If you have walked through the D.H. Hill Library's Ask Us lobby any time over the past week, you may have noticed a glass display case and a large mobile monitor off in the southwest corner. These are the latest exhibits put together by the Special Collections Research Center, celebrating both Agricultural Awareness Week and Women's History Month.
In the display case is a sampling of agricultural extension material from the 1910s to the 1960s, all recently digitized as part of the "Better Living in North Carolina" project. The items in this case range from a pamphlet instructing readers on how to grow and sell Christmas trees to a schematic detailing the construction of an automatic swine watering machine. There are even a few items explaining to North Carolina's farmers that an increase in their produce and meat production could help win the Second World War. The "Better Living in North Carolina" project is collaboration between NCSU Libraries and the F.D. Bluford Library at North Carolina A&T State University. It seeks to make available online thousands of resources documenting the agricultural economy of North Carolina and its transformation throughout the twentieth century, spurred by the innovation and research of the Cooperative Extension Service.
Up on the monitor is a digital exhibit showcasing women in cooperative extension work. This material comes from the "Better Living in North Carolina" and "Green ‘N’ Growing" projects. We've put together a collection of photographs and pamphlet covers which depict the wide array of work that women have done as part of the cooperative extension initiatives, usually through home demonstrations. One of the photographs in the exhibit shows a woman leading a demonstration on the nutritional value of milk for children, and another depicts a home demonstration agent instructing people on financial management. There is also a pamphlet which gives instructions on how to properly streamline the dishwashing process to cure their "dishpanitis."
All of these items and more can be seen in the Ask Us lobby of the D. H. Hill Library, so if you have not seen the exhibits yet, check them out today! The exhibits will be up through Sunday, 2 April. The content of these exhibits is available as part of the NCSU Libraries’ Rare and Unique Digital Collections, which provides access to thousands of images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State history and other topics. While you’re at it, check out the Historical State timeline on the Cooperative Extension Service.