Tag Archives: events

Rare Opportunity to View North Carolina’s “Birth Certificate”: Carolina Charter of 1663

Did you know that the land of the Carolinas once extended ocean to ocean, covering parts of what is now Florida, Mexico, Texas, and California?  King Charles II granted this land in 1663 to several of his supporters—the “Lords Proprietors”—in return for their service to the Crown during the English Restoration.  The gift of land was designated in the Carolina Charter of 1663.

Considered the “birth certificate” of the Carolinas, the Carolina Charter will be on exhibit from Monday, February 8 through Sunday, February 14, at the N.C. Museum of History in downtown Raleigh.  Written on vellum (calf- or sheepskin), this remarkable document bears a striking pen-and-ink portrait of King Charles II of England on the first page. The Carolina Charter marks the beginning of organized, representative government in the province of Carolina, granting to the colonists rights that were to have lasting influence on the region’s population and its history. For example, the Charter guaranteed the rights of property ownership, the establishment of courts, and representation of delegates of “Freemen of said Province.”

Notes Sarah Koonts, State Archivist, “The Charter is a unique and beautiful document. Because of its fragility, we can rarely display it, but for a brief time the public will have the opportunity to view one of North Carolina’s most important founding documents.”

The Carolina Charter will be on view in the Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives at the Museum of History, 109 East Jones St., Raleigh. Visit and see rare documents from the State Archives’ vault and learn about the characters and stories behind them through the exhibit. Treasures of Carolina will run through June 19 and admission is free. For information about the N.C. Museum of History, a Smithsonian-affiliated museum, call 919-807-7900 or access ncmuseumofhistory.org.

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Family Traditions of Service: Lifesavers of the Chicamacomico Life Boat Station receiving medals for rescue of British tanker Mirlo crew, July 1930

[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

The following description of the 1918 rescue of the crew of the British tanker Mirlo comes from the National Park Service:

“[A] famous surfboat rescue occurred during World War I, when enemy submarines operated in American coastal waters. On August 16, 1918, the British tanker Mirlo struck a German mine a few miles offshore and blew up. Keeper John Allen Midgett and his crew from Chicamacomico [Life Boat] Station launched their surfboat and steered it into a fiery seascape of burning oil, seeking survivors. Maneuvering their way through a hellish environment that blistered paint on their boat, burned their skin, and singed their hair and clothing, the lifesavers emerged with 42 rescued crewmen. Both the United States and Great Britain awarded Keeper Midgett and hiChicamacomico_MirloRescies surfmen medals for their gallantry.” (http://www.nps.gov/caha/learn/historyculture/lifesaving-service.htm)

This is the original photograph of the lifesavers of the Chicamacomico Life Boat Station receiving in July of 1930 “Grand Crosses of the American Cross of Honor” gold medals for their heroic rescue in 1918. Pictured here are: (left to right) Surfmen Leroy Midgett, Prochorus O’Neal, and Zion S. Midgett; [two unidentified civilians]; RADM Frederick C. Billard, Commandant of the Coast Guard; Keeper John Allen Midgett Jr.; and, surfmen Arthur Midgett, and Clarence Midgett.

The tradition of Coast Guard service was so strong in the Midgett family that the service on Hatteras Island was referred to as the “Midgett Navy.”

Credit line: United States Coast Guard and United States Lifesaving Service Portraits Collection, Sarah Owens Collection, Outer Banks History Center.

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This blog post is one in two-week series of posts sharing the items used in the exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service:  A Historical Tribute to Veterans.” This exhibit, on display from November 3 to November 13, 2015, at the Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo, N.C., is sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. The items from this exhibit come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center.

Family Traditions of Service: Coltrane Elementary Students Add to Scrap Pile, 1942

[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Coltrane Elementary Students Add to Scrap Pile, Date: 1942

Coltrane Elementary Students Add to Scrap Pile, Date: 1942

During World War II, the U.S. government began rationing food and supplies to put towards the war effort. Shortages in metal and rubber demanded finding inventive ways of acquiring available metal and rubber supplies. Americans were urged to turn in scrap metal for recycling.

Schools were ordered to provide rationing programs for students and support war bond drives. Families supported public events and programs such as the scrap drives because they were patriotic and connected families in some way with their loved ones serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Perhaps one of the community scenes which stuck in the minds of so many from the war period was the community scrap heap. A pile of rusting metal and old rubber stood for freedom and democracy. Recycled scrap metal was used to build ships, tanks, planes, bullets, artillery shells, and other military supplies. This photograph of Coltrane Elementary School students in Concord, North Carolina, shows them bringing scrap metal and rubber tires to a scrap pile in 1942. Schools and communities all over North Carolina contributed to piles such as these, and local businesses and corporations converted the metal into weapons, vehicles and vessels, and supplies.

