History of Forestry
Collections  |  Historical Context  |  Project Information  |  Contact Us  |  Home

Project Information

Phase I

Thanks to a grant from the State Library of North Carolina, North Carolina ECHO (Exploring Cultural Heritage Online) in 2001, The North Carolina State University Libraries' Special Collections Research Center, in collaboration with the Biltmore Company in Asheville and the Forest History Society in Durham, created an online resource for research and information on forestry history in the state of North Carolina. The partners established this web site to provide access to collections of rare and unique items for the general public, students and scholars.

During the first phase of the project, the partner institutions digitized primary research materials, including photographs, diaries, correspondence, artifacts, and printed materials. The Carl A. Schenck Collection, which chronicles the development of the Biltmore Forestry School, as well as the start of the lumber and forestry industries of North Carolina, forms the foundation of the NCSU Libraries' resources on forestry history and natural resources. One component of this project involved the creation of an online finding aid for the Schenck Collection. In addition, Biltmore Company archivists cataloged the Estate Forestry Department Collection, 1895-1909, which coincides with the years that Schenck served as the estate's chief forester, managing over 100,000 acres of woodlands. Finally, the Forest History Society produced online finding aids with accompanying digital images for a number of its collections relating to forest history in North Carolina. These materials document the lives and work of foresters, professors, and students who were responsible for the development of the fledgling forestry profession in North Carolina during the early twentieth century.

Phase II

In 2002, the collaborating institutions, with the addition of the University of North Carolina at Asheville, reunited with the assistance of a second grant from the State Library to further expand this digital library of research materials relating to the history of American forestry. While the first phase of this project focused on the contributions Schenck made to forestry education and the Biltmore Forest School, this second phase was intended to expand the collection to include materials from the National Forest Service archive at UNC-Asheville and the NCSU College of Natural Resources' Hofmann teaching forest in eastern North Carolina. This phase of the project enabled the partners to supplement the History of Forestry site with finding aids and digital images.

The NCSU Libraries created an electronic finding aid for the Guide to the North Carolina Forestry Foundation Sub-Group, 1869-2000, also known as the Hofmann Forest Collection. Over 10,000 images from this collection were digitized and linked to the finding aid to increase access to the collection. The Biltmore Company digitized its earliest records (1895-1909) relating to the purchase and management of forests in Western North Carolina, including correspondence from Frederick Law Olmsted and Schenck and a series of photographs. The selected materials, amounting to 1,600 items, focus on Schenck's role in the development of forestry as a profession in the United States, and his participation in debates that set the course for public policy in the areas of forest conservation and forest management.

The Forest History Society holds four photo albums documenting field trips undertaken by college students between 1903 and 1939, for which it created EAD finding aids. The Society digitized a number of these photographs, as well as transcripts of oral history interviews with individuals involved in the timber industry in the South. Finally, The University of North Carolina at Asheville holds materials from the National Forest Service that trace the development of the agency's activities relating to forest management in the southeastern United States. UNC-A digitized over 6,000 items dating from 1897-1952, including photographs and documents from this collection.


A number of individuals have contributed to the development of this site:

Project Information and Coordination: Lois Fischer Black (Assistant Head and Curator of Collections)

Digitization: Arpit Diggi, Tom Vincent, Pat Webber

Historical Context & Collections Pages: Anna Dahlstein (NCSU Libraries Fellow)

Website design: May Chang (Web Development Librarian)

Collections  |  Historical Context  |  Project Information  |  Contact Us |  Home

Copyright  | Accessibility |   Disclaimer

Last Modified: 2010-07-22
Questions/Comments to LibWebTeam