Category Archives: News

New Digital Collection: The General Assembly Session Records

GASR_Colonial_LHP_Tryon_176811_176812_12

Session of November-December, 1768: Lower House Papers, messages to and from Governor Tryon. Available online through the NC Digital Collections.

The General Assembly Session Records collection is now available online via the North Carolina Digital Collections. This collection features records of early North Carolina state legislatures from the State Archives of North Carolina. The documents consist of bills and resolutions, petitions, committee reports, messages from the governor, legislative messages, tally sheets, election certificates, resignations, and other material related to the work of each session of the General Assembly. The physical collection includes items from 1709 through 1999, but the digital collection will focus on the earliest materials. This digital collection is currently in progress, and more items will be added as they are digitized. Check back for future updates on the status of this project.

While the first official assembly was said to occur around 1665, it wasn’t until 1776 that the first state constitution was ratified by the “representatives of the freemen” and the General Assembly was given full legislative power as well as the authority to choose all state executive and judicial officers. Several amendments have been made to the state’s constitution over time, which has altered the powers and structure of the General Assembly.

For more information on the history of the North Carolina General Assembly, please check out these NCpedia pages developed by the State Library:

Other resources:

For more information on the General Assembly Session Records collection, please search our MARS catalog. Another digital collection of interest includes the Federal State and Constitutional Materials, which highlight North Carolina government’s role in the ratification of federal amendments and its own internal efforts to protect the rights of its citizens dating back to the Declaration of Rights in 1776.

A New Look for the State Archives Website

Carolina Transfer and Storage Company Moving Van, 1936

Carolina Transfer and Storage Company Moving Van, 1936. Photo by Albert Barden (N_53_15_6390).

Changes are coming to the State Archives of North Carolina website! This summer our staff will begin working with IT professionals to get our website ready to move to a new platform. While we are moving content, you will see some changes to our current website including warning banners. While these changes may be an inconvenience, they will be temporary and we hope to have a new website to show you soon.

We will share news about our progress as we can – please bear with us in the meantime.

Lillian Exum Clement Stafford Papers, PC.2084

[This blog post was written by Fran Tracy-Walls, Private Manuscripts Archivist in the Special Collections Section.]

Announcement of Lillian Exum Clement Stafford Papers, PC.2084, and Tribute to Exum, the American South’s First Female State Representative, and to her Father

Exum and George Clement at in a field, Buncombe County, ca. 1916.

Exum and George Clement in a field, Buncombe County, ca. 1916.

I am very pleased to announce that the Lillian Exum Clement Stafford Papers, PC.2084, are now processed and available for research. These papers are particularly valued because Lillian, known within her family and by most others as Exum, has had a significant legacy as the first female state representative in North Carolina. Notably, she was also the first female legislator in the American South. Following her election in November 1920, Exum has often been quoted as telling a reporter, “I am by nature, very conservative, but I am firm in my convictions. I want to blaze a trail for other women. I know that years from now there will be many other women in politics, but you have to start a thing.” [News and Observer. Jan. 7, 1921].

Much has already been written about Exum, her life and public service. Naturally, a comprehensive history and documentation of her accomplishments goes far beyond the scope of this piece. Instead, I will narrow my focus to what has recently evoked my curiosity about who and what inspired her success. Since Father’s Day is celebrated this month, I thought it would be revealing to shed some light on Exum, alongside her father, George Washington Clement (ca. June 17, 1852–Dec. 1942). And thankfully, the papers do contain a few items that illustrate a strong father and daughter connection. Additionally, a study of the lives of George and his daughter suggests that both shared similar traits. These include very strong determination and a work ethic, along with convictions, faith, and ideals, such as dedication to family, church, and community–surely among the profound influences in her life.

Exum and George Clement at the intake of the North Fork of the Swannanoa River, ca. 1916

Exum and George Clement at the intake of the North Fork of the Swannanoa River, ca. 1916.

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Digital Services Section New Staff Introduction Series

Since the start of 2017, several new staff members have joined the Digital Services Section. All of us will be making regular blog posts on History For All the People, so we thought it would be nice for each of us to introduce ourselves, describe our roles in DSS, and preview the projects we’re working on.

Introducing Rose Fortier: Metadata Archivist in the Digital Services Section

I’m starting my fourth week with the State Archives of North Carolina. It’s an interesting time in this latest chapter of my work history. Things are starting to come together, and I feel like I’m getting to the point where I can contribute to the team here, instead of spending all my time asking questions.

One of the reasons I was excited to start working here was that I knew I’d get to handle all sorts of fascinating historical documents in the course of digitizing them and making them available for access online. The course of my career in libraries and archives is approaching thirteen years (which is a little scary when I sit down and think about it), and I’ve spent much of that time working with digital collections.

I started out as a baby librarian doing work for the Milwaukee Public Library. Yes, that’s Milwaukee, Wisconsin, home of beer, brats, and cheese. I’m not from there originally, but that’s where I had my first job fresh out of library school. I was assigned to work in the Humanities Department, a subject unit at the Central Library that worked mainly with local history and genealogy materials. After not too long, I found myself in charge of the Historic Photo Archives there, which led to my first forays in digitization. Eventually, I would become the Digital Projects Librarian, and our digital collections really started to take shape. One of the things I really loved about my work at MPL was how much I learned about the history of the city. Before too long, I had in-depth knowledge of Milwaukee that rivaled that of most life-long inhabitants.

From there, I went to work at Marquette University, also in Milwaukee. In fact, I moved about six blocks west down Wisconsin Avenue. My job there was similar to what I’d been doing for MPL, except the focus was different. Instead of making Milwaukee’s historical materials available, I was working on making the research output of Marquette’s faculty and students more easily accessible. I learned new techniques, got to work with different formats and equipment. It was interesting and important work, and I learned a lot, but I missed the parts where I got to learn about the history of the city.

