Monthly Archives: October 2012

Historic Sale of North Carolina Troops, 1861 – 1865: A Roster

[Our blog post today comes from the Historical Publications Section, one of our sister organizations within the North Carolina Office of Archives and History.]

The Historical Publications Section of the N.C. Office of Archives and History announces an unprecedented historic sale of all 18 volumes in the popular and well-respected North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster series.

Cover of the North Carolina Troops, 1861–1865: A Roster seriesFrom now until they are sold, 100 copies of each of the 18 volumes in the series are available at a 60-percent to 70-percent discount. Regularly priced at $50.00 per copy, volumes 1-15 are sale priced at $15.00 per copy and volumes 16-18 are sale priced at $20.00 per copy.

The mission of the “North Carolina Troops” roster project is to publish a service record for every man who served in a military unit raised in North Carolina during the Civil War and to publish a history of each of these units. Begun in 1961, the series is acclaimed as “the finest state roster ever published,” “a magnificent achievement,” and “a monument to the men who served this great state.” The volumes are an invaluable resource for scholars, local historians, genealogists, and Civil War enthusiasts.

To learn more about North Carolina Troops: A Roster and to order volumes in the series, please visit the Historical Publications Online Shop at or call 919-733-7442, ext. 0
or ext. 225.

The Historical Publications Section ( is part of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, which annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported symphony orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council, and the State Archives. To learn more, visit


Workshop on Digital Preservation Cancelled

[This blog post comes from Debbi Blake of our Public Services Branch.]

The Friends of the Archives workshop on digital preservation scheduled for the auditorium of the State Archives building at 9:00 on October 25 is cancelled.  We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.  If you are currently scheduled, we will keep your name on file in case we decide to reschedule in the spring.

Armchair Historians – An Archives Week Recap

On Saturday Archives Week kicked off with Triangle Home Movie Day. As always, the event was well attended and a very enthusiastic crowd enjoyed the home movies brought in by their fellow participants. You can sample some of the feel of Home Movie Day celebrations across the world, including our own, by looking at the Twitter hash tag #HMD2012.

Yesterday I gave a talk as part of our celebration of North Carolina Archives Week. The talk, titled “Armchair Historians: Tools You Can Use At Home or On The Go,” covered some of our online resources including our online catalog MARS, the North Carolina Digital Collections, our social media, and some news about new projects and tools on the horizon. If you missed it but would like to read through the slides and presenters notes, a PDF version is available online.

We also had an exhibit in the Search Room yesterday – “Civil War to Civil Rights in North Carolina,” a display of documents and photographs relating to the Archives Week theme, “Journeys to Justice: Civil Rights in North Carolina.” Look for a blog post recap of that event later this week.

It’s not too late to participate in Archives Week because we still have one more event planned: on Thursday, Oct. 25 we will host a workshop on “Digitizing and Remote Sharing of Family Materials.”

Upcoming Events and News at the State Archives

As you may have seen from previous posts, next week is North Carolina Archives Week. The State Archives has several events planned including:

  • Oct. 20 – Triangle Home Movie Day
  • Oct. 22, from 10:00-3:00 – Civil War to Civil Rights in North Carolina; a display documents and photographs relating to the Archives Week theme, “Journeys to Justice: Civil Rights in North Carolina.” This free event will be held on Monday in the State Archives Search Room at 109 East Jones Street.
  • Oct. 22, from 10:30-11:30 – Armchair Historians: tools you use at home or on the go; archivist Ashley Yandle guides you through online tools and social media including the State Archives’ catalog and the North Carolina Digital Collections. This free event will be held On Monday, October 22,  in the auditorium at 109 East Jones Street.
  • Oct. 25 – Workshop: Digitizing and Remote Sharing of Family Materials

We’d love for you to join us as we take part in this week-long celebration of the agencies and people responsible for maintaining and making available the archival and historical records of our state.

In other news:

The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources has started a new blog called “This Day in North Carolina History” dedicated to a day-to-day history of the people and places of the Tar Heel state. Several recent blog posts there have included items of interest to readers of this blog, including:

In recent news from the Government Records and Electronic Records Branches, as recorded on the G.S. 132 Files blog:

Triangle Home Movie Day To Be Held on October 20th

[This post comes from our Non-Textual Materials Archivist, Kim Cumber.]

What hidden treasures lie in those old home movies that you have in the closet? Come to Home Movie Day and find out the value of these unique cultural and historical documents and how to save them for future generations. Spend the day watching old films and playing Home Movie Day bingo. Go home with prizes and a free transfer of your film!

