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North Carolina State University Student Center Records

Mon, 2014-07-21 08:00

NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center is happy to announce that the University Student Center Records are now processed and available for research. The collection contains files and other items related to the general administrative and departmental transactions of the Student Center, as well as materials from the production and promotion of its events, services, and activities.

One of the most interesting parts of the of the collection is the scrapbooks, made yearly between 1953 to 1964 to commemorate the events and activities related to and occurring at the Student Center, and are filled with newspaper clippings, programs from events, and promotional materials such as posters and flyers. However, as is the case with most scrapbooks their age, the adhesive has wasted away, so many of the items glued or taped to the pages have become loose. During the processing of the scrapbooks, an attempt was made to replicate the original layout of each page so they could be photographed before the loose items were filed separately.

The records range from 1941 to 2008 and reflect the history of the University Student Center, as well as how it functions today. The Student Center is a student organization established to give students and other community members a centralized location on campus which provides essential facilities, programs, and services. It was established with the purpose of enriching students’ lives by teaching them social and recreational skills, and to provide them with the opportunity of extracurricular activity without having to leave campus.

The earliest model of a student center on N C State’s (then, State College’s) campus was the King Religious Center (also called the YMCA Building), which opened in 1913. Taking note of the success of student unions on other college campuses, N C State took the initiative to create their own, starting in 1948. The first official student union was founded in 1951 and later named the Erdahl-Cloyd Student Union. In 1972, the newly built Talley Student Union replaced the Erdahl-Cloyd Union. Today, the College’s student center is actually the University Student Centers, consisting of Talley, the Witherspoon Student Center, the Price Music Center, and Thompson Hall.

In addition to providing students with social and recreational opportunities on campus, the Student Center organization has always offered a number of other services. It is the host of programs for academic and professional development, as well as being renowned as a performance venue since it was established, providing theater and music showings, film screenings, and forum discussions.

The University Student Center Records show how the Center has changed, but it still provides the services for which it was established. For more information about the collection, please consult the collection guide.

Exciting Photo Album Discovery!

Mon, 2014-07-14 11:23

Hand-colored albumen prints by Kusakabe Kimbei, showing Tokyo gardens, ca. 1890

The Special Collection Research Center has made an exciting discovery about a photograph album in its collection.  The album contains approximately 60 hand-colored albumen prints showing landscapes and architectural scenes in Japan during the late nineteenth century.  The dimensions of the photographs are 21.5 x 28 cm (8.5 x 11 in).  The album covers are lacquer with inlaid designs.    Many photos have printed captions and numbers, but there is no indication as to who created them or the album.  We have recently been able to attribute the album to Kusakabe Kimbei.  A further description exists in the library’s online catalog.

Kusakabe Kimbei was a commercial photographer based in Yokohama, Japan, in the late nineteenth century, and he was one of the great native-born Japanese photographers of his time.  He had been an apprentice of Baron Raimund von Stillfried, an Austrian who established a photographic studio in Japan in 1871.  When Stillfried left Japan in 1885, Kusakabe bought his mentor’s stock and initiated his own studio, which existed until 1912.

Stillfried’s firm had purchased the stock of Felice (or Felix) Beato in 1877.  Beato was an Italian-born photographer who established a studio in Japan during the mid-1860s and was one of the first Westerners to bring photography to the East Asian country.  He employed Japanese artists to color his albumen prints, and he became knowledgeable of such Japanese art traditions as ukiyo-e woodblock prints.  Both Stillfried and Beato specialized in studio portraits and genre scenes.  Beato also specialized in landscape photographs.  Westerners fascinated by Eastern cultures formed the major audience for their work.  Kusakabe continued these traditions, perfecting the psychological portrait, and he seems to have catered to the same audience.

Hand-colored albumen prints by Kusakabe Kimbei, showing Choin-in Temple, ca. 1890

Hand-tinting of albumen photographic prints became a minor art form in Japan in the late nineteenth century.  Japanese artists have had long traditions of coloring through fabric stenciling and woodblock printing.  The transfer of these processes to photography resulted in works that have rivaled Western examples in skill and beauty.  Because of the time-consuming process, a master colorist could finish only 2-3 prints per day, so Japanese photography studios drew upon the skills of large staffs.

