Author Archives: Kat

About Kat

Metadata and Digitization Assistant

Archival Documents added to North Carolina State Parks Digital Collection

In honor of the centennial anniversary of North Carolina’s State Parks in 2016, hundreds of folders of historical documents from the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation records collection at the State Archives have been digitized and added to the North Carolina State Parks digital collection at North Carolina Digital Collections. Earlier this year, the State Archives partnered with the Division of Parks and Recreation to create the State Parks digital collection, which has made available hundreds of historical and modern photographs that feature the natural and cultural history of the parks. It is hoped that the addition of archival documents, ranging in date from the 1910s to the 1980s, will help provide a richer story and context of how the parks have been selected, developed, managed, and maintained over the hundred-year history of the State Parks system.

The natural history, ecology, and conservation of North Carolina’s state parks are prominent topics in the archival documentation presented at NCDC. Park naturalists regularly provided reports on the botany, zoology, and geology of parks, as well as helped to curate museum exhibits, talks, and nature trails for general environmental education. The impacts of beach erosion, hurricane damage, flooding, and forest fires have been perpetual issues at various state parks for decades. The identification and protection of unique ecological areas has been a significant driver for the establishment of new state parks and for the enforcement of specific rules and regulations governing activities within the parks.

The development of state parks as recreation areas is another dominant theme in the records of the Division of Parks and Recreation. Development plans were usually limited by funding, so in many parks it took decades for goals to be realized. Initial plans might only have included providing access to the parks by building hiking trails, roads, parking lots, and possibly pit latrines and water wells. But, with greater public interest in the parks came greater revenue, and more extensive facilities could be built including water and sewer systems, electric power systems, cabins and campsites, picnic grounds, bathhouses, boat docks, concessions, museums, and more.

Throughout these documents, many interesting themes emerge that reference and reflect subjects of larger historical and cultural significance. A great deal of the initial infrastructure development of the oldest state parks – Fort Macon, Hanging Rock, Morrow Mountain, Mount Mitchell, and William B. Umstead – was achieved through projects funded and manned by the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Works Progress Administration. Documents regarding the acquisition of land to create conservation and recreation areas expose the tensions between the interests of private land owners and the public at large. Many State Historic Sites in North Carolina were originally conceived of and administered as part of the State Parks system. And, while there was never a legal basis for segregation in the state parks, until the 1960s, with the exceptions of Jones Lake, Reedy Creek (part of William B. Umstead State Park), and Hammocks Beach, most park facilities were for whites only, but there were frequent calls to provide equal access to state parks in North Carolina for all people.

For more information on the history of North Carolina State Parks, please check out these NCpedia pages developed by the State Library, in conjunction with the Division of Parks and Recreation, to coincide with the state parks centennial celebration.

Exploring North Carolina: North Carolina State Parks, Trails, Lakes, Rivers & Natural Areas

http://ncpedia.org/exploring-state-parks

North Carolina History Interactive Timeline: History of North Carolina State Parks, Recreation & Natural Areas

http://ncpedia.org/north-carolina-state-parks-history-timeline

For more information on the Division of Parks and Recreation records collection, please search our MARS catalog.

Treasures of Carolina: Summer Edition

Each week this summer we will highlight an item from our North Carolina Digital Collections in hopes of inspiring you to discover new-to-you materials. For the month of August our theme is school.

SR_Board_of_Ed_Swamp_Lands_4_3_001

Call number: State Board of Education Records. Swamp Lands Records. Field Notebooks, Vols. 1-17. Box 4. Transit Book 101, 1885.

August in North Carolina is always hot and humid, and no matter where you are in the state, it often feels like you’re living in a swamp. There are, of course, large tracts of swamplands in the Coastal Plain of N.C., and much of that land has been preserved and protected by state and national agencies. However, in the nineteenth century, the state of North Carolina gave power to the Literary Fund, and later, the State Board of Education, to survey and sell state-owned swamplands “capable of being reclaimed” to raise funds for public education. This week’s treasure is the surveyors’ Transit Book of part of the Angola Bay area in North Carolina, compiled by W. G. Lewis, Chief Engineer, Board of Education for Swamp Lands, and Henry A. Brown, Superintendent Engineer, in 1885.