Triangle Home Movie Day is brought to you by A/V Geeks, NCSU Film Studies, Duke’s Archive of Documentary Arts, and State Archives of North Carolina. It will be held Saturday October 20th, 2012 from 1pm – 4pm at the State Archives of North Carolina in downtown Raleigh (109 East Jones Street, First Floor Auditorium). Free and easy parking is available in a lot across the street or via street parking. For more information visit:


Home Movie Day was started in 2002 as a worldwide celebration of amateur home movies, during which people in cities and towns all over would get to meet local film archivists, find out about the long-term benefits of film versus video and digital media, and – most importantly- get to watch those old family films! Because they will happen in communities across the globe, HOME MOVIE DAY events and screenings can focus on local and family histories, taking us back to a time when Main Street was bustling and the beehive hair-do was all the rage, with images of people we may know or resemble. Home movies are an essential record of our past, and they are among the most authoritative documents of times gone by.

This year marks the 10th Home Movie Day with over 70 participating hosts in more than 14 countries.


It’s simple: rifle through your attics, dig through your closets, call up Grandma, and search out your family’s home movies (8mm, Super8mm, or 16mm) and bring them to the nearest Home Movie Day event to see them projected.  Or just show up and watch the films of others. It’s not just historically significant – it’s fun! Triangle HMD will also be featuring Home Movie Day Bingo with prizes for the WHOLE FAMILY!


“We brought footage that we had never seen before taken of our wedding in the 1960s.  It was exciting to see us all dressed up in our wedding gear, and that adorable flower girl who is of course all grown up now.”   – Jerrie Dearborn, Raleigh

“You can’t imagine what it means to a parent to look back and see how cute they were and how happy your kids were.  I wouldn’t take a million dollars for these, I really wouldn’t.”  – Gerry Probert, Garner

“Thanks so much for Home Movie Day. It was so great to see my family again the way it was. I called mom last night and told her I had seen the films and she was so happy. It was also the first time my husband had seen my dad ‘in action’.”  – Teresa Nunes, Raleigh

“My family has had a pile of old films in a cabinet for as long as I can remember.  It had been years and years since any of us had thought about them.  After hearing about Home Movie Day, I remembered the films and brought a film that ended up being a short fiction movie my family made in the 1950s starring my mother as a cannibalistic stalker lurking in a tree!  It was enormous fun to see, and it was also wonderful to see some shots of my older sister as a baby, toddling around. I also loved seeing other people’s films.  It was like an unedited archive of what used to be important to record.  It was great!” – Anna Bigelow, Raleigh

“Years of therapy don’t come close to the experience of seeing yourself, at age two, hunting Easter eggs in your plaid overalls.  After the HMD experts had inspected my 40-year-old Super-8 film and carefully mounted the reel on the projector, I watched in amazement as my early childhood appeared on the screen.  I had never seen this footage before; I had never even suspected that such treasures lay waiting in the old tin breadbox of home movies my mother had found in the attic.  My kids had a great time, too.  It blew their little minds to see daddy as a toddler, and they had so much fun playing Home Movie Day Bingo.  Home Movie Day was a wonderful event for the whole family.” – Steve Wiley, Raleigh

Friends of the Archives sponsors workshop on digital preservation

For those of you not familiar with the Friends of the Archives, this non-profit group does a lot to support the programming and operations of the State Archives of North Carolina.  Over the years the Friends, or FOA as they are often referred to, has funded conservation work on the treasures of the Archives, purchased private collections for the Archives, and provided valuable programming support to the Archives.  The FOA also holds periodic workshops on topics such as beginning genealogy.  If you aren’t already a member of the Friends of the Archives, I encourage you to join. Your $30 membership is tax-deductible.  Membership brochures are available in the Search Room and upon request.

During Archives Week in North Carolina the Friends of the Archives is sponsoring a workshop on the preservation of digital family papers.  If you have questions about how to manage your digital pictures or family papers, this is the place to start.   Preservation of digital photographs and best practices for managing and preserving files will be discussed. The workshop will also cover ways to share your digital family history.  The workshop will be held On October 25 from 9 a.m.-noon in the auditorium of the State Archives’ building at 109 East Jones Street.  Cost is $10, but FOA members get in free.  To register, simply call 919-807-7310 and reserve your space.

The Map Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina

[This blog post comes from James Sorrell, head of the Special Collections Branch.]

