Morton project awarded NCHC grant

NCHCWe’ve just gotten some exciting news! I’m pleased to share that the North Carolina Collection has been awarded a grant by the North Carolina Humanities Council to support a web publishing project entitled Worth 1,000 Words: Essays on the Photographs of Hugh Morton. The grant funds will be used exclusively to hire a group of scholars and writers to produce thirteen essays (1,000-1,500-words long, based on 3-5 images), highlighting some of the predominant themes represented in the Hugh Morton photographic collection. The essays will be published online as part of this very blog, A View to Hugh. The plan is for a new essay to be posted approximately bi-weekly between January and July, 2010.

We think that the essays produced through the Worth 1,000 Words project will greatly enhance the discoverability of the collection, providing historical and cultural context and analysis of Hugh Morton’s fantastic images, while also demonstrating the value of visual resources for research and education. From the very beginning, we envisioned this project as interactive, hoping to take full advantage of the blog format. Our authors will not be writing into a void — you, as readers, will be able to comment, respond, object, ask questions . . . instead of just sitting there as static documents, the essays will provide jumping-off points for conversation, reflection, and exploration of our state’s culture and history.

We are thrilled that the Humanities Council has agreed to support this somewhat non-traditional publishing project, and would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to them!

View a list of essay authors and topics after the jump.

Authors/Essays for Worth 1,000 Words:

1.  Richard Starnes (Associate Professor of History and Department Chair at Western Carolina University specializing in southern history and Appalachia, author of Creating the Land of the Sky: Tourism and Society in Western North Carolina) on tourism in western North Carolina

2.  Janis Holder (independent writer/researcher, former University Archivist, UNC-Chapel Hill, curator of A Nursery of Patriotism: the University at War, 1861-1945 exhibit) on UNC-Chapel Hill during World War II

3.  Rob Christensen on North Carolina political history. Rob has been writing about North Carolina politics as a reporter and a columnist for 36 years for the News and Observer and the Charlotte Observer; his book The Paradox of Tar Heel Politics won the N.C. Literary and Historical Association’s Ragan Old North State Award Cup for the best work of nonfiction in 2008.

4.  Art Chansky (Associate General Manager of Tar Heel Sports Properties, former sports writer/editor for several area newspapers, author of several books) on UNC-Chapel Hill sports history

5.   Susan Taylor Block (independent writer and historian, author of several books on the history and culture of the Wilmington, NC area) on Wilmington and the Azalea Festival

6.   Anne Mitchell Whisnant (author of Super-Scenic Motorway: A Blue Ridge Parkway History and UNC-Chapel Hill administrator and adjunct faculty member in History, also advising humanities scholar for the NCHC project) on the Blue Ridge Parkway

7.  Andrew Denson (Assistant Professor of History at Western Carolina University, specializing in Native American history and the 19th-century U.S.) on Cherokee Indians in NC

8.  Drew Swanson (doctoral candidate in history at the University of Georgia, fellow for the Wormsloe Institute of Environmental History; also former employee at Grandfather Mountain) on the environmental and commercial history of Grandfather Mountain

9.  David Cecelski (independent historian and writer, author of the NCFOOD blog and several books on North Carolina history) on NC coastal life in the 1940s-1950s

10.  Alan Weakley (plant systematist, floristician, and community ecologist specializing in the Southeastern U.S.; Curator and Adjunct Assistant Professor UNC Herbarium, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Department of Biology) on North Carolina native plants and plant conservation

11.  Celeste Ray (Professor of Anthropology, University of the South, specializing in ethnic studies of Ireland, Scotland and the American South, ethnoecology and sacred landscapes) on Scottish heritage/identity in the North Carolina mountains

12.  Randy Johnson (originator of the trails system at Grandfather Mountain, journalist, author of numerous guidebooks, photojournalist, magazine editor, and trail professional) on Hugh Morton’s later environmental work

13.  David Haney and Lisa Baldwin on Appalachian traditional music and musicians. Haney is Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Professor of English and Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University, as well as a musician and author on topics of philosophy, literature, and bluegrass music. Lisa NMN Baldwin is a student in the masters program in Appalachian Studies at ASU. She has taught elementary school for 30 years, is the founder of “Learning Through Song,” a music education program, and is a musician and songwriter who performs with Dave Haney and others.

7 thoughts on “Morton project awarded NCHC grant

  1. Wow! What an interesting project for the Humanities Council to underwrite. I shall look forward to the essays – all the way to July. The scope of interest in this collection never fails to surprise me. If Hugh’s first darkroom had not been in his parents’ home which burned there would have been more photographs showing the University at war. It is hard to remember what else was destroyed at that time.

  2. I am sure that Richard Starnes is a good choice to write about tourism, but you should also ask Charles Heatherly, former NC Director of Travel & Tourism, to contribute. He worked with HMM very closely and has very accurate insights into the man and his motives.

  3. Thanks, Mortons! The author list for the grant is already set at this point, but I should have noted in the blog post that we envision this as only a “first round” of essays on HM’s photos. Ultimately, we would love for anyone who is interested to be able to write and submit essays based on photos they find in the Morton digital collection (though unfortunately we wouldn’t be able to pay them, unless we found additional funding somewhere). This initial group will provide a model for others to work from. (Wouldn’t that make a great writing assignment for history students, for example?) I’m sure there are many qualified and knowledgeable writers out there we weren’t able to include this time around.

  4. Pingback: North Carolina Miscellany » Blog Archive » Worth 1,000 Words: Essays on the Photographs of Hugh Morton

  5. Great job, Elizabeth, in securing this grant. I look forward to this additional V2H element.

  6. Pingback: Library news and events » Blog Archive » Grant to Fund Essays about Hugh Morton Photographs

  7. Cool! Just heard about the project. Looking forward to the essays. One question…. looks like the V2H project used DC metadata, how are you treating the essays? Are you considering them digital objects?
    thanls and godd luck

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