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Updated: 32 min 33 sec ago

New Dorton Arena images now available!

Mon, 2015-10-05 16:26

The Special Collections Research Center continues to scan new materials in order to improve access to its rich collections. We are pleased to share some new scans of the Dorton Arena that were taken during its construction. The images are a part of the James L. Brandt Papers, which include materials that belonged to (and were also collected by) NCSU Design graduate James Lewis Brandt. Brandt worked for architect G. Milton Small and retired in 1991. To explore more of our digital resources, click here.

Graphic Design classes visit Special Collections

Tue, 2015-09-22 09:23

Last week was a busy week in Special Collections – two Graphic Design classes, GD 231 and GD 203 (taught by Russell Flinchum and Deb Littlejohn, respectively) reviewed a large selection of books with interesting design components.

GD 231, History of Design for Engineers and Scientists:

Russell Flinchum shared some background on this course:

During July 2015 I had a very special opportunity to spent a month at Drexel University in Philadelphia at a NEH Summer Institute on “The Canon and Beyond: Teaching the History of Modern Design.” With my 26 classmates, I had the chance to visit a number of special collections, including the Hagley Museum and Library, where Dr. Regina Lee Blaszczyk, Leadership Chair in the History of Business and Society at the University of Leeds, took us on an impressive journey on the role of color in 19th century design (her 2012 book, The Color Revolution, is highly recommended). Reggie’s workshop had clued me in to the extensive network of publications focused on color research and standardization and I was able to show my students the Hoechst Company’s impressive volume on Cotton Dyeing as an example of the primary materials that Professor Blaszczyk had worked from.

For the GD 231 class, Special Collections selected volumes on the early applications of electricity, mechanical engineering, supply catalogs, and other books that showed Flinchum’s students what “the state of the art” was over a century ago and how information-rich that environment was.

GD 203, History of Graphic Design:

The students in Littlejohn’s class had a large list of books to select from, such as this perennial favorite by  E. A. Seguy. While studying their books, the students will consider some of these questions, all provided by Dr. Littlejohn:

In the first (subjective) part, think about and write about your experience with the book, such as:

What is my first visual impression of the book?
What is the physical nature of the book? Size, weight, binding, paper
How do I sense the book? Look, touch, smell, hear (don’t taste!)
What about the physical nature of the book interests me?
What is interesting about the design? Typography? images? cover? layout? etc.

In the second (objective) part, research and answer some of these questions (all questions are unlikely to be pertinent to each book, choose wisely):

(everyone must answer this) Why is this book in the collection? Why is it important enough to collect?
What is this book valued for? (may be more than one thing) subject matter, author, design, age, writing, illustrations, printing, previous owners, where produced
Is this book mentioned in books about the history of books and printing? (Z 250 section of the library)
How does this book fit in with history? Printing history, art/design history, history of a discipline, etc.
Is this book an example of something special? a beginning, an end, a particular style, etc.
Is this book part of the development of something?
If there are important individuals involved in the book’s making, who are they?
Is this book connected with any other books in the collection? In a series, by the same author, by the same designer, about the same subject, etc. Does this add to its importance?

We look forward to working with these classes again next year!

Dean Marvin Malecha adds to his Papers in Special Collections

Mon, 2015-08-10 09:20

Dean Marvin Malecha of the College of Design at NCSU has added a wide assortment of his drawings and other materials to his Papers. They will be processed and added to the collection as soon as possible. The new items include detailed hand drawings of buildings and other sites of architectural and cultural interest from around the world, as well as various other drawing projects he has been involved with throughout his long career. The Marvin J. Malecha Papers are housed in Special Collections and include a wide variety of other materials, including architectural models, presentation boards, project files, faculty papers, photographic materials, and other papers. The drawing, seen above, is a sketch from July 1989 in Athens, Greece.

NC State to Host Fourth Annual Designing Libraries for the 21st Century Conference

Thu, 2015-07-09 15:01

Raleigh, NC – The NCSU Libraries is pleased to announce that registration is now open for the Fourth Annual Designing Libraries for the 21st Century conference, which will be held at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library in Raleigh, NC on September 20-22, 2015. The University of Calgary and the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) are co-sponsors of this event.

Librarians, architects, planners, designers, information technologists, and others will gather to discuss the challenges and achievements of designing libraries and learning centers for the 21st century. Sessions will feature an array of topics including creating and communicating a vision; developing innovative, technology-rich learning and research spaces; creating Makerspaces; planning staff workspaces; and addressing organizational and service models, including transforming the collaborative roles of librarians in these new research and discovery environments. We will include examples from renovated libraries as well as new buildings. In-depth tours of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library and the D. H. Hill Library will be offered.

An optional preconference will be held on September 20, 2015. The theme of the preconference is “21st Century Libraries: Why Do They Matter?” and it will include sessions on infrastructure, spaces, partnerships, and re-education of librarians to support the life cycle of research and teaching.

For more information, please visit the conference website at

NCSU Libraries to Receive Phil Freelon’s Architectural Papers

Fri, 2015-06-26 10:38

Because the College of Design played such a critical role in his early development as an architect, Phil Freelon has chosen the NCSU Libraries as the home for his architectural archive: “I am proud to be a member of the NC State family,” Freelon noted, “and it is an honor to be recognized in this way.” Freelon has donated  his architectural records from his earliest years as a practitioner and plans to add to his archive in the future.

In addition to being a student in the College of Design in the 70’s, Freelon has taught at the College, served on its Design Guild/Design Life Board, the Board of Visitors, and the Board of Trustees. He has designed several buildings on campus, including the Partners III Lab Building on Centennial Campus and the new Gregg Museum addition, currently under construction.

Freelon is the founder and President of The Freelon Group, Inc.  His work has been published in national professional journals including Architecture, Progressive Architecture, Architectural Record, and Contract Magazine, where he was named Designer of the Year for 2008.

Metropolis and Metropolitan Home magazines and the New York Times have also featured Freelon and his firm.  His furniture design has been recognized nationally,  including first prize in the PPG Furniture Design Competition and design contract work with Herman Miller.

A native of Philadelphia, PA, Freelon earned his Bachelor of Environmental Design degree in Architecture from North Carolina State University and his Master of Architecture degree from MIT.  He then received a Loeb Fellowship and spent a year of independent study at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Freelon went on to serve as an adjunct faculty member at North Carolina State University’s College of Design and has been a visiting critic/lecturer at Harvard, MIT, the University of Maryland, Syracuse University, Auburn University, the University of Utah, the California College of the Arts, Kent State University and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, among others.  He is currently on the faculty at MIT’s School of Architecture and Planning.

Freelon is a Peer Professional for the GSA’s Design Excellence Program and has served on numerous design award juries, including the National AIA Institute Honor Awards jury and the National Endowment for the Arts Design Stewardship Panel. He is also a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, a LEED Accredited Professional, and the 2009 recipient of the AIA Thomas Jefferson Award for Public Architecture.

Appointed in 2011 by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, Freelon is part of the team leading the design for the Smithsonian’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture and is a preeminent architectural designer of museums featuring African-American history, including the Center for Civil & Human Rights in Atlanta and the Museum of the African Diaspora in San Francisco.

Large Design Drawings: Special Handling Required

Mon, 2015-06-22 10:19

Arcade Building for E. W. Grove by Charles N. Parker, Architect, Asheville, N.C., 15 July 1926

Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Design is a significant collecting area for the Special Collections Research Center, as well as an area of excellence at the university and a corresponding strength within the NCSU Libraries’ overall collection. Including papers, drawings, and records of prominent architects, landscape architects, and greenways planners in North Carolina and the southeastern United States, with an emphasis on major modernists, as well as collections documenting the historic architecture of North Carolina, industrial design and graphic design, these collections contain much material that is large or fragile or beautiful or all of the above. Thus, they require special arrangements for storage and transportation.

The beauty of architectural collections is often hidden when they first arrive. If the architect stopped practicing or the firm went out of business years before we receive the collection, then the material may have been stored in less than ideal conditions and may no longer be organized as it was when it was regularly used.

To preserve architectural drawings, we store them either rolled or flat in acid-free enclosures. Rolled drawings are rolled on acid-free cores and wrapped in acid-free paper. Flat drawings are stored in acid-free folders in metal flat files with baked epoxy finishes.

Storage for rolled drawings.

Flat storage for architectural drawings.

Because of their size, we need special equipment to transport architectural drawings. To move either rolled or flat drawings within one building, we use this cart with a top constructed for us by our Building Services Department:

Cart for moving architectural drawings.

To move drawings from our off-site storage facility to our Reading Room in the main library in order for users to see them, we use a variety of cases, including these:

Case to transport rolled drawings.

Cases to transport flat drawings.

For information about our collections in the areas of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Design, please consult our website.

NCSU Libraries Launches New Makerspace

Tue, 2015-06-16 10:47

As part of President Obama’s National Week of Making, the NCSU Libraries is opening their Makerspace in D. H. Hill Library on Tuesday, June 16.

The Makerspace will offer a hands-on, do-it-yourself space where users are encouraged to experiment and learn new hardware and software skills. It will be equipped with 3D printers, a laser cutter, electronics prototyping tools, sewing machines, and general tools for making, and will be accessible to all NC State students, faculty, and staff.

While typically available for open use, faculty integrating maker tools into their curriculum will be able to reserve the Makerspace for classes, and the Libraries will use the space to hold workshops featuring particular tools and techniques.

The Libraries hopes the D. H. Hill Makerspace will serve as a hub for making on campus—a place to expose the NC State community to making and its corresponding emerging literacies. To compliment their expertise with maker tools and techniques, the NCSU Libraries staff has expertise in disciplinary research, industry and market research, patent searching and filing, digital product development, data management, all of which can enrich a maker’s approach. The Libraries is committed to bringing critical thinking to the maker experience and technology literacy.

With the D. H. Hill Makerspace, the Libraries have added yet another innovative learning space and equipped it with an extensive set of maker technologies: MakerBot and LulzBot 3D printers; Arduino, Galileo, and Raspberry Pi electronics prototyping platforms; Bernina sewing machines; an Epilog laser cutter, and an electronics workstation with Hakko soldering iron. The space also offers a “tinkering table” for drop-in users, featuring hands-on making tools like LittleBits, 3Doodlers, LEGOS, and MaKey MaKeys. These interactive experiences will help stir users’ creative thinking and get them making on their first visit.