In a memorandum dated October 14, 1976 to Paul P. Hoffman, head of what was at that time the Archives Branch of the Archives and Records Section, the late George Stevenson, Jr., outlined his suggestions for changes to the system of cataloging, classifying, and numbering the maps in the Archives map collection.  Now, nearly thirty-six years later, I am delighted to announce that Stevenson’s dream of corralling a collection of maps nearly out of intellectual control and imposing on it a reasonable and consistent system for classification and cataloging has finally be realized – although in ways he could not have envisioned in 1976.

From the earliest days of the agency, the State Archives of North Carolina had endeavored to create an extensive reference collection consisting of original and printed maps of North Carolina as well as photocopies of appropriate maps in other repositories.  By the time of Stevenson’s 1976 memo, the Archives had one of the best collections of North Carolina maps in the nation.

At that time, the map collection consisted of 327 smaller collections with town plans, for example, being found in twenty-three different collections. The Archives had employed various standards for cataloging maps in the past, but no standard had ever been established in regard to the information that was reported or the manner in which it was reported on the catalog cards that were prepared for each new addition to the map collection.  Stevenson proposed that the Archives adopt the Anglo-American Rules for cataloging maps and that a set of three catalog cards be prepared for each map. One card would be filed under classification (town, county, etc.) and one by mapmaker in the Search Room catalog and the third in an office catalog to serve as an intellectual control device.  Stevenson felt that the existing system of classification as reflected by the Search Room card catalog was a reasonable one. In this catalog the map cards were arranged in an expandable system of classifications (colony and state, counties, towns, watercourses, etc.).  As it related to the maps themselves, however, the cumbersome numbering system thwarted the logic of the classification scheme.  To remedy this, Stevenson created a simple expandable numerical system which would make the classification scheme as expandable for the maps themselves as it was for the cards in the card catalog.  County maps, for example, would be assigned the same numbers as the county records in the stacks (i.e. Wake County records in the stacks are 099; Wake County maps would be assigned the prefix M.C.99).  The second part of the call number would distinguish each map by date and the initial of the mapmaker.  For example, the 1871 Fendol Beavers map of Wake County would be given the call number MC.99.1871b.

The same system would be followed for other map classifications.  Colony and state maps would be M.C.150; maps of the Appalachian region would be M.C.160; military maps and plans of battle would be M.C.175, etc.  Certain classifications, such as watercourses, cities and towns, and road and railroad surveys would be slightly more complicated since they would require the name of the watercourse or city to be converted to a numeral (i.e., cuttered) using the Sanborn-Cutter three-figure tables.  Maps of the city of Charlotte would be assigned numbers beginning with MC.195.C479 followed by the date and the initial or initials of the mapmaker.  The 1877 F. W. Beers map of Charlotte would, therefore, be numbered as MC.195.C479.1877b.

Stevenson’s proposals were approved by Paul Hoffman; and Stevenson began work on cataloging and numbering of the maps already in the map collection as well as an enormous backlog of unprocessed maps, but the press of his myriad other duties as Search Room supervisor prevented him from making significant progress.  From 1985 to 1987, Druscilla Simpson, now head of the Information Management Branch, was assigned to work full-time on the map collection.  This was the first and only time a staff member was given responsibility only for the map collection, and significant progress was made. Still later, work on the map collection was assigned to and became one of the many duties of a series of special projects archivists. By this time, our MARS electronic finding aid system had been developed and map call number and descriptive information began to be entered into it.  Although main entry cards continued to be created and added to the Search Room card catalog, the development of MARS eliminated the need for the three card system Stevenson had devised for intellectual control.  In the late 1990s, I was assigned responsibility for the map collection in addition to my other duties as archives registrar; and I brought my work with the map collection with me when I was appointed head of the Special Collections Branch in July 2005.  In 2007, the State Archives partnered with the UNC-Chapel Hill library and the Outer Banks History Center on North Carolina Maps, a three year grant funded project to digitize and post online all maps from the three institutions published prior to 1923.  The project came to a successful conclusion in June 2010 and won the 2011 Award of Merit from the American Association for State and Local History.

Galvanized by the North Carolina Maps grant project, efforts were renewed to finally complete the renumbering and re-cataloging of both the remaining maps in the Archives map collection bearing the old M.C. call numbers and the backlog of maps that had never been accessioned, classified, cataloged, and numbered.  This work was finished in the spring of 2012; and for the first time all maps in the possession of the State Archives of North Carolina have been cataloged and numbered using the system first proposed by George Stevenson, Jr., in 1976.  In addition, all maps in the collection have been described and indexed in MARS, digitized, and most have been posted online on the North Carolina Maps website.