December is a busy time of year for most people, both personally and professionally; not only are there the preparations for all the various celebrations of the season, but there is also the need to wrap up old projects while getting ready to start new ones. The same is true here in the North Carolina State Archives, where we are marking a few milestones in the history of our region and as an institution.
First, as many of you may know Jesse R. “Dick” Lankford, the North Carolina State Archivist, is retiring at the end of the month. Dick has been with the State Archives since 1972, beginning as an Archivist 1 and processing state agency records. Since then he’s had various jobs with us, including as Iconographics Archivist, and has overseen many of the changes that we’ve undergone in recent years. While we will certainly miss him here, I think we’re all excited for Dick to have a well-deserved opportunity to relax; as many of the speakers at his retirement celebration mentioned today, he has always been one of the hardest working people in the archival profession.
In the theme of historic endings and new beginnings in Raleigh, Jolly’s Jeweler’s is closing this month. For those of you not from the area, the store was first opened by Benjamin Rush Jolly in downtown Raleigh in 1881 and has been in the family ever since, making it something of a fixture in the capital city. So we at the State Archives decided to look through our collections to see what images related to Jolly’s we could find and we’ve add those to the Raleigh collection in the North Carolina Digital Collections for your enjoyment.
In other digital collections news, Tiffanie Mazanek has finished scanning the last of the William H.S. Burgwyn diaries and has added a blog post on our Civil War 150 blog about Christmas as seen through the eyes and pen of a Civil War soldier. In addition, I have just begun adding the WPA Cemetery Survey Records to the NC Family Records Online project (also part of the NC Digital Collections). Currently Rutherford – Yancey County are available online and I’m slowly working towards the “A” counties.
Over on our Flickr account, Kim Cumber has added images from our Black Mountain College collections related to Buckminster Fuller and his geodesic dome.
If you haven’t already seen it from past years, please drop by our Carolina Christmas exhibit to see various Christmas related images and documents from our collections. If you’re planning on visiting us this month, remember that the Search Room will be closed December 24-27, 2011 for Christmas. And, finally, from all of us to all of you, please have a happy and safe holiday.
From left to right: Dr. David Brook, Jesse R. "Dick" Lankford, and Dr. Jeffrey J. Crow at Dick Lankford's retirement party, Dec. 2011.