The NCSU Libraries has held this particular photograph album for several years, probably decades, but its origins had become lost until recently.  While perusing the catalog of a rare book dealer, Special Collections staff found a description for another nineteenth century Japanese album with Kusakabe photographs.  Through online research, the staff was able to match two photos in the NCSU Libraries’ album with those in known Kusakabe collections, including one at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives in Washington, D.C.  Research in print publications, including Japan Photographs, 1854-1905 (1979) by Clark Worswick and The History of Japanese Photography (2003) by and Anne Tucker, et al., also confirmed Kusakabe as the creator of some of these photos.  Therefore, it is assumed that the entire NCSU Libraries’ album can be attributed to Kusakabe.  One interesting aspect of the NCSU Libraries’ album is that it does not include any of the psychological portraits for which Kusakabe is now known.  Rather, it only contains landscape and architectural scenes.

Front cover of photo album by Kusakabe Kimbei, ca. 1890

Back cover of photograph album by Kusakabe Kimbei, ca. 1890

A bookplate on the inside cover of the album indicates it was donated by William T. Huxter.    A William T. “Bill” Huxter was at NC State from the 1960s to the 1990s as a professor and extension specialist, first in Wood Products Extension and later in Extension Forestry.

If anyone knows more about the donation of this album, please contact the Special Collections Research Center.  Interested researchers wanting to schedule a time to access the photo album may contact the Special Collections Research Center through the online form.

Have you “Kugged” your Kaypro today?

Mon, 2014-07-07 13:33

The Special Collections Research Center includes the History of Computing and Simulation as one of its key collecting areas. We recently received a small collection, the Lawrence Auld Collection of Kaypro Computer Materials, 1978-1992, that documents the Kaypro home computer. Kaypro began as “Non-Linear Systems,” a maker of electronic test equipment, and was founded by Andrew Kay in 1952. In 1982, Non-Linear Systems organized a company called the Kaypro Corporation and named its first product the Kaypro II. During the 1980s, Kaypros were in competition with IBM PCs and Apple II computers. Fun trivia fact: Arthur C. Clarke used the Kaypro II (64 Kb of RAM!) to write his 1982 novel 2010: Odyssey Two.

The bumper sticker shown above, “Have you kugged your Kaypro today?,” is a play on the “Kaypro Users Group” (KUG). This collection includes various materials that document the use of Kaypros and the discussions about them which were raised by the user community. Included are issues of ProFiles: The Magazine for Kaypro Users, and another popular magazine that catered to Kaypro users, Micro Cornucopia. Perhaps most interesting are Kaypro newsletters and bulletins from the 1980s as well as various user’s guides and user discussions. Although the collection has not yet received full archival processing, a preliminary inventory is available. The collection is open to researchers here at the Special Collections Research Center.

Testing Code, Discovering Collections

Mon, 2014-06-30 16:31

Years ago, we decided, rather than using an out-of-the box solution, to roll our own for the Rare and Unique Digital Collections site. Doing this gives us greater control in creating the user experience; a greater ability to respond to bugs and feature requests, i.e., let’s add “related images” on the resource page; and a way to architect the application so that it fit the Libraries’ approach to managing digital collections. What it also means, though, is that we’re in charge of maintaining the application.

We’re currently using Blacklight and Solr for search and faceted browse, and the djatoka JPEG2000 image server delivers our images.

Recently, we went through two significant upgrades with the site. Project Blacklight released Version 5.4.0 in May 2014, and we migrated to this version in anticipation of some very significant new features to the site we’ll be working on over the summer. The latest release of Blacklight itself includes an upgraded version of Bootstrap, which helps to make websites responsive, i.e., sized appropriately for the screen size one is viewing the site on. In performing this upgrade, we also migrated the site to Rails 4.1 (a web framework), which was released in April 2014.

When performing upgrades, we release code to a staging site, where we can review the code’s effects. This is no small affair. We review the site in several web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE), as several viewing sizes (extra large desktop down to phone size), and on several different devices (Mac, Windows, and Linux operating systems; all of the iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iPod); and several Android devices). And, since we’ve made the site available under HTTP Secure, we have to the view the site on http and https. When viewing the site on all of these devices and browsers, we test to make sure that: the site looks right, the facets work, all the buttons are placed properly and function correctly, the site navigation is functioning, the six different resource views (text, images, folders, video, etc.) are functioning properly, the image pan and zoom is working, the map and “now” features work, and audio and video play properly. These are the biggies; there are probably another dozen or so features we double-check for proper functionality.

But, it’s not all work. Well, it really is, but…we do end up stumbling upon interesting resources that are new to us or new again that make it feel less like work.

While it is possible to visit the site without coming across, by far our most viewed resource, it just doesn’t feel like a visit without doing so. Since beginning to track web statistics on our site with Google Analytics in October 2012, this image has been viewed over 23,000 times.

Here’s one I’d never seen before. It’s a busload of basketball players and fans in the Philippines, one of whom is playing a nose flute.

