Special Collections Staff's Favorite Images from Our Digitized Collections

NC State University Libraries' Special Collections Research Center has one million images and other digitized resources in its Rare and Unique Digital Archives Collections, and that's a lot of to take in. I wanted to highlight some of our photos and drawings, so I asked SCRC staff what were some of their favorite images. Here are their responses.


Victor Betts, our Student Success Librarian, selected these two images:



Archives Specialist Cathy Dorin-Black picked this, saying, "I love this one (and all the Horticulture Science lantern slides!)"

"I love this one because the apples look like they are in 3D, like they might pop out of the frame.  The hand-coloring makes it seem like it's in HD.  I also love that a woman created this slide in 1910, before it was common for women to be photography professionals.  This collection of slides was done by Effie Brown Earll Slingerland.  More information can be found in this blog post."



Processing Assistant Phillip MacDonald says, "My favorite photo in the collection is Design student in shop. I appreciate the photographer leaving the shutter open allowing the viewer to observe a student working in the design shop via blurred motion."



Digital Program Librarian Brian Dietz chose these two among his favorites:

"This one is just so moody and modern, and I love a good construction scene."

"Again, very sleek and modern, and I love the trees."



Library Fellow Shelly Black chose this saying, "I like it because it's my life goal #283."



Library Technician Clara Wilson says, "This is my favorite picture from our digital collections. I love the two different expressions on the boys' faces, one looking so proud while the other looks trepidatious, and the comical difference in size of the pig versus the two boys."



Processing Assistant Taylor Wolford found one with personal meaning. She says, "This is a photo of Harrelson Hall which used to be a building in the Brickyard."

"Harrelson Hall has a special place in my heart because it was my favorite place to hang out as a student at NC State University. Historically speaking, it was also the first cylindrical building used for classes on a college campus. It was a really cool building to walk through, and at the top of the cylinder was a dome-shaped lounge where students could study and read. At one point, a student left a replica of the University Bell Tower in the lounge, and the replica stayed there until the building was torn down. So many fun memories were made in that building!"


Virginia Ferris, our Interim Lead Librarian for Outreach, Engagement, and Curation, chose two images.

"I love this image of a Poultry Department float at the NC State College Agricultural Fair from 1923. The list of reasons for appreciating the chicken is wonderful, ending with 'Take off your hat'!"

"This glass lantern slide was created by B.W. Wells, who took the photograph and then hand-painted color onto the black-and-white image. All of the slides in his collection are beautiful and fascinating images of North Carolina native plants, and this one of a group of venus fly traps "ready for insects" is especially cool."



I'll end this post with my own favorite from the collections. We have many images that are beautiful, informative, poignant, one-of-a-kind, or historical. But do those images feature a woman running away from giant insects on the Brickyard? No, no they do not.

If you would like to learn more about the Special Collection Research Center and our over 100,000 resources of digitized materials, please visit the Rare and Unique Digital Collections for access to images, video, audio recordings, and textual materials documenting NC State's student activities and other topics. You can also visit Historical State for a timeline of the history of the NC State.

If you have questions about our collections or would like to see Special Collections materials, please use our online request form, or visit our homepage and our collection guides.

The Special Collections Research Center is open by appointment only.  Please contact us at library_specialcollections@ncsu.edu for appointments or any questions. You can also submit a request to use materials, and we will email you with available appointment times.