Posted by: tiffmaz | April 23, 2014

New OBHC Finding Aids

New finding aids are available on the Outer Banks History Center finding aids page:

Cole, Carol Cronk Photograph Collection, 1897 – 1901 (PDF)
Corydon Pirnie Cronk began his career in the U.S. Signal Corps and was later stationed at the U.S. Weather Bureau at Cape Henry, Virginia around the turn of the 20th century. One of Cronk’s duties was to inspect the telegraph poles that ran between government offices. In so doing, he travelled to the Weather Bureau stations at Kitty Hawk and Cape Hatteras. Many of the photographs in this collection show the destruction after the San Ciriaco Hurricane of 1899. Some of the photos are also in the H.H. Brimley Collection. It is not known whether Cronk obtained the images from Brimley or vice versa.
This collection consists of 34 digital scans at 300 dpi, stored on a disc and hard drive, and 34 black and white prints.

Holmes, Randell Dare County Mainland Photograph Collection (PDF)
Randell Eugene Holmes was born in East Lake, N.C. on December 12, 1932, and has spent most of his life on Roanoke Island. Holmes has close and personal ties with several of the prominent families on the Outer Banks and Dare County Mainland. He has meticulously searched out and located images and documents pertaining to family members and friends throughout the region. The materials in this collection primarily relate to the genealogy and history of the East Lake and Roanoke Island area. The collection consists of 333 digital scans and 120 prints of people and places, in particular, members of the Basnight, Creef, Holmes, Mann, Pinner, and Twiford families, as well as others. The collection also features 30 digital scans, 6 prints, and 9 photocopies of documents and clippings pertaining to various members of these families. 600 dpi digital scans of each image are stored on a disc and a hard drive.

33GRF-25 Sand Dollar Motel Photographs, 1957-1985 (PDF)
The Sand Dollar Motel, 1957 -1985, was a popular oceanfront vacation spot in Nags Head near milepost 13.5. The collection of buildings that made up the motel was originally known as Howell’s Cottages built by Gordon Kellogg for W.D. “Willie” Howell in 1951. Jewel Graves bought it in 1957 and renamed the facility “The Sand Dollar Motel.” She was the proprietress until the facility closed in 1984 and sold the next year. The Sand Dollar Motel was burned down as a fire training exercise in 1985 with permission of the new owner.This collection consists of 24 images of Jewel Graves, guests participating in activities, and buildings. Electronic scans of the collection are also available for viewing on the Outer Banks History Center public access computer

Posted by: Ashley | April 23, 2014

Housing for an Oversized Map

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

The Mouzon Map and the housing created to protect it.

The Mouzon Map and the housing created to protect it.

An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with their Indian Frontiers [M.C. 150.1775m], surveyed by Henry Mouzon II and known familiarly as The Mouzon Map, was published in 1775.  The map was utilized by American, British, and French forces during the American Revolutionary War.   It was printed in four separate plates, each with an overlapping edge designed to be adhered together into a single map. The State Archive of North Carolina owns two copies; one that is in its four separate pieces, and another that has been adhered to form a single map.

As you can imagine, a map that is made up of four already large pieces of paper is quite huge – 42 inches in height and over 56 inches in width! This is too big for even our largest map case drawer, so a customized, unique housing needed to be constructed when the map came down from display.

The housing had to meet several requirements:

  1. Constructed of archival quality materials that age well and will not contribute to the map’s deterioration
  2. Large enough for the map to lay flat as a whole piece, with some extra wiggle room for a protective border
  3. Allow for access to the map when needed
  4. Rigidity, allowing the map to be stored on top of the map case as it is too large for the drawers. Since a few inches of the housing will extend beyond the platform of the map case, the housing must be supportive enough for this function.

Diagram of the structure of the portfolio case constructed to house An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with their Indian Frontiers [M.C. 150.1775m], also known as the The Mouzon Map.

Diagram of the structure of the portfolio case constructed to house “An Accurate Map of North and South Carolina with their Indian Frontiers” [M.C. 150.1775m], also known as the The Mouzon Map.

We decided on a rigid portfolio case with twill ties. The map itself was hinged to a piece of double wall, corrugated BB-flute board with long fiber tissue and wheat starch paste. These hinges keep the map from sliding around, but will also be easy and safe to remove if needed in the future. The double wall structure means the board is constructed of two layers of corrugations, making it very strong and rigid. A protective top layer of double wall corrugated board is laid directly on top of the map.

The outer components of the structure are two pieces of corrugated polypropylene board, known as Coroplast. Coroplast is chemically inert, will not off-gas, is extremely durable, and is made of archival grade plastic. Small cuts were made in the Coroplast so that cotton twill strapping could be threaded through each board. This strapping allows the two exterior pieces of the portfolio to be tied together, and secures the inner pieces of corrugated board.

Though size presented some challenges, this custom-built housing will continue to protect this object for many years to come.

The Mouzon Map portfolio case closed and tied.

The Mouzon Map portfolio case closed and tied.

Posted by: Ashley | April 22, 2014

Outer Banks History Center Aids in Publication

[This blog post comes from the Outer Banks History Center. It was written by researcher Alvah H. Ward, Jr.]

Cover of When Ice Came To The Outer Banks

Cover of When Ice Came To The Outer Banks

When Ice Came To The Outer Banks is a true story, written by local authors, that tells the story of how ice and its impact shaped the development of North Carolina’s coastal region.

Ice, first cut and harvested from local inland waters, augmented with ice cut from the lakes of New England and then from manufacturing plants, made possible the development of our commercial and sportfishing industries and the transition to the world-class vacation industry we have today.

The Outer Banks History Center and its excellent staff made this document possible. From the research material made available to us and the assistance rendered by the Center staff, the authors were able to trace the highlights of local history that contributed to the story of how ice was such a critical factor in the development of our present day economy.

It is the intention of the authors to provide the History Center with the complete file of research material, photos and documents that were used in the preparation of the finished works.


Posted by: Ashley | April 21, 2014

Lois W. Bradshaw Volunteer of the Year Award

[This press release comes from the Outer Banks History Center.]

Clark Twiddy (left), chairman of the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, presents the Lois W. Bradshaw Volunteer of the Year Award to John M. Havel.

Clark Twiddy (left), chairman of the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, presents the Lois W. Bradshaw Volunteer of the Year Award to John M. Havel.

It is with great delight that we announce the 2014 winner of the Lois W. Bradshaw Volunteer of the Year Award. Earlier this month, John M. Havel was presented the honor that is given annually to someone who has donated their time and energy to advance the mission of the Outer Banks History Center.

During the past year John has assisted with exhibit construction and installation, staffed the reading room, identified images, photographed History Center events and donated items to the center’s collections.

John and his wife Aida (who serves on the Friends of the OBHC Board) reside in Raleigh. When he is not at his job as a graphic designer, John enjoys researching the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, traveling, and photographing their adventures.

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.


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.

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