Tag Archives: Organization Records

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.

Student Records from Brookstone College’s Charlotte and Greensboro Campuses

[This blog post was written by Gwen Thomas Mays, Organization Records Archivist.]

The majority of the student records from Brookstone College’s Charlotte and Greensboro campuses are now in the custody of the State Archives. Former students may request copies of their transcripts – please refer to the instructions on the Archives website: http://archives.ncdcr.gov/Public/Services/Academic-Transcripts-Of-Defunct-Colleges.

The Christmas Seal

OR_183_AmericanLungAssociationNC_ChristmasSeals_1980_1989_006This year we have added a collection of Christmas Seals to the “Carolina Christmas” digital collection. The Christmas Seals are part of the American Lung Association of North Carolina Records collection, which is part of the State Archives Organization Records. The Organization Records group consists of the records of many of the state’s private, professional, or civic organizations judged to be relevant to the history of the state. In 2007 the American Lung Association of North Carolina merged with Maryland and Virginia’s to become the American Lung Association of the Atlantic Coast. It was shortly after the merger that the State Archives became custodians of this collection. A collection of American Lung Association Christmas Seals dating from 1919 to 1999, as well as some Christmas Seals from foreign countries, have been added to “Carolina Christmas.
The Christmas Seal was developed to help in the fight against tuberculosis (TB). In the nineteenth century tuberculosis was a feared disease with no cure, it did not discriminate between rich or poor, and it ravaged its victims leaving them pale and emaciated until death finally took them. In 1871 a doctor discovered that fresh air and rest could cure TB. As news of this cure spread, so did small clinics where doctors could treat small numbers of patients and, in 1907, one such clinic sent out a plea for help. They needed to raise money or they would have to close their doors to the sick. It was in the fight to keep this small clinic alive that Emily Bissell spearheaded the origin of the American Christmas Seal and the forming of the American Lung Association. To read the full story, read either The Story of the Christmas Seal or the Crusade of the Christmas Seal.
This series from the collection consists of Christmas Seals divided by date range, two small pamphlets, a poster depicting Christmas Seals from around the world, Christmas Seals from foreign countries, and Christmas Seals signed by celebrities. To learn more about the collection see our MARS (Manuscript and Archives Reference System) catalog and use the search term “American Lung Association.”

Date Ranges









We hope you enjoy the new additions to “Carolina Christmas” and have a happy holiday season.

Book Club Records Provide A Window Into Women’s Social History

[This blog post comes from Gwen Thomas Mays, Organization Records Archivist.]

The organization records at the State Archives of North Carolina include collections from various clubs, committees, sororities, fraternities and lodges, patriotic societies, lineage societies, professional associations, veterans associations, and special interest groups.  Clubs form around a variety of interests, including books, gardening, politics, and music, just to name a few, as well as for purely social reasons.  The records at the Archives from several women’s book clubs covering over 100 years, show us not only what women have been reading from the late 19th century to the present, but also what they care about, think and talk about, and act on.

In the 1890s, women’s book clubs sprang up across the country.  Generally meeting in each other’s homes, these clubs often met every other week on a weekday afternoon, sometimes hearing a paper presented on an important topic of the day, followed by some discussion, and ending with refreshments provided by the hostess.  Membership was usually limited to a number chosen by the charter members, and acceptance into the club was voted on by the membership.  In North Carolina, there were several Tuesday Afternoon Book Clubs in various towns across the State, and there were several Thursday Afternoon Book Clubs as well.

The organization records at the State Archives include records from the Anna Jackson Book Club in Lincolnton, the Fortnightly Review Club, O. Henry Book Club, Olla Podrida Club, Round Table Club, and Tuesday Afternoon Book Club all in Raleigh, and the Thursday Afternoon Book Club in Laurinburg.  The oldest of these, the Anna Jackson Book Club, was formed in 1894 and named for Mary Anna Morrison Jackson, Mrs. Stonewall Jackson, who was a Lincoln County native.  The club’s constitution states, “Its object shall be the mutual improvement of its members in literature, art, science, and the vital interests of the day.”  The Club made contributions to many worthy causes and was deeply interested in the local library, to which they presented 100 books.

The city of Raleigh has enjoyed many book clubs, and in 1899 the Fortnightly Review Club and the Olla Podrida Club were founded.  From the first page of the minutes for the Fortnightly Review Club we read, “This Club was organized with the desire of bringing together congenial friends for mutual pleasure and profit.  But especially that we may do a little work together for our literary advancement and culture.”  Olla Podrida, which means a hodgepodge, a miscellaneous mixture, a medley, chose their name to reflect their wide ranging interests and openness to a variety of topics.  Although its charter members were all leaders in the city’s civic and charitable organizations, it was understood that the Olla Podrida Club would not undertake any special projects.

The Thursday Afternoon Book Club of Laurinburg, has been called Scotland County’s oldest social club for women.  About a dozen women, led by Miss Julia Stewart, decided in 1899 to organize a club with the objective of fostering the appreciation of good books and other aspects of cultural life.  Organized the following year, the Club included 22 charter members, a total which has been maintained throughout the years.          In accordance with the constitution, the Club meets the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, with no meetings in June, July, or August.  Each member buys a book of her choice to pass to every other member.  Books rotate twice a month, and the Club enjoys a variety of fiction and non-fiction books as well as poetry on occasion.  Through annual dues, the club is able to donate a book to the local library every year.

The Tuesday Afternoon Book Club of Raleigh (TABC) was organized in 1903 by Mrs. J. S. Wynne and Mrs. Franklin McNeill, largely as a neighborhood group.  Residing in Raleigh, NC, around Blount Street and Peace College, the women had in common a “yen to study Shakespeare.”  With a limited membership of 18, the club met first in the home of Mrs. T. N. Ivey on Halifax Street.

The TABC is thought to be Raleigh’s fourth oldest club, following behind the Johnsonian, founded in 1895, and the previously mentioned Olla Podrida and Fortnightly Review Clubs.  For most of its history, the TABC has been informal with few rules, officers serving in rotation, hostesses presenting programs and serving refreshments, occasional guest speakers, and over the years the club has supported in tangible ways the Olivia Raney Library and the D. H. Hill Library at North Carolina State University. 

The O. Henry Book Club of Raleigh was organized in the fall of 1923 for the purpose of studying “various literary and cultural subjects.”  It was named in honor of William Sydney Porter, a native of Greensboro, North Carolina and a noted short story writer.  The first meeting was held at the home of Mrs. Paul E. Davis, with nine charter members.  In 1925 the membership was limited to twenty.  The Club has averaged seventeen meetings a year, between the months of September and May.

The Round Table Club held its first meeting at the home of Mrs. Reynolds in 1927 in Raleigh, NC.  The object of the Club is the study of subjects which will give its members a wider knowledge and keener appreciation of all that interests the woman of the day.  Any woman residing in the community who is interested in the work of the Club and is willing to assume the duties shall be eligible for membership, the membership being confined to twenty active members. 

Each club reflects the interests and personalities of its members.  Some are light-hearted social gatherings; others choose more serious, intellectual pursuits.  The membership of each must change over time, with long-standing members leaving and new members taking their place.  But the importance of these clubs to these women remains constant, as reflected in the fact that some have been meeting consistently every other week, through times of war and peace, social and political upheaval, good weather and bad, for more than a century.

Genealogical Clues May Be Found In Organization Records

[This blog post comes from Gwen Thomas Mays, our Organization Records Archivist]

The organization records at the State Archives of North Carolina include collections from various clubs, committees, sororities, fraternities and lodges, patriotic societies, lineage societies, professional associations, veterans associations, and special interest groups.  Of these, the patriotic and lineage societies often contain records that can give the researcher hints about their ancestors, and the same can be said of some of the veterans associations as well.  These groups include the North Carolina Department of the American Legion, the North Carolina Society of the Daughters of the Revolution of 1776, the North Carolina Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of North Carolina, and the Sons of the Revolution in the State of North Carolina, Inc., just to name a few.  These records can not be used as proof of military service, but can point the researcher towards the appropriate place to obtain that proof.

When the American Legion was founded in 1919, a person had to be a veteran of the World War to become a member.  After World War II broke out, it was decided that the organization should also include veterans from this war.  The records at the State Archives cover the years 1920 to 1945, and include lists of veterans from each of the counties in North Carolina.  The organization American War Mothers includes applications for membership that list World War I and World War II service of the children of the applicants.  And the collection for Veterans of World War I includes lists of veterans from that war.

For the Civil War, the State Archives has original records from the Winnie Davis Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the James Johnston Pettigrew Chapter, and the James B. Gordon Chapter, which all contain applications for membership that include the lineage of the applicant showing descent from a Confederate veteran.  And on microfilm, there are records from the Bladen Stars and Starlets Chapter, the James Kenan Chapter, and the North Carolina Division of the UDC.  In many cases, the applicant’s Civil War veteran was their father, making them literally Daughters of the Confederacy.  The Winnie Davis Chapter and the North Carolina Division records also include applications for the Southern Cross of Honor, which were filled out and signed by the veteran himself.

Going back in time, the Revolutionary War is represented by the collections from Children of the American Revolution, the North Carolina Society of the Daughters of the Revolution of 1776, and the Sons of the Revolution in the State of North Carolina, Inc.  For membership in both the Daughters and Sons of the Revolution, the applicant had to be a direct descendant of a veteran or statesman from the original 13 Colonies who unwaveringly worked for the cause of American independence from Great Britain.  Some of these applications include supporting documents that substantiate the applicant’s claim.

And farther back, the Society of Colonial Wars is a patriotic society of male descendants of participants in Colonial wars.  As any genealogist knows, it can be extremely difficult to trace the lineage of Colonial or post-Revolutionary War era females.  Many times the applicant’s lineage outlined on their application for the societies mentioned above, traces through one or more females in their heritage giving often hard to come by maiden names.  Some, but not all societies required birth, death, and marriage dates on their applications, which can also be nearly impossible to find for pre-1850 ancestors.

These collections are generally overlooked and may contain a clue to help break through a brick wall in the research process.  As always, the search room staff at the State Archives will be happy to direct patrons to the finding aids for these and any other collections in our holdings.

Moving Records and Expanding Our Storage

As you may know if you’ve read the April 2012 edition of Carolina Comments, we are in the process of moving records to a new stacks area which will allow us to bring more collections into the Archives building and therefore will allow more collections to be available during our Saturday hours.  As part of this records shift, we are also moving a group of collections out to the Western Regional Archives in anticipation of that new research facility opening to the public. The opening date for the Western Regional Archives hasn’t been set yet, but we want to give researchers a list of materials that will soon be available there.  A PDF version of the list is available on our website and I’ll give a version of it in this blog post. In the coming days and weeks I’ll provide lists of other materials that have moved or are being moved down to our new storage space, so be on the lookout for that as well.

Collections moving from the State Archives of North Carolina in Raleigh to the Western Regional Archives, Oteen

  • Records of Black Mountain College (academic records); 75 cubic feet
  • Black Mountain College Research Project Records (state agency records); 30 cubic feet
  • ORG.19: Appalachian National Park Association Records; 4 fibredex and 10 manuscript boxes; 5 volumes.
  • ORG.131: Upper French Broad Defense Association Records; 4 fibredex boxes.
  • PhC.15: James P. Dodge, Jr., Photograph Collection; 1 volume.
  • PhC.34: Asheville Area Lantern Slide Collection; 3 items (1 folder).
  • PhC.66:  Blue Ridge Parkway Photograph Collection; 19 boxes.
  • PhC.69:  Black Mountain College Photograph Collection; 1 manuscript box (21 items).
  • PhC.97: Interstate Highway 40 Tunnel Construction Photograph Collection; 1 oversize manuscript box (172 items).
  • PhC.140: Blue Ridge Assembly Photograph Album; 1 volume.
  • V.T.1: Black Mountain College: A Thumbnail Sketch, VT.1; 1 item
  • MfP.41: Lyonel Feininger Letters and Drawings; 1 reel.
  • X.11: Black Mountain College Papers; 22 reels.
  • X.21: Alleghany County Ex-Confederate Veterans; 1 reel.
  • X.46: Cherokee Historical Association Related Records; 3 reels.
  • PC.1197: Annie Albers Collection; 1 manuscript box
  • PC.1517: H. McGuire Wood Papers; 2 fibredex boxes; 2 oversize drop-front boxes
  • PC.1520: Mr. & Mrs. Frederick Mangold Papers; 1 fibredex box; 1
  • PC.1538: Allen Sly Papers; 1 ½ fibredex boxes
  • PC.1545: Clark H. Foreman Papers; 1 folder
  • PC.1546: Ernest Krenek Letters; 1 folder
  • PC.1571: Black Mountain Bank Papers;
  • PC.1580: Black Mountain College Miscellaneous Collection; 1 fibredex box; 1 volume
  • PC.1581: T. R. Jackson Collection; 1 folder
  • PC.1586: Roberta Blair Collection; ½ fibredex box
  • PC.1678: Martin Duberman Collection; 38 fibredex boxes; 1 folder oversized materials
  • PC.1684: James Philander Dodge, Jr., Papers; 1 fibredex box.
  • PC.1715: Peggy Dwight Papers; 1 oversized box
  • PC.1784: Sylvia Girsh Ashby Collection; 1 fibredex box
  • PC.1790: Mervin Lane Manuscripts; 6 manuscript boxes; 5 ½ fibredex boxes
  • PC.1824: Irwin Kremen Exhibition Catalogs; 1 fibredex box
  • PC.1870: Norman B. Weston Collection; 1 manuscript box
  • PC.1871: Jesse B. Green Collection; 1 manuscript box
  • PC.1885: Stephen Forbes Papers; 1 fibredex box
  • PC.1895: Mary Gregory Papers; 1 fibredex box
  • PC.1922: Sue Spayth Riley Papers; 1 fibredex box
  • PC.1924: Don Page Collection; 5 folders of oversize materials
  • PC.1956: Dreier Papers; 77 ½ fibredex boxes; 2 manuscript boxes
  • PC.1957: Hannelore Hahn Papers; 2 fibredex boxes; 2 cubic foot boxes
  • PC.1958: Nan Weston Papers; 1 manuscript box
  • PC.1959: John Evarts Papers; 1 manuscript box.
  • PC.2027: Marilyn Greenwald Papers; 1 portfolio

For more information about the collections moving to the Western Regional Archives, contact Heather South at 828-296-7230, extension 232, or by email at heather.south AT ncdcr.gov.