbooks.

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