This is why I’m so happy to be working here. Once again, I find myself somewhere where I’m a stranger. As a Canadian by birth, this is as far south as I’ve ever lived. So not only am I learning a lot about North Carolina, but I’m also learning about the South. The stories I’m running across as I work with documents from the General Assembly during the Revolutionary War are deeply fascinating, and I’ll be sure to share some of the tidbits I find. I’m also working with an unprocessed collection of documents relating to the Future Homemakers of America, and I’m rapidly learning more about that organization (established in 1945, segregated until 1965, details to come). I’m eager to learn even more about the state I now call home, and to see how I can use that knowledge to make its treasures available to the public.

Friends of the Archives Hosts “North Carolina and WWI” Event June 19

[This blog post comes from a Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources press release. You can find other press releases on http://www.ncdcr.gov.]

Logo for North Carolina and World War IRaleigh, N.C. – One hundred years ago, America entered the Great War and thousands of North Carolinians answered the call to serve their country at home and overseas.

To commemorate the centennial of the war, the Friends of the Archives will sponsor “North Carolina and World War I,” presented by Jackson Marshall, historian and deputy director of the North Carolina Museum of History. The free, public program will be held in the State Archives/Library Building, 109 E. Jones St., Raleigh, June 19 at 1 p.m.

After his talk, Marshall will lead a tour of the World War I exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History located across Jones St. from the Archives Building. The 6,500-square-foot exhibition highlights artifacts, period photography, a trench diorama, historical film footage, educational interactive components, and video re-enactments that feature European and North Carolina soldiers and citizens to relate the stories of ordinary men and women from North Carolina who provided extraordinary service to their country 100 years ago.

Marshall is a native North Carolinian and the grandson of a World War I soldier. He received B.A. and M.A. degrees from Wake Forest University and is the author of “Memories of World War I.”

About the Friends of the Archives
The Friends of the Archives is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization formed in 1977 to privately fund some of the services, activities and programs of the State Archives of North Carolina not provided by state-appropriated funding.  The mission of the State Archives is to collect, preserve and provide access to North Carolina’s documentary history and culture.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.

World War I Wednesday

World War I poster: "Join the Air Service and Serve in France--Do it Now"

World War I poster: “Join the Air Service and Serve in France–Do it Now” (MilColl.WWI.Posters.10.43). Available online through the North Carolina Digital Collections.

April 6, 2017 marked the centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I. This summer several North Carolina institutions are teaming up to share World War I history through social media. Every Wednesday from June through August, they will post information about items from their collections using the hashtag #WWIWednesday.  The groups taking part include:

  • State Archives of North Carolina (@NCArchives)
  • State Library of North Carolina (@ncpedia)
  • NC Digital Heritage Center (@ncdhc)
  • Wilson Library (@WilsonLibUNC) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • North Carolina Collection (@NCCollection) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Each month will have a theme:

  • June: The Homefront
  • July: Soldiers, Sailors, and Combat
  • August: Women and Nursing during World War I

Other Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (@ncculture) World War I content is also available on social media using the hashtag #NCWW1 and through the blog “North Carolina in World War I.”

Follow the conversation on social media this summer to learn more about North Carolina’s role in World War I.

Postcard with caption "When shall we meet again"

Postcard: “When shall we meet again,” addressed to Warren McNeill, Sept. 14, 1918. From the Warren C. McNeill Papers, part of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina. Available online through the North Carolina Digital Collections.

State Capitol to Host Presidential Signature from the State Archives of NC

[This blog post comes from a Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources press release – you can find other press releases on http://www.ncdcr.gov.]

Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, January 22, 1816, to Nathaniel Macon

Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, January 22, 1816, to Nathaniel Macon [VC.12]. See this item in the NC Digital Collections: http://digital.ncdcr.gov/cdm/ref/collection/p15012coll11/id/172

RALEIGH, N.C. – Visitors to the State Capitol this summer will have a chance to view a signature of Thomas Jefferson! From Thursday, June 22nd through Tuesday, July 11th, the Capitol will host a document that showcases the signature of Jefferson, third president of the United States, Founding Father, and author of the Declaration of Independence.

The document is a letter that Jefferson wrote to Nathanial Macon, a U. S. Senator from North Carolina, in 1816. The two were discussing the creation of a statue to honor George Washington for display in the first NC State House to stand on Capitol Square. Jefferson, writing in response to Macon’s request for sculptor suggestions, states that only Italian sculptor Antonio Canova should create such a statue. North Carolina commissioned the statue from Canova per Jefferson’s recommendation. The original statue was installed in the first State House in 1821. Unfortunately, it was destroyed when the State House burned down in 1831, but a copy now stands in the Capitol’s rotunda. You can view the statue’s copy, as well as pieces of the original Canova statue on display as part of the Capitol’s new exhibit “George Washington is Here: Images of the Founding Father in the North Carolina State Capitol.” The Jefferson document, on loan from the State Archives of NC, is part of the Archives’ vault collection and not often available for public viewing. Join the Capitol for a look at this treasure of the State Archives of NC!

Please call (919) 733-4994 for more information.

The State Capitol’s mission is to preserve and interpret the history, architecture and function of the 1840 building and Union Square. It is within the Division of State Historic Sites within the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and located at One Edenton Street, Raleigh. For additional information please call, or visit www.nchistoricsites.org/capitol.

The State Archives of North Carolina’s mission is to collect, preserve, and make available for public use historical and evidential materials relating to North Carolina. Its holdings consist of official records of state, county and local governmental units, copies of federal and foreign government materials, and private collections. For additional information please call, or visit http://archives.ncdcr.gov/.

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susi Hamilton, NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C.  Zoo, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.