Like any major university, NC State has hosted presidents and figures of state. In this latest round of testing, I re-discovered a photograph of Bill Clinton receiving students, but the real focus of this one is Hilary. An all-time favorite.

I’ve seen this one in results set a million times, but for some reason I never paid it much mind. On further examination–I looked at this particular resource in order to check that pagination was working–it’s a really fascinating speech, as well as topic.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. I think this brief list of discoveries, in itself, is a great testament to the nature of our collections and the fact that the site supports serendipitous discovery.

These resources–and much, much more–are all available as part of the NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of images, video, and audio recordings, and text documenting NC State history.

Graphic Communications Records Added to University Archives

Tue, 2014-06-24 09:21

Among the recent additions to the University Archives are 15 linear feet of materials from NC State’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education. Contained in these records are photographs, videotapes, correspondence, brochures, and flyers dating from the 1950s to 2008. Details about these materials can be found in an online collection guide.

Early Distance Education, Ca. 1980. Recent additions to the University Archives include videotapes for Engineering Graphics E101, an early distance education course similar to the one depicted in this image.

Most of these materials originated with the Graphics Communications program. Included are photographs of departmental personnel and activities, as well as videotapes and programs of the Graphics Communications Distinguished Lectures and Banquets (1980s and 1990s). Of note are videotapes of Engineering Graphics E101 mini-lectures (one of NC State’s earliest distance education courses) and a rendering of one of the first 3-D models ever printed.

Also with these materials is Visual Aids for Teachers, a set of 7 filmstrips and 11 phonograph records. Dating from approximately 1950, this set was intended for use by K-12 teachers in classroom instruction. It was created by the Jam Handy Organization, which produced audio-visual materials used in training and education. Visual Aids for Teachers had been acquired by an early College of Education program

The Graphics Communications program originated within NC State’s College of Education in the 1970s. By 1979 the Dept. of Occupational Education had an engineering graphics program, and this was renamed Graphics Communications in 1980. In 1995 Graphic Communications merged with the Dept. of Math and Science Education. The new department was called Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education (today it is the Dept. of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education).

There is an online guide for the Dept. of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Education records held by the University Archives. The Jam Handy filmstrips and records have been moved to the University Archives Audiovisual Collection.

NCSU Libraries Acquires William Roy Wallace Architectural Papers

Tue, 2014-06-17 13:54

Media Contact:

David Hiscoe, 919-513-3425

June 17, 2014


The North Carolina State University Libraries has acquired the William Roy Wallace Architectural Papers, an important collection of architectural drawings and project files that document the work of a major North Carolina architect and his associates.

During much of the 20th century, Wallace (1889-1983) was the architect of choice for many Winston-Salem business leaders and their families as well as for business leaders in Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, and elsewhere. Known for his fine residential architecture, he also designed numerous religious, educational, and commercial buildings from the 1920s onward.

Dr. Margaret Supplee Smith, art historian and professor emerita at Wake Forest University, was instrumental in identifying the importance of the collection and facilitating the generous donation by the Wallace family. Smith notes, “With this significant acquisition, which includes architectural records documenting three generations of architects working in North Carolina–Charles Barton Keen, William Roy Wallace Sr., and William Roy Wallace Jr., in addition to Harold Macklin—NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center has ensured that the story of twentieth-century architectural practice in the Piedmont, with its rich textile, tobacco, and historic preservation legacies, will have a permanent place in the state’s architectural history.”

Wallace, a native of Pennsylvania, began his career in association with Philadelphia architect Charles Barton Keen (1868-1931), a designer of country houses for the Philadelphia elite. Keen created a second major body of work among the leading industrial families in the North Carolina Piedmont, including the famed Reynolda House (1912-1918) for the Reynolds family in Winston-Salem. Wallace worked with Keen as an office boy, a draftsman, and eventually as partner. In 1923 Keen and Wallace moved to Winston-Salem to manage the construction of the R. J. Reynolds High School and Auditorium. After Keen returned to Philadelphia, Wallace oversaw the Winston-Salem office and traveled back and forth from Philadelphia to supervise the firm’s many projects. Throughout the 1920s, the two architects worked on many of the great homes in Reynolda Park and Stratford Road, including the C. A. Kent House, the Robert Hanes House, and the P. Huber Hanes, Sr., House.

In 1928 Wallace settled permanently in Winston-Salem, where he established a practice with Harold Macklin and James M. Conrad. Like Keen, Wallace and his son William Roy Wallace, Jr., who joined the practice after World War II, continued in a Beaux Arts revivalist tradition that shaped the distinguished architectural heritage of Winston-Salem and other communities.