You can explore more about home front activities and rationing in the County War Records, found in the WWII Papers of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina.

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This blog post is one in two-week series of posts sharing the items used in the exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service:  A Historical Tribute to Veterans.” This exhibit, on display from November 3 to November 13, 2015, at the Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo, N.C., is sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. The items from this exhibit come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center.

Family Traditions of Service: American World War II Navy Vessel Clears Sea Mine

[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

U.S. Navy YMS-37 ship crew with a sea mine, Date: 1943 or 1944

U.S. Navy YMS-37 ship crew with a sea mine, Date: 1943 or 1944

During World War II, American Navy vessels traversed the Atlantic Ocean, North Sea, English Channel, and Mediterranean Sea while facing the menace of German and Italian submarines, magnetic and acoustic sea mines, and other war-time hazards in the European and North African theaters. Navy minesweeper ships consisted of crews specifically tasked with risking their lives to clear the water paths for Allied ships during the war, without which such landings as the Normandy D-Day invasion would have been impossible.

This snapshot photograph was collected or taken by Robert H. Northrop of Wilmington, North Carolina, who was serving in 1943 and 1944 aboard the U.S. Navy YMS-37, a minesweeping ship. This picture shows the ship pulling up next to an Axis Powers’ sea mine on the surface of the water. One of the crew is sitting on the mine doing something with the fuse—possibly trying to disarm it. Brave men such as these saved thousands of lives with their work.

You can see more photographs of Northrop’s service aboard the YMS-37 in the Robert H. Northrop Papers, located in the WWII Papers of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina.

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This blog post is one in two-week series of posts sharing the items used in the exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service:  A Historical Tribute to Veterans.” This exhibit, on display from November 3 to November 13, 2015, at the Dare County Arts Council building in Manteo, N.C., is sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. The items from this exhibit come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center.

New Veterans’ Day Exhibit Opening at Outer Banks History Center

[This blog post was written by Matthew Peek, Military Collection Archivist for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Flyer for the events that are part the exhibit “The Family Traditions of Service: A Historical Tribute to Veterans.”

Flyer for the events related to the exhibit “The Family Traditions of Service: A Historical Tribute to Veterans.”

From November 3 to November 13, 2015, an exhibit titled “The Family Traditions of Service: A Historical Tribute to Veterans” will be on display at the Dare County Arts Council building, in the upstairs old courtroom, at 300 Queen Elizabeth Street in Manteo, N.C. The exhibit is part of a broader Veterans’ Day celebration by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center that includes a reception and program at the Dare County Arts Council on Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. The program will include a short preview of the exciting new documentary film, Mysteries of the Graveyard, by Bryan Jones, noted local videographer and independent researcher, and a panel discussion that will elaborate on the current exhibit in the Outer Banks History Center Gallery on the history of the U.S. Coast Guard in North Carolina.

Sponsored by the Friends of the Outer Banks History Center, the exhibit serves as a historical tribute to over 100 years of military service of North Carolina residents and their families, with particular emphasis on coastal North Carolina. The goal of the exhibit is to honor the role of North Carolina veterans and their families during peacetime and war. Soldiers, sailors, and aviators may fight for our freedoms, but their families sacrifice and work just as hard to maintain the home front in the service personnel’s absence. The exhibit uses artwork, photographs, and unique documentary sources to provide a glimpse into the different ways in which North Carolinians have experienced war and military service.

The exhibit features reproductions of original and never-before-seen materials documenting the visual, artistic, and documentary experience of North Carolina military personnel and their families. The items on exhibit are all from North Carolina residents, and come from the holdings of the Military Collection at the State Archives of North Carolina and the Outer Banks History Center. Items such as original World War II artwork by an Army sniper, showing his view of the war, and military-themed cartoons on a Cannon Mills company war newsletter from World War II offer different views of war and the activities that support military operations in our country.

In order to offer this exhibit for all North Carolinians, the State Archives of North Carolina will be posting the exhibit virtually on social media through the State Archives’ History For All the People blog. One to two items per day will be posted from November 11 (Veterans’ Day) through November 22, 2015, along with a blog post about the item’s history and the historical period it represents. The original items are available for viewing at their corresponding storage locations in the State Archives of North Carolina in Raleigh and the Outer Banks History Center in Manteo. This online exhibit serves as the State Archives’ acknowledgment and thank you to all of North Carolina’s veterans and their families for the 2015 Veterans’ Day holiday. If you see veterans this Veterans’ Day, please thank them for their service, and remember to acknowledge their families as well.

Local History through the Camera Lens

[This blog post was written by Kim Andersen, Audio Visual Materials Archivist in the Special Collections Section of the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Announcement for the event: North Carolina's Past Through The Films of Century Film Studios

Come see campaign coverage of Governors Bob Scott, Dan K. Moore, James E. Holshouser, Jr., Terry Sanford, and Jim Hunt; sponsored films for NC law enforcement agencies, the Boy Scouts, and the North Carolina State Fair; commercials for the Record Bar, Mt. Olive Pickles, and Duke’s Children’s Classic golf tournament and a host of other topics (even NC State Football!) that the Century Film Studios in Raleigh produced between the 1950s and 1980s! These films and more will be showcased on Tuesday evening, October 13, 2015, at a special screening and discussion event at NCSU’s Hunt Library.

What: Local History through the Camera Lens

When: Oct. 13 / 7:00pm-9:00pm

Where: James B. Hunt Jr. Library on the NCSU campus

1070 Partners Way, Raleigh, NC 27608

More: https://www.facebook.com/events/643812085754446/ and https://www.lib.ncsu.edu/event/north-carolina%E2%80%99s-past-through-films-century-film-studios

Trailer: https://vimeo.com/133205518

The Century Film Studio Collection is part of the AV Materials holdings of the State Archives of North Carolina. Century Film Productions (AKA Century Studios; Century Films) was a Raleigh-based film studio owned and operated by O.B. (Ollie) and Lynn Garris. O.B. Garris, who also worked during his career at WNAO and WRAL, was a prolific cameraman, photographer, and filmmaker, and his work provides a rare opportunity to peek at media production from the 50s-80s and see some of the Triangle area and North Carolina in that era. The State Archives was very fortunate to have benefited from the expertise of film archivist Melissa Dollman, who processed the collection at the Archives, secured grant funding from the National Film Preservation Foundation to have two of the films restored, and has continued to do extensive research on the collection.

Melissa Dollman will discuss her research on the Century Films and the phenomenon of local media production along with Dr. Devin Orgeron, associate professor of Film Studies at NC State, Kim Andersen of the State Archives of North Carolina (and NC State alumnus), and Skip Elsheimer, film collector and owner of A/V Geeks (and also an NC State alumnus).

This program, a collaboration between the NCSU Libraries, NC State’s Department of English, the State Archives of North Carolina, and A/V Geeks, is free and open to the public. It will be fun for the whole family. Please bring your parents and grandparents. They might recognize things we don’t! They might even see themselves!

Please contact Kim Andersen (kim.andersen@ncdcr.gov) if you have questions.

October is Archives Month!

[This blog post was written by Andrea Gabriel, Outreach and Development Coordinator for the State Archives of North Carolina.]

Gov. Pat McCrory's Archives Month Proclamation for October 2015

Gov. Pat McCrory’s Archives Month Proclamation for October 2015

Gov. Pat McCrory has proclaimed October 2015 as Archives Month in North Carolina. The Society of North Carolina Archivists has developed the theme, “Celebrating Archives: North Carolina Arts, Crafts, and Music Traditions” and several archives throughout the state have developed programs and activities to celebrate. View the proclamation.

As in year’s past, the State Archives will host Home Movie Day on October 17 from 1:00—4:00 pm. in the building auditorium at 109 East Jones Street, Raleigh. Bring your own home movies and share with others. Archivists will be on hand to talk about film preservation.

On October 24, 2017, the State Archives and the Friends of the Archives sponsor Treasures of Carolina: Stories from the State Archives,” an exhibit that showcases a selection of the State Archives’ documents, photographs, and maps. Hosted by the Museum of History in Raleigh, the exhibit will remain up through June 19, 2016 and will feature North Carolina’s copy of the Bill of Rights, and the Carolina Charter of 1663 in a brief rotation. For more information about the exhibit visit the ncculture.com description and read our recent blog posts on the upcoming event. We’ll be featuring an artifact each week until the opening. This is an opportunity to view pieces rarely seen. A companion catalog will be available.

And though outside of “Archives Month,” sign up for Ancestry Day on November 7 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. This is an event created for seasoned and beginning genealogists alike and 1,000 are expected to attend.