Records Move: Administration, State Fair, and Cultural Resources

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we have moved some of our records into a new storage space within the Archives building in order to make more materials available on Saturdays. The complete list of all the materials moved is available as a PDF from our website, but I’m breaking down the list into a series of blog posts so that I can tell you more about the records.

Today, I’m going to focus on records from the Dept. of Administration, Dept. of Agriculture, and Dept. of Cultural Resources. More information about these collections can be found in our online catalog MARS, but as I’ve mentioned previously, it will likely take us a while to change the location codes in MARS and our other finding aids. We ask you to be patient with us.

Dept. of Administration

  • Human Relations Council, 1963-1978 – The first predecessor to the Human Relations Commission was the Good Neighbor Council, established 18 January 1963 by executive order of Governor Terry Sanford. The council consisted of 24 citizens appointed by the governor. Its mission was: to encourage the employment of qualified people without regard to race; and to urge youth to become better trained for employment. Under the Executive Organization Act of 1971, the Good Neighbor Council and all its statutory powers were transferred to the Department of Administration (DOA). The legislature of 1971 changed the name of the council to the Human Relations Commission. The General Assembly of 1989 changed the name of the council to the Human Relations Commission. Records include Director’s correspondence and subject file; meetings files; consultants’ files, education institutions files; projects and programs files; City-County program files; public relations files; policy and procedures files; and other materials.
  • State Construction Office, 1920-1984 – Prior to the creation of the Division of Property Control and Construction in 1957, responsibility for the state’s program of building and property management was distributed among various boards, commissions, and agencies. Any planning for future property needs was generally a function of the individual state agencies, although final approval of the purchase, sale, mortgage, or lease of state property had to be given by the Council of State. In a study authorized by the 1955 General Assembly, the Commission on the Reorganization of State Government reviewed the state’s property management practices and long-range policies. The commission recommended formation of a Department of Administration that would absorb all the functions involving state property and buildings, which were at that time divided among various agencies.  In 1977 the Division of Property and Control was divided into separate units subsequently named the State Property Office and the State Construction Office. Organizationally, these units and the related Capital Planning Commission and the Capital Building Authority came under the Department of Administration’s deputy secretary of governmental operations. Records include: construction contracts; correspondence; architectural and engineering drawings; dredge and fill files; and other materials.

Dept. of Agriculture

  • State Fair Division, 1948-1959 – The first North Carolina State Fair was held in 1853 under the auspices of the North Carolina State Agricultural Society, which had been incorporated a year earlier by the General Assembly. The fair was envisaged as a means of promoting interest in advances both in agriculture and in industry. With the exception of the war periods, 1860-1866 and 1918, the State Fair was conducted by the State Agricultural Society continuously from 1853 through 1925. In 1924 the Agricultural Society requested the assistance of state government and the city of Raleigh in managing the fair. After assurances that the fair would be continued under state auspices, the State Agricultural Society disbanded. During the years 1926 and 1927 the fair was not held. The 1927 legislature assumed responsibility for the State Fair, declaring that it “shall be managed, operated and conducted by a board of directors,” representing each congressional district, with three additional at-large directors. In 1937 Dr. J. S. Dorton of Shelby was appointed manager of the new State Fair Division of the Department of Agriculture. Records include: subject files; correspondence; contracts; and publicity files.

Dept. of Cultural Resources

  • N.C. Symphony, 1932-1973 – The North Carolina Symphony Society was incorporated as a non-profit, non-stock corporation on 31 December 1932. Among its purposes were “to promote and foster musical culture and education, and in the furtherance of said objects the Society may organize the North Carolina Symphony and other orchestras and supervise and provide for the training of musicians, and may arrange and conduct concerts and all forms of musical entertainment.” As a private organization the symphony survived for ten years through private and individual support. In 1943, acknowledging the important educational and cultural objectives of the North Carolina Symphony Society, the General Assembly placed it under “the patronage and control of the State, to the end that its permanency may be assured and that the State may to some extent lend financial aid necessary to the support thereof.” Under the Executive Organization Act of 1971, the North Carolina Symphony Society was transferred to the management of the newly created Department of Art, Culture, and History. In 1973 the department was renamed the Department of Cultural Resources, and the North Carolina Symphony Society continued as an agency of the new department. Records include: symphony ball file; public information office files; photographs; publicity files; grant files; subject files; contracts; financial records; minutes; and “Historical File — General, Financial, Programs, and Soloists.”
  • N.C. State Library, 1877-1962 – The origins of the State Library date from 1812 when the General Assembly required the secretary of state to collect, catalog, and safeguard books and documents for use by the state legislature and government officials. In 1819 the General Assembly designated funds for the “Public Library,” although subsequent legislation in 1822 referred to the “State Library.” A legislative act of 1858-59 provided that the state librarian would serve as the librarian of the state Senate and House of Representatives. Although the State Library was patronized primarily by state officials, the public was allowed to use the reference collection on library premises, and open circulation was permitted for a period during the 1870s and the early 1880s. Until the last decade of the century, the State Library served as the state’s only tax-supported library. In response to a growing demand for more systematic support of the public library movement, the General Assembly of 1909 established the North Carolina Library Commission. Formed for the primary purpose of promoting the development of free public libraries on the local level, the commission’s responsibilities included the following: assisting in the establishment of new libraries, including public school libraries; supplementing local collections; distributing library literature; and providing advice to trustees and libraries on library services. In 1955 the legislature combined the State Library and the North Carolina Library Commission into one agency called the State Library. Records include: departmental files; associations and organizations files; budget records; legislative files; correspondence; audit reports; state and federal agencies files; subject files; statistical reports; minutes; general history files; and other materials.
  • America’s 400th Anniversary Commission, 1967-1987, n.d. – Between 1984 and 1987 North Carolina commemorated the four hundredth anniversary of the Roanoke Voyages. Through a joint resolution, the General Assembly of 1955 laid the foundation for a three-year celebration of the historical events. A body known as America’s Four Hundredth Anniversary Commission was established to initiate plans toward a commemoration on the scale of a national or world’s fair exposition, or as deemed appropriate. In 1973 the legislature repealed the resolution creating the anniversary commission and established America’s Four Hundredth Anniversary Committee in its place. Charged with advising the secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources in planning and implementing the commemorations, the anniversary committee consisted of four ex officio members and ten gubernatorial appointees who served staggered terms. Records include: exhibit/festival correspondence; celebrations file; archeological files; newspaper clippings; events files; general correspondence; minutes; and other materials.
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