Among the buildings attributed to the Wallace firm are the Fries Memorial Moravian Church, Highland Presbyterian Church Sunday School, the Twin City Club, many of the Davidson County schools from the mid-1930s to 1950s, and much of the early restoration work at Old Salem. In addition to designing the country estate (Brookberry Farm) of Bowman Grey, Jr., many Wallace houses are extant in Winston-Salem, including the Siewers-Shaffner House, John Stephens House, James Weeks House, and Meade Willis House.

The Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at the NCSU Libraries continues to assemble and archive the work of leading architects to make these unique materials available to a wide audience. The SCRC has collected the papers of key architects, including G. Milton Small Jr., George Matsumoto, and William Waldo Dodge, as well as those of past and present faculty members of NC State’s College of Design such as Henry Kamphoefner, Marvin Malecha, Matthew Nowicki, and Frank Harmon.

The NCSU Libraries Special Collections Research Center holds research and primary resource materials in areas that reflect and support the teaching and research needs of the students, faculty, and researchers at the university. By emphasizing established and emerging areas of excellence at NC State University and corresponding strengths within the Libraries’ overall collection, the SCRC develops collections strategically with the aim of becoming an indispensable source of information for generations of scholars.

The Max Desfor Photographs and Papers

Mon, 2014-06-09 10:00

It is our great pleasure to announce that the Max Desfor Photographs and Papers is now processed and open for research. The collection guide is available here. Max Desfor was an Associated Press photographer who won the Pulitzer Prize in 1951 in the general photography category for his coverage of the Korean War in a photo, “Flight of Refugees Across Wrecked Bridge in Korea,” taken in 1950, of Korean refugees fleeing along the twisted girders of a bombed bridge.

Flight of Refugees Across Wrecked Bridge in Korea, 1950, Associated Press

Desfor was born in New York City on November 8, 1913. He studied at Brooklyn College in New York. He started his career at the Associated Press in 1933 as a darkroom assistant. In 1938, Desfor became staff photographer at the Associated Press bureau in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1939 he joined the Associated Press staff in Washington, D.C. In 1942 he was promoted to photo editor and in 1944 he was promoted to war correspondent and assigned to photograph Admiral Nimitz’s command in the Pacific Ocean area.

This collection contains photographs taken by Max Desfor while he was employed with the Associated Press from 1940 to 1968. There are also newspaper clippings, personal correspondence, business correspondence and other files dating from 1942 to 2008, as well as numerous photographs and negatives dating from 1936 to 2008. Also included in the collection are many photographs and negatives dated from 1936 to 2008 documenting Desfor’s experiences in Korea, Japan, India and many other places, both foreign and domestic. Some are photographs Desfor took for AP jobs while others are personal. There are some famous faces included such as Mahatma Gandhi and Princess Elizabeth. The collection also contains videocassettes and CDs ranging in dates from 1985 to 2008, although most of them are undated, as well as slides from 1969 to 1972. The dates for the entire collection range from 1936 to 2008, and it totals 9.5 linear feet.

Gandhi Fasts for Peace, 1948, Associated Press

Caption accompanying photo: GANDHI FASTS FOR PEACE: Wearing a loin cloth and shawl, Mohandas K. Gandhi squats before a microphone in New Delhi, India, to deliver prayer meeting discourse during second day of his fast to force communal peace in India. The 78-year-old Indian patriot ended his 121-hour fast on Jan. 18 when he won a pledge of harmony from religious leaders of India. Date: 1/22/48 for the Associated Press

This is a unique collection for the SCRC at N.C. State and will be of interest to a variety of researchers, particularly those interested in photography in general and those interested in news photography of the mid-20th century of war zones like those in Korea and Japan. For more information about the collection, please consult the collection guide.

Content, Context, Capacity available online in its entirety

Mon, 2014-06-02 13:02

For the last four years, the NCSU Libraries has been participating in the planning and execution of a multi-institution project to digitize hundreds of thousands of archival pages. The project, “Content, Content, and Capacity,” has been a collaboration with the Triangle Research Libraries Network and the university libraries at UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, and North Carolina Central University.

Now, all pages from the SCRC scanned through the project–all 99,943 of them–are available online!

The last two new collections added to the Libraries Rare and Unique Digital Collections site are:

68 folders from the William Dallas Herring Collections (MC270)

88 folders from Society of Women Engineers (UA021.497)

We also recently added almost 150 digitized folders to collections that already had some digitized materials online:

Office for Equal Opportunity and Equity Records (UA005.009)

Cary Hoyt Bostian Records (UA002.001.003)

And here’s the collection in its entirety.

These resources are and will be available as part of the NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of images, video, and audio recordings, and text documenting NC State history.