“This Road was run from Deep Bottom Bridge over North East River, in Duplin County, skirting the Eastern Boundary of Angola Bay. Via: Maple Hill – & between Angola Bay & Holly Shelter Swamp – & on via: Bannermans Bridge over North East River to Centre of the track of the Wilmington & Weldon Rail Road just 10.00 chains to the North of the warehouse at Burgaw – County Seat of Pender County.”

The surveyors’ diagrams include not only the elevations and distances of road segments, but also bridges, nearby rivers and creeks, intersecting roads, buildings, property owners, and the character of the land and vegetation along the road.

This notebook and other material from the State Board of Education Swamp Lands Records can be viewed online as part of the STEM Digital Collection at NCDC. If your summer plans bring you to Raleigh before school starts again, we also encourage you to visit us at the State Archives to view the records in person. Or, schedule a visit to the Archives with your school group to get some hands-on experience with historical primary source documents.

For additional information on the history of the State Board of Education and swamplands in North Carolina, check out these NCpedia articles on Swamps, Pocosins, the North Carolina State Board of Education, and the North Carolina Literary Fund.

Treasures of Carolina: Summer Edition

Each week this summer we will highlight an item from our North Carolina Digital Collections in hopes of inspiring you to discover new-to-you materials. For the month of July our theme is elections.

"Know Your Voting Rights." North Carolina Voter Education Project Records. State Archives of North Carolina

“Know Your Voting Rights.” North Carolina Voter Education Project Records. State Archives of North Carolina

Unless you have been hiding in the archives stacks for the past twelve months, you might be aware that 2016 is a presidential election year, and during the month of July, both the Democrat and Republican parties will hold national conventions to nominate their candidates for president. In keeping with the spirit of these historic events, our featured treasure this week is the information booklet “Know Your Voting Rights,” that was published by the North Carolina Voter Education Project (N.C. VEP) in the late 1960s.

N.C. VEP was incorporated in April 1967 as a non-profit, non-partisan umbrella group designed to consolidate and coordinate the efforts of existing voter registration and education organizations in North Carolina. “Know Your Voting Rights” was one of many publications written and distributed by N.C. VEP to inform the “poor and disadvantaged” about the political process and their rights as citizens of North Carolina. Here is the introduction from page one of the booklet:

 “You must do more than just register and vote. You should find out who is the best person running for each office. You should also learn how to use your voting power correctly and what rights you have as a voter.

“This book tells you some important things about how to use your voting power correctly. This book also tells you about your voting rights. It shows you want you can do and what you cannot do on election day.”

"Know Your Voting Rights." North Carolina Voter Education Project Records. State Archives of North Carolina

“Know Your Voting Rights.” North Carolina Voter Education Project Records. State Archives of North Carolina

This booklet and other material from the North Carolina Voter Education Project can be viewed online as part of the Civil Rights digital collection at NCDC. If your summer plans bring you to Raleigh, we also encourage you to visit us at the State Archives to view the N.C. VEP records in person.

For additional information on the history of voting in North Carolina, check out these NCpedia articles on Election Law, Disfranchisement, the Grandfather Clause, Women’s Suffrage, the N.C. Democratic Party, and the N.C. Republican Party.

Treasures of Carolina: Summer Edition

Each week this summer we will highlight an item from our North Carolina Digital Collections in hopes of inspiring you to discover new-to-you materials. For the month of June our theme is vacations!

 It’s summertime in North Carolina, and that means vacation time! All North Carolinians know that our state has hundreds of amazing vacation destinations. From the mountains to the sea, for a long weekend or a whole month, N.C. has much to offer travelers with every kind of interest. Of course, at the State Archives, we are especially interested in the history of North Carolina, and there are dozens of historical sites, museums, archives, events, and parks around the state that cater to inquisitive minds. Our Treasure this week features the Mountainside Theatre in Cherokee, N.C., where the outdoor drama Unto these Hills has been performed for over 60 years.

ConDev8617_Overview

Mountainside Theatre for “Unto These Hills,” Cherokee, N.C., ca. 1950s. Department of Conservation and Development Records, Division of Travel Information, Photograph File. MARS 44.47

Sponsored by the Cherokee Historical Association, and first performed in the summer of 1950, Unto These Hills recounts the history of the Cherokee people from their origins, through European colonization, the Revolutionary War, the Trail of Tears, and into the present day. The photographs featured here were created by the North Carolina Travel Information Division in the 1950s. They shows four views of the historic Mountainside Theatre where Unto These Hills is still performed every summer. The theatre is located on the Cherokee Reservation in western N.C. Additional pictures of this outdoor drama and the Reservation can be found at the Historic North Carolina Travel and Tourism Photos collection at NCDC. Additional information about Unto These Hills, and other historical outdoor dramas in North Carolina, can be found at this NCpedia page.

North Carolina State Parks Collection Unveiled at NC Digital Collections

In celebration of the 100th anniversary of North Carolina’s state parks system, the State Library and State Archives have partnered with the Division of Parks and Recreation to create the North Carolina State Parks Collection. The end result of this collaborative project will feature materials from all three participating institutions that have been digitized and made available at North Carolina Digital Collections.

hanging_rock_kids

Children viewing scenery at Hanging Rock State Park, circa 1956. North Carolina State Parks Collection, NC Digital Collections.

To date, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation has contributed well over 400 digital images to the collection ranging from sepia-toned photographic prints of early surveys on Mount Mitchell in 1915, to vibrantly-colored digital photos taken by park rangers and visitors within the last few years. The subjects of the images are also widely varied: from the natural beauty of mountains, rivers, lakes, sand dunes, plants, and animals, to nostalgic scenes of camp sites, trails, picnics, monuments, swimming beaches, and the construction of park roads and buildings. These images, selected by state parks personnel, represent only a fraction of their extensive archive of historical and informational photographs. Additional images will be added periodically over the next few months.

sand_dunes

Visitors at Sand Dunes, Jockey’s Ridge State Park. North Carolina State Parks Collection, NC Digital Collections.

As their contribution, the State Library has digitized selections from the North Carolina State Documents Collection that were published by, or pertain to, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation and North Carolina’s state parks. This selection of material was produced from the 1950s to the early 2000s, and includes promotional and informational booklets, management and development plans, and park histories.

At the State Archives, we have been indexing seven decades (1920s through early 1980s) of records from the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation that have been permanently transferred into our custody (search our online MARS catalog for more information on this record group). During this process, we have been selecting a broad range of materials to digitize and add to the North Carolina State Parks Collection at NC Digital Collections. We hope that our additions will help to provide greater context to the images and publications that are currently available by highlighting the “behind-the-scenes” work that goes into planning, maintaining, and improving the state parks system. This material will include correspondence, reports, studies, photographs, surveys, and projects, with particular focuses on public and community input and environmental preservation.

jones_lake_picnic

Family picnicking at Jones Lake State Park, circa 1950. North Carolina State Parks Collection, NC Digital Collections.

For more historical information about the first 100 years of the N.C. State Parks System please visit these amazing and new NCpedia pages developed by the State Library, in conjunction with the Division of Parks and Recreation, to coincide with the state parks centennial celebration:

Additionally, the North Carolina State Parks System is highlighting all of these collaborative projects on their centennial webpage: http://www.ncparks.gov/100/explore-century-of-park-history

Photographs, Maps, and Blueprints Added to the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Digital Collection at NCDC!

8063rd M.A.S.H., Korea, 1952 (Call no. PC.2014)

8063rd M.A.S.H., Korea, 1952 (Call no. PC.2014)

To create the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Digital Collection, part of North Carolina Digital Collections, we have drawn material from over 50 records series and collections held by the State Archives of North Carolina including: State Agency Records, Private Collections, Photograph Collections, Organization Records, General Assembly Records, and Map Collections. The third of three installments of the STEM Digital Collection is now available, and includes items from the following private and photograph collections:

Dr. William Thornton on Space Shuttle Challenger, 1983 (Call no. PC.2054)

Dr. William Thornton on Space Shuttle Challenger, 1983 (Call no. PC.2054)

  • Albert Barden Negative Collection (N.53)
  • Carolina Power and Light Co. Photograph Collection (PhC.68)
  • George Marion Cooper Photograph Collection (PhC.41)
  • William Thornton Collection (PC.2054)
  • Fessenden, Reginald A., Papers (PC.1140)
  • General Negative Collection. Audio Visual Materials Photographic Collections (MARS Id: 4 (Record Group))
  • George Alton Stewart Collection (PC.1752.1-2)
  • Museum of Art Record Group. Black Mountain College Research Project. Visual Materials (MARS Id: 61.12.8 (Sub Series))
  • North Carolina Colony and State Maps (MC.150)
  • North Carolina Maps. Individual Watercourses (MC.167)
  • Olsen Associates (Consulting Engineers) Photograph Collection (PhC.47)
  • Robert C. Ruiz Papers (PC.2014)

    Corn grown with and without Corn Till Nitrogen Irrigation, circa 1973 (Call no. PhC68.1.219.1-34)

    Corn, circa 1973 (Call no. PhC68.1.219.1-34)

  • W. “Bud” White Southern Bell Telephone Company Photograph Collection (PhC.157)

To search for additional STEM resources at the State Archives of North Carolina, visit our MARS online catalog.

To learn more about Science, Technology, and Innovation in North Carolina, check out this list of articles that can be found at NCpedia.

To learn more about Scientists and Inventors in North Carolina, check out this list of biographies that can be found at NCpedia.

Transatlantic Radio Sending Station Circuit, 1906 (Call no. PC.1140.32)

Transatlantic Radio Sending Station Circuit, 1906 (Call no. PC.1140.32)

Free Dental Clinic, Davidson, N.C., 1923 (Call no. PhC.41)

Free Dental Clinic, Davidson, N.C., 1923 (Call no. PhC.41)

RALEIGH HOME MOVIE DAY 2015

[This blog post was written by Kim Andersen, Audio Visual Materials Archivist in the Special Collections Section of the State Archives of North Carolina.]home-movie-day-2015-flyer-small

Saturday, October 17, 2015, is Home Movie Day!  And the State Archives of North Carolina is hosting Raleigh Home Movie Day for its 13th year!  Co-sponsored by the Film Studies Program at NCSU, the State Archives of North Carolina, and AV Geeks Transfer Services, Raleigh Home Movie Day is fun for the whole family.  Come join us!

Participation is simple!  Rifle through your attics, dig through your closets, call up Grandma, and find your family’s home movies!  Bring an 8mm, Super8mm, 16mm film, VHS and/or Video8/Hi8 video tapes (sorry, no slides) to the State Archives Home Movie Day event on October 17th to see it projected.  And if we project your film, we will digitize it for you and send you a digital copy for free!  If you do not have any films or videos to bring, that’s OK!  You can just show up and watch the films of others.  It’s not just historically significant – it’s fun!

And did you know that original films can long outlast DVDs or video tape transfers if you properly take care of them? Don’t throw your films away!  HOME MOVIE DAY will not only provide a wealth of free entertainment but is also an opportunity for you to learn about the long-term benefits of film versus video and digital media.  Motion picture archivists will be on hand to answer all your questions and tell you how to properly store your films and plan for their future.

If you are still considering cleaning house and getting rid of your old home movies and videos, please just don’t throw them out yet!  The State Archives collects and preserves old moving images of North Carolina, and while the bulk of our current holdings consist mainly of films and tapes relating to state government, we have a growing body of amateur film and are looking for more because home movies can often include glimpses of important places, and historically significant events and happenings that are not documented anywhere else.   Home movies are an essential record of our past, and they are among the most authoritative documents of times gone by.

So come to Home Movie Day, learn, participate, and/or just enjoy the antics of your friends and neighbors caught on film.  THE EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC (AND parking is free)!

WHEN?
Saturday October 17th, 2015
1 – 4pm

WHERE?
State Archives of North Carolina Auditorium
109 East Jones Street
Raleigh NC 27601

Please contact Kim Andersen (AV Materials  Archivist, State Archives), kim.andersen@ncdcr.gov, 919-807-7311, with any questions about film and video donations.  And for more information about Raleigh Home Movie Day 2015 in general, please contact Skip Elsheimer (Owner, A/V Geeks),  skip@avgeeks.com, 919-247-7752; and/or Devin Orgeron (Professor, Film Studies, NCSU), devin_orgeron@ncsu.edu, 919-802-5026.