Cary Hoyt Bostian Records online

Mon, 2014-05-19 09:19

As part of Content, Context, and Capacity, we have digitized the first 14 boxes of the Cary Hoyt Bostian Records. This covers 1954-1957, Bostian’s first full three years as Chancellor of NC State, and a time when the university (then college) began to integrate. This was just one of several important changes that occurred during Bostian’s tenure.

These materials are now available online in our Rare and Unique Digital Collections site. Below is the first page of the script of Bostian’s installation speech.

To discover all of the SCRC’s digitized resources, visit the Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections.

Civets and Tarsiers and Tapirs (oh my!)

Mon, 2014-05-12 08:00

This post is contributed by Ashley Williams, Project Archivist, Animal Rights and Animal Welfare Collections.

Included in the Animal Welfare Institute Records is a collection of photographs by Ernest P. Walker. When I first encountered the photographs I was amazed by the sheer variety of animals photographed. There are pictures of lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!), but also several animals I had never heard of or did not know what they looked like: civets, lemmings, tapirs, and tarsiers (also known as bush babies), to name a few. I was intrigued to learn about these animals and curious as to the images I would come across. The collection did not disappoint.


Given the number and quality of the photographs, I realized this collection was likely not created by an average animal-loving person. My thoughts turned to “who in the world is Ernest P. Walker and why did he take all of these pictures?” I was quickly able to learn more about him: he worked as a warden and inspector for the United States Bureau of Fisheries in Alaska in the 1910s upon graduating from college. After a three year stint as a game warden in Arizona and California, Walker returned to Alaska in 1921 with the United States Biological Survey as a fur and game warden and executive officer for the Alaska Game Commission. In 1927, Walker moved to Washington, DC and assumed the role of assistant director of the National Zoological Park in 1930, where he remained until 1956.


Walker was more concerned with mammals as living animals rather than their individual biological components. Over the years, he observed their feeding habits, care of young, and other behavioral characteristics and began taking photographic portraits of many species. To observe certain small mammals more closely than his duties at the zoo would allow, he brought them into his home as pets.  Most of the photographs date from his term as assistant director.


Upon retiring from the National Zoo, Walker, along with his qualified assistants, compiled data, prepared photographs, and arranged a manuscript into what would become the three-volume Mammals of the World. Two of his other works are Walker’s Bats of the World and Walker’s Primates of the World, all of which are available at the NCSU Libraries. Information about the animals’ breeding, habitats, food, and physical description, along with a photograph or illustration, is included for all but four animals. Additionally, Walker wrote two books for the Animal Welfare Institute: First Aid and Care of Small Mammals and Studying Small Mammals.

South American Tapir

To learn more about Ernest Walker’s photographs, or about the Animal Welfare Institute Records, be sure to check out the collection guide.

Women’s Basketball Arrives!

Mon, 2014-04-28 13:24

As promised in the March 10 post “Men’s Basketball Emerges,” Women’s Basketball Audio/Visual Materials have been teased out of the larger University Archives Audio/Visual Collection and now have a unique collection guide making it easier for alumni, students, and fans alike to search for training tapes, recruitment films, episodes of the Kay Yow show and more!

Although Men’s Basketball at N.C. State has been around since 1911, the Women’s Basketball team was not organized until 1974. In the first five years the Women’s Basketball Team sported two All Americans (Susan Yow and Genia Beasley), won the first televised Women’s Basketball game in North Carolina (1976), and competed in the first ever Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament (1978 – the Pack lost to Maryland in the final game).

N.C. State Women's Basketball, 1985

In 1987, Kay Yow was inducted in to the Women’s Sports Hall of Fame and in 1988 coached the Olympic Women’s Basketball Team to victory. In 1991, Andrea Stinson gained her second All-American honor, making her the only women’s basketball player with that distinction. In 1998 and 2002, the Women’s Basketball team made it to the Final Four.

Fortunately, much of the early years of the N.C. State Women’s Basketball Team’s history has been captured on film. The Women’s Basketball Audio/Visual Materials, 1974-1997 contains coaches’ films, team practices, recruiting films, highlight reels, and the Kay Yow Show.

For more information on this collection, please visit the Special Collections website.

The Ellis B. Cowling Papers

Mon, 2014-04-21 10:00

It is our great pleasure to announce that a large addition to the Ellis B. Cowling Papers is now processed and open for research. The collection guide is available here. Ellis B. Cowling is a University Distinguished Professor At-Large Emeritus of Forest and Plant Pathology at North Carolina State University. He specializes in biochemistry and wood decay, conservation of essential elements by forest trees and deterioration of timber products, the role of nitrogen in co-evolution of forest trees and wood-destroying fungi, and integrated management of plant diseases. He has many other research interests as well, such as man-induced changes in the chemical climate and their effects on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and the role of scientists in public decision making. His appointment as the Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee of Faculty at N.C. State University contributed to the preservation and relocation of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse in North Carolina.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse during the move

Dr. Cowling’s involvement with the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse is well documented within the collection. Material relating to the lighthouse arrived at the Special Collections Research Center in 2011 and the rest of the collection came in 2013. The series on the lighthouse contains correspondence, publications, media clippings, information about the lighthouse and the move, information from the Ad Hoc Committee, a proposal for the move and pictures of the lighthouse before, during, and after the move. These items date from 1982 to 2001.

Cape Hatteras Lighthouse after the move

The remainder of the collection consists of material related to Dr. Cowling’s involvement with animal waste research, the university,  organizations outside of the university, and the Southern Oxidants Study (SOS). The bulk of the collection is about SOS and Dr. Cowling’s extensive work with that organization. The last series contains audiovisual materials including videotapes and audiocassette tapes. The cassette tapes document Dr. Cowling’s lectures to the PP 650 course – a course in plant pathology – during the fall of 1973. The dates for the entire collection range from 1957 to 2013, and it totals 31.75 linear feet.

Researchers interested in forest and plant pathology, animal waste research, the Southern Oxidants Study (SOS) or the move of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse will find a wealth of interesting documents and useful information. Dr. Cowling’s career has been long and varied, making this a unique collection with a variety of materials. For more information about the collection, please consult the collection guide.

Wearing Your Cause on Your Sleeve: Artifacts in the Animal Welfare Institute Records

Mon, 2014-04-07 08:00
This post is contributed by Darby Reiners, Project Archivist, Animal Rights and Animal Welfare Collections.
While archivists spend a great deal of time cataloging and rehousing collections that consist primarily of paper documents, occasionally we have the opportunity to handle three dimensional objects. For instance, while working on the Animal Welfare Institute Records, we discovered an entire carton filled with t-shirts, sweatshirts, and a mask related to different Animal Rights causes. Three dimensional objects like these shirts can provide a different perspective on researching organizations such as the Animal Welfare Institute. The shirts show another way that animal rights groups have tried to disseminate information about causes such as “Save the Whales, Boycott Japanese and Russian Goods” or “Save the Elephants, Keep them all on Appendix I.” These articles of clothing also provide insights into the communities in which this information was being distributed and strategies employed by those working for these causes. For example, one of the shirts for the “Save the Whales” cause is a children’s shirt while the “Save the Elephants” shirt states the organization’s agenda in English, French, and Spanish. These shirts show the Animal Welfare Institute’s attempts to spread their information across age groups and linguistic barriers. Just think of what else can be learned from delving into the Animal Welfare Institute’s records and these interesting artifacts, as well as our other collections on animal rights and animal welfare!

New films added to Rare and Unique Digital Collections

Mon, 2014-03-31 12:00

We’ve recently added just over a dozen new digitized films related to university history to our Rare and Unique Digital Collections.

College Days NC State, 1950     4H Dress Review Nuclear Reactor     Noise Lab Peace Corps

To discover all of the SCRC’s digitized films, visit the Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections.

100 Years of Extension: Celebrating the Past, Looking to the Future

Thu, 2014-03-27 16:41

This week is Agriculture Awareness Week, and to help celebrate it, the Libraries is curating a small exhibit that marks the 100th anniversary of the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. The federal Smith-Lever Act in 1914 funded life-changing educational programs at NC State and other land-grant universities across the country. Even earlier, the seeds for Extension were sown by a “see-for-yourself” demonstration movement for farmers and rural families in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Early pioneers included Seaman Knapp, A.B. Graham, Booker T. Washington, and North Carolina’s own Jane S. McKimmon.

These educators’ ideals transformed the way land-grant universities saw their roles. Cooperative Extension placed professional educators in local communities with the mission of improving lives. Today, North Carolina Cooperative Extension has programs in all 100 counties and on the Qualla Boundary of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. These programs draw on research-based knowledge from NC State and NC A&T — the state’s two land-grant universities — to help North Carolinians to move forward and prosper.

To help farmers better produce food, feed, and fiber, Extension has taught improved agricultural techniques, introduced better varieties, improved soil conditions, and promoted mechanization. Shown here is John Johnson and 68.5 bushels of corn produced on one acre of his Scotland Neck farm in 1939.

Extension has also promoted pest management and the cure and prevention of plant diseases. For example, in the 1920s a focus was boll weevil eradication. The insect threatened major damage to the cotton crop in North Carolina and throughout the South.

In 1917 Extension began promoting forestry and timber management as potential revenue sources for North Carolina farms with extensive tree stands. Shown here are workers preparing pulpwood, circa 1930.

Before the 1930s, most North Carolina farms lacked access to electricity. During the New Deal, Extension became a partner in rural electrification, and it promoted the labor saving benefits of electric power. New appliances allowed some farmers to expand into other commodities.

Extension has also focused on soil conservation. Methods for combating erosion have been growing vetch (shown here at a Pineville farm in 1937) and terracing fields.

Cooperative Extension has a long history of youth programs. Boys corn clubs and girls tomato and canning clubs began in 1909 and 1911, respectively. These programs were the beginnings of 4-H in the state. Shown here are youth clubs, circa 1920.

Extension has offered programs for women since the mothers of girls’ canning club members asked for their own clubs in the early 1910s. These programs were originally called “Home Demonstration.” The women’s clubs also raised gardens and canned produce, and they held curb markets as a way for women to earn their own money, as seen in this photo.

During World War II, 4-H youth contributed to the war effort. By raising food in the Feed a Fighter drive, North Carolina 4-Hers were honored by naming two warships, including the U.S.S. Tyrrell, launched from Wilmington in 1944.

Home Demonstration also formed groups for sewing (as seen in this photo from the 1940s), making mattresses, and even upholstering furniture. Today the program is called Family and Consumer Sciences, and it has expanded well beyond its original activities.

The exhibit will be on display in the circulation lobby of D. H. Hill Library until April 4, 2014. The Special Collections Research Center holds many items documenting the history of extension in North Carolina. To discover images similar to those on display in the exhibit, visit the Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections.

The Friday Forum with Special Collections: Documenting Modernism at the College of Design

Mon, 2014-03-24 13:47

This week, the Special Collections Research Center will be holding a special event at the College of Design.

In conjunction with the AIA Triangle and NCSU School of Architecture Joint Lecture Series on Situated Modernisms & Global Practice, the NCSU Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) is holding a “show and tell” event at the College of Design that will showcase some of its unique materials. The Friday Forum will be held on March 28 from 12:00 – 1:30 in the Belk Rotunda at Brooks Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

This event will complement the lecture on Monday, March 24, at 6:00 pm in Burns Auditorium in Kamphoefner Hall, featuring Roger Clark, FAIA, and Margret Kentgens-Craig. The Friday Forum with Special Collections on March 28 will give faculty, students, and others interested in modernist architecture and the history of the College of Design (previously the School of Design) an opportunity to view materials from Special Collections, including original works by Matthew Nowicki, George Matsumoto, G. Milton Small, and other luminaries who were associated with the College. Items that document the history of the College will also be on display, including materials that reflect the tenure and influence of the School’s first dean, Henry Kamphoefner.

Agricultural Engineering Drawings (1920s-1990s) Now Available

Mon, 2014-03-17 10:39

This silo is representative of the Drawings and Plans Series, with plans, elevations, and cross-sections

Researchers can now access a great collection of drawings of agricultural and rural structures. Rural electrification, architecture, agricultural innovation, and even animal welfare are just a few of the themes that could be explored through these documents. Other possible topics for study include the history of women and children, as well as leisure studies. These drawings were created by the Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering and disseminated through the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service. They have recently been inventoried by Special Collections and added to the department’s records.

More than 1100 drawings range in date from the 1920s to the 1990s. They include plans, elevations, details, and depictions, mostly of agricultural structures for cows, pigs, and chickens, but also for rabbits, sheep, and turkeys. They were used for feeding, breeding, and shelter. Some are structures built specifically for North Carolina county fairs. There are also plans for privately-owned farms and plants throughout North Carolina, usually for particular structures or landscaping elements. Farm equipment is also represented, such as feeders, spreaders, harvesters, and hay driers. Interestingly, designs for non-agricultural buildings and objects are also found in the collection. These include local community houses, 4-H camps, playgrounds, athletic fields, roadside stands and markets, cabins, vacation houses, and recreational equipment. They provide a rich historical archive of agricultural and recreational structures of North Carolina during this time period.

Some drawings reflect transitions in agriculture during the twentieth century. Those of a 1940 mule barn reflect old practices still in effect at the end of the Great Depression. From the 1940s, electric brooders and dehydrators show the impact of rural electrification. From 1976, a bulk curing barn for tobacco reveals the spread of new production techniques that resulted from research at colleges and universities (in this case, procedures developed at NC State). Also of note are drawings for curbside markets, used by rural women in home demonstration clubs to sell produce and earn their own money, and plans for a Swansboro, North Carolina, 4-H camp, originally a segregated facility for African American youth.

Many drawings were created through the Cooperative Farm Building Plan Exchange. Through this program, each land-grant university submitted plans to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which then disseminated them to other land-grant institutions across the country. Farmers obtained plans from their local Cooperative Extension agents, free of charge, for construction on their farms. Therefore, this collection may document structures not just in North Carolina but throughout the entire United States. Some plans may have also been modified for the specific needs of individual North Carolina farms.

The drawings in this collection can be viewed at the Special Collections Reading Room of the D. H. Hill Library. Interested persons can select drawings from the inventory and then request them through our webform. The records of the Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department have not yet been fully digitized, but some texts and video are available on Special Collections’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections website. The Department of Biological & Agricultural Engineering has existed since 1940, although courses in agricultural engineering date back to the founding of the university. A history of it exists on the department’s website.

Men’s Basketball Emerges

Mon, 2014-03-10 13:09

On February 8, 1911, the A&M College (later known as NCSU) basketball team played its first game against Wake Forest. Known as the Red Terrors until 1947, when all athletics teams at NCSU adopted the name “Wolfpack,” the men’s basketball team has been a member of multiple conferences and the winner of numerous championships, including the 1974 and 1983  NCAA men’s basketball championships. Since the early 1950s, much of the history of this team has been captured on film.

Two years ago the Special Collections Research Center realized that this rich history, located within a University Archives audiovisual collection that had swelled to over 300 cartons of audiovisual materials, should be made more accessible for the university community and other fans. While half of this collection was processed, the other half remained unprocessed. Identifying and locating the men’s basketball audiovisual materials would be difficult without a detailed inventory. Step 1 was to get a handle on the extent of the collection. Each carton (both processed and unprocessed) was ordered from an off-site shelving facility and inventoried for title, year, and format. We discovered 35mm still image film, 8mm, 16mm, VHS, Betacam, Betamax, U-matic, reel to reel audio tapes, cassette tapes, LPs, CDs, and DVDs, just to name the most popular formats. The content of these materials varied as well – recruitment films, educational films, sound recordings, coaches’ films, speeches, Chancellor inductions, and the list goes on.


Step 2 involved removing men’s basketball materials from the detailed inventory to create its own separate subseries. The Men’s Basketball Audiovisual Materials collection, dated from 1953 – 1994, consists primarily of coaches’ films taken from the bleachers/sidelines. These films were primarily used by coaches for training purposes. There are a smattering of other types films in this collection as well, including copies of some broadcast videos. Some of the coaches’ films have been digitized and can be found online on our Rare and Unique Digital Collections website. Having the men’s basketball materials available for researchers to locate is an exciting step in our audiovisual collections processing plan!

Stay tuned as we process other unique audiovisual collections – next is women’s basketball!

For questions about this or any of our collections, please contact the Special Collections Research Center.

The Martha Scotford Research and Study Collection on Graphic Design

Tue, 2014-03-04 16:30

For anyone with an interest in design — type and lettering, branding and commercial art, printing, or graphic design — there is a wonderful new resource for you. The improved finding aid to the Martha Scotford Research and Study Collection on Graphic Design was released earlier this year. It can be found online here.

Cover of a promotional magazine “Inspirations for Printers” published and printed by Westvaco Pulp and Paper Company.

This collection serves as a record of the history of graphic design through its sample design works carefully collected by Martha Scotford, Professor Emeritus of Graphic Design, and its vast reference resources and books. You’ll find a rich variety of designed works including record covers, notable magazine covers, posters, exquisite print samples produced by paper and print companies including Westvaco (click here to learn about the company’s history), book jackets and works produced by notable designers and design companies.

The collection contains many type specimen books like the one seen here.

The collection also contains a strong collection of Italian design reference books. While some of these books are written in Italian, others are bilingual and all contain plenty of images to give a visual sense of the nuances of Italian design.

Visual translation of El Lissitzky's "For the Voice".

Another international component to the collection is Martha Scotford’s work on a book design project to publish and English version of a poem constructed by El Lissitzky, praised as one of the finest achievements of Russian avant-garde bookmaking. The collection documents Martha Scotford’s entire process of conceptualizing the project, working with publishers, and fine tuning the design.

The collection is open to researchers and can be requested by making an appointment with the Special Collections Research Center.

Snowball fight on the NCSU Campus!

Mon, 2014-02-17 15:21

Last week, the snow and ice wreaked havoc on campus, but snow has covered our lovely campus in years past! Drawn from the University Archives Photograph Collection, this image of a snowball fight from the 1950s captures a moment in time in student life that was not all that different from our campus last week.

To discover more early photographs of student life and other digitized images from the Special Collections Research